The following review was conducted in August 2017.
The Obihai OBi1062 is a color SIP phone that comes with Bluetooth and WiFi (802.11n) compatibility. The phone has Power over Ethernet (PoE), two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two USB ports. It also offers HD calls through voice codecs such as G.722, Opus, G.711, G.729, G.726, and iLBC. The Obihai OBi1062 seems like a phone that could potentially challenge old time stalwarts like Polycom and Grandstream. But did the phone live up to these expectations? We subjected the OBi1062 to a comprehensive review to find out.
The OBi1062 is a matte phone with a great color display. It's reasonably sized and doesn’t take up a lot of desk space. The display is really impressive. The screen gives you quick access to some of the phone's apps, such as call history, preferences, product info, and more. The OBi1062 has six hard line keys that can be programmed, along with up to 24 line keys and eight programmable keys.
Notifications work great because there’s an LED display on the top right of the phone. Obihai provides a cloud management service called OBiTALK that utilizes remote support, including software updates, registration, and Google Voice compatibility. You can also import contacts from Google. This is very useful for IT support staff who manage remote users and phones.
Beyond importing contacts from Google through OBiTALK, the only other way to add individual phone contacts is through the Contacts app (which is available via the phone screen). There’s no way to add contacts from the web interface.
There are two ways to register your account to a SIP provider. One is through OBiTALK, which gives you the list of SIP providers partnered with Obihai. If your provider is not listed, you can still use the manual registration method. This registration method is through the web interface, but it’s not very user friendly. Sometimes the options are confusing. Just observe the parameter name of the sample interface. It’s like a confusing code for their device.
In terms of registering SIP accounts, the steps are not straightforward. First, you have to configure the server:
Then you have to go to the user credentials on the other page to pick the order of codecs you want to use:
Lastly, you have to assign those profiles (server and codec) to the account credentials page:
The OBi1062 can make HD calls with the G.722 codec. Aside from G.722, the phone also supports Opus, G.711, G.729, G.726, and iLBC codecs. Codecs can only be configured through the web interface. To pick the codec that you want to use, make sure to check the enable box and set the priority in the order you want. The OBi1062 has USB ports for extra storage and external Bluetooth-enabled devices.
The OBi1062 comes with WiFi support (802.11n). When we tried to connect to our wireless access point, an Aruba AP-215, the phone connected immediately without any issues. Calling over WiFi works fine 20 feet away from the access point. But when we moved to the conference room, 40 feet away from the access point, the sound quality degraded to the point where we couldn't hear the other caller speaking. Only syslog is available to troubleshoot the phone, and you have to point to a syslog server to activate these capabilities. There are no PCAP capture or logs included with the OBi1062.
The Obihai OBi1062 is a feature-rich phone with capabilities that rival the mid-range phones of other better known companies. The phone has six SIP lines along with a 4.3-inch 480 x 272 LED color display and integration with VoIP softswitch platforms such as Asterisk, Broadsoft, Metaswitch, and FreeSwitch. Some of the other features include:
- Up to 24 lines or call appearances: Programmable across six VoIP services (SIP and Google Voice) + OBiTALK
- User-configured themes and multi-dimensional navigation with top-anchored time and date
- Remotely customizable via XML download: User interface labeling, key/button functionality, applications
- Universal interoperability with SIP and VoLTE call control platforms
- Secure remote provisioning and management versatility via SP’s in-house system and/or OBiTALK cloud management
- Codecs supported: G.722, G.711, G.726, G.729, iLBC, Opus
- Full-duplex speakerphone with built-in class D amplifier and audio equalizer
- Headset support via RJ9, 3.5mm jacks (EHS support), or Bluetooth
- Dual Ethernet with Power over Ethernet (PoE): Gigabit Ethernet
- Integrated WiFi connectivity: Built-in or via OBiWiFi USB adapter
- 16-key sidecar option: Up to two sidecars per phone
- Built-in five-party conference bridge
- Personal contact phone book with import/export/sync functions, call history, picture caller ID
- Obihai call routing and bridging technology
- Global deployment: Language localization and country-specific dialing, ringing, in-call tones
Voice and Sound Quality
The sound quality of the OBi1062 handset depends primarily on the network settings. While using an Ethernet cord for Internet access, the phone delivers good sound quality with consistency. The quality of calls over WiFi can be spotty at times. Calls made close to a wireless access point are fairly good, but any more than about 40 feet away will make the call incomprehensible. The speakerphone, in general, is middling in sound quality. We were never confused by the audio, but the quality dip is noticeable compared to the handset.
At OnSIP, we put each of the phones we use through a multi-step interoperability test in which we apply ~30 test cases. Here’s an example of a test case:
Test phone calls phone B
B picks up
B puts test phone on hold
B calls phone C
C picks up
B transfers test phone to C
The call must be transferred correctly to C. B must be released correctly after the transfer. When C picks up, audio must work both ways between test phone and C. When the test phone is on hold, there is no audio between it and phone B.
Everything worked in our internal testing on the Obihai OBi1062. Call functions and account registrations passed our tests.
Step 1: Gather information for each user.
Each user has a set of credentials that will be needed to configure each phone. For each phone that you are configuring, obtain the following:
- "SIP Address" (Address of Record)
- "SIP Password"
- "Auth Username"
You can find this information in the user detail pages under the "Users" tab in the "Phone Configuration" section.
Step 2: Create an OBiTALK account.
Go to https://www.obitalk.com/obinet/login/ and create an account.
Service Provider Proxy Server: example.onsip.com
Service Provider Proxy Server Port: 5060
Outbound Proxy Server: sip.onsip.com
Outbound Proxy Server Port: 5060
Step 4. Confirm that your phone is registered.
Under the "Account" tab, expand the "Basic" section and verify that "Register Status" displays "Registered" next to it.
The OBi1062 is a solid phone that’s packed with great features. The color screen is superb. The depth of the feature list puts it on par with other leading VoIP phones. WiFi and PoE are also welcome additions to the phone. With all things considered, the OBi1062 could be deployed in practically any business scenario, from a single use case to mass deployment for an entire company.
Perhaps the most serious issue is the sound quality over WiFi. We found that the WiFi's practical usage extended for a 40-foot radius, which is not sufficient for all business spaces. If you're hoping to bring WiFi to your IP phones, the OBi1062 might not be the phone for you. The web interface was confusing to navigate at times, although OBiTALK largely replaces the need to change phone settings from the web UI. Additionally, it would be nice to add more troubleshooting tools like logs or PCAP.
The Obihai OBi1062 will work great for users who want a mid-range IP phone with a sharp color screen, PoE, and standard VoIP features.