The following review was conducted in June 2017.
Zoiper for Android is a VoIP softphone for Android devices, including phones and tablets. Zoiper supports IAX and SIP. It's primed for remote working, and is capable of fully replacing a desk phone. There are two versions of the softphone, a free version and a premium version. The premium (gold) version includes wideband codecs, conferencing, encryption (ZRTP), and call transfer at $8.49. We'll make a distinction between the free and premium version throughout the article.
Can Zoiper for Android truly replace a desk phone? And how does it live up to other softphones such as Bria and Grandstream Wave? We performed a comprehensive review to find out.
The free version of Zoiper should be fine for basic users. Heavy users that need conferencing and call transfer might want to check out the premium version. Other premium features include ZRTP encryption, presence, and wideband codecs like G.722, G.726, and Opus.
Zoiper is a solidly designed softphone that works well with SIP. With its in-app dialer, Zoiper has a design that's similar to other leading softphones on the market. One great feature is that it has a tabbed view that allows you to rapidly switch from one function to another. The default codecs are uLaw and aLaw, which do not sound as crisp as the HD codecs. For HD calling, you will need to upgrade to a premium account.
Video calling with Zoiper is not very straightforward or intuitive. When someone tries to make a video call, Zoiper will initially treat the video call as a regular call. The caller has to initiate another video call, within the regular call, to actually start the video feed. We found this to be an odd design quirk that potentially obstructs the user experience.
While testing video calling with other softphones, we found that Zoiper for Android crashed quite a bit. When testing with our web app, the call defauled to audio-only. Occasionally this would also happen when toggling options and making voice calls.
You can use Zoiper as your native dialer for Android. Zoiper pulls up the call logs from your native phone dialer so that you don’t have to switch to get a comprehensive call history. The app runs in the background, so you can receive calls when the app isn't open.
Local contacts are also integrated with Zoiper. The softphone works over both mobile networks (2G, 3G, 4G) and WiFi, which is a huge plus. Here's a more comprehensive list of Zoiper for Android's features:
- Bluetooth support (beta)
- Multiprotocol with SIP and IAX support, compatible with all RFC& compliant PBXs
- Speakerphone mute and hold
- UDP and TCP transports (use TCP for better battery life)
- Supports g711 (ulaw, alaw), speex, iLBC and gsm codecs
- Supports sending of DTMF
- DNS SRV
- Built-in echo cancellation
- STUN support
- Change ringtone per account
- Call waiting
- Video support (premium users only)
- ZRTP / TLS support (premium users only)
- Call Transfer (premium users only)
- Wideband audio (premium users only)
Zoiper for Android also allows you to choose the types of codecs you use, including the order in which they'll be deployed.
The sound quality on Zoiper is good, right up there with today's standard desk phones. Voice calls come through clearly, even with the free version's uLaw and aLaw codecs. However, the sound quality is unstable when using video. As we discussed above, the video calling can be problematic, and it feels like the feature was rolled out just to keep up with competing softphones.
At OnSIP, we put each of the phones we use through a multi-step interoperability test in which we apply ~30 test cases. An example of a test case would be the following:
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
Call must be transferred correctly to C. B must be released correctly after the transfer. When C picks up, audio must work in both ways between test phone and C. When test phone is on hold, there is no audio between it and phone B.
Everything worked in our testing, except for call forwarding— there's no option to forward calls on Zoiper for Android.
1. Gather information for each user
Each user has a set of credentials which 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
- Outbound Proxy
You can find this information in the user detail pages under the Users tab in your OnSIP Admin Portal.
2. Create a new Zoiper for Android account
In the Zoiper app, enter the "Add account" tab to add a new account. Then press "Manual configuration".
3. Enter OnSIP account credentials
Enter your account credentials into the corresponding fields.
Authentication user: Auth_Name
Outbound Proxy: sip.onsip.com
Press "Save" when finished. Zoiper for Android will now be registered for your OnSIP account.
Zoiper for Android is a great SIP client for mobile devices. Zoiper works with mobile networks (2G, 3G, and 4G) and WiFi, which allows you to make calls from practically anywhere. Zoiper has solid voice quality and innovative native dialer integration. The free version is formidable enough that you could probably use it for business use even with limited functionality.
Zoiper for Android's biggest functionality weakness is video calling. Compared to Bria and Grandstream Wave, Zoiper has haphazard and buggy video capabilities. If you use video consistently, you might want to try another softphone. Having to pay in tiers to access features isn't an optimal setup, but plenty of other softphone companies follow the same model.
Overall, the mobile network support is pretty helpful. Zoiper for Android is a smart choice as long as you don't plan on making many video calls.