|Ease of Use:|
- Multi-line support of up to 13 call appearance lines with dual-color LED indicators
- Expandable to additional 112 lines through expansion key-modules
- Multi-party conferencing (up to 5-way)
- Dual switched 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports w/integrated Power-over-Ethernet (802.3af)
- Sounds great
- Very affordable - A lot of bang for your buck
- It isn't the most attractive desk phone
- Attended transfer may be a little confusing the first time around
Note: The GXP 2020 has since been discontinued.
While high-definition phones with video conferencing capabilities are nice, most people do not require these sometimes $300+ devices to get through their day-to-day operations. Instead, many of our customers have voiced a need for reliable, easy-to-set up devices that have features they will actually use during an average business day.
Today, we take a look at an “executive class” offering from Grandstream, one of the leading manufacturers of IP voice and video solutions. Don’t let the executive tag on this phone fool you, though—as you will see, just because it was designed for executive offices, busy call centers, and advanced enterprise users does not necessarily mean that it will cost you an arm and a leg.
The Grandstream GXP2020 Enterprise SIP phone is in the company’s GXP series of phones, a line that focuses on devices that are “feature rich, auto-provisionable for mass deployment, easy to use, and competitively priced.” The company specializes in very affordable VoIP equipment, and the GXP2020 is no exception. At around $80, this phone is probably one of the most affordable executive class phones on the market.
The GXP2020 is an ergonomically designed IP phone. It isn’t the most visually interesting piece of equipment we’ve seen, but it has a lot of the enterprise-grade features you’d expect to see on a high-end desk phone. These include:
- Large (320 x 160) high resolution backlit display
- Six line indicators which can correspond to distinct SIP accounts
- Many programmable keys and dedicated hard keys
The phone includes both 2.5 mm and RJ11 headset jacks, as well as dual-switched Ethernet ports with integrated power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities. Like many desktop phones offered by competing manufacturers, the GXP2020 also includes support for a number of voice codecs, including the wideband codec G.722.
Grandstream did a great job of making sure to cover most, if not all, of the features of higher-end IP phones in their relatively inexpensive executive class offering.
Provisioning and configuring the GXP2020 is extremely simple and easy. To find the phone’s IP address, simply look at your LCD screen—the phone conveniently displays it there. Simply type that into your web browser, and you will be guided to a page that requests a password. The default is “admin.” For a complete provisioning/configuration step by step, simply visit the GXP2020 configuration guide in our knowledgebase.
We did not particularly enjoy how messy the web interface is, but that is really our only gripe with the whole process. You can customize the settings on each page, save the changes separately, and only have to reboot the phone once for all your changes to take place. The reboot process is relatively short.
Updating the firmware version of the GXP2020 is painless. You can use Grandstream’s HTTP server 220.127.116.11. Simply input the settings into the “Firmware Upgrade and Provisioning” fields under “Advanced Settings” in the web interface, and select “Update.” Once you reboot the phone, it will automatically download and install the current firmware version. This can take several minutes depending on how far off your device is from the latest firmware version.
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.
The Grandstream GXP2020 passed each of our test cases.
Grandstream proudly boasts that the GXP2020 has “superb audio quality,” citing the use of advanced digital signal processing, silence suppression, VAD (voice activity detection), CNG (comfort noise generator), and AGC (automatic gain control), along with high-fidelity wideband audio. We’re happy to report that wideband calls on the GXP2020 do indeed sound fantastic, almost as good as the calls sound on our Polycom 650s.
The GXP2020 does not have all of Polycom’s voice technology frills, so you won’t get the “talking directly into your ear” effect that you get with some of Polycom’s higher-end models. One of our testers reported that in comparison, the call on the Grandstream sounded like there was a little bit of interference and that the person on the other end sounded farther away. Be that as it may, the overall voice quality of the GXP2020 is very impressive.
The voice quality of the speakerphone well exceeded our expectations. On wideband calls, there seemed to be very little difference in voice quality between the handset and the speakerphone. In our experience, this is pretty rare in VoIP phones. It is nice to see a very usable implementation of the speakerphone in a device that you can pick up for less than $150.
Like all HD-capable VoIP phones, the voice quality depends on the type of call taking place. For calls that go through the PSTN, you can expect noticeably lower voice quality on both the handset and speakerphone.
Ease of Use
The GXP2020 is extremely user friendly. With its six LED line indicators and seven programmable LED hard keys, you have all the multi-line support you need to juggle up to 13 simultaneous calls. For some really heavy-duty calling, you can pick up the GXP2020 EXT expansion module, which gives you another 56 lines to work with.
The GXP2020 comes with all the dedicated hard keys that cover many of the day-to-day features needed in the office. These include transfer, conferencing (which can support up to five), mute, DND, headset, speakerphone, intercom, messages, and a shortcut to the phonebook directory. You can either manually enter in your contacts or use HTTP/TFTP to perform a directory XML download.
The backlit LCD display screen is certainly one of the highlights of this phone. The brightness and contrast of the display can be easily tweaked so as to suit your eyes and work environment. Up to eight menu options fit on the screen at once, so finding the selection choices you want is quick and easy.
There are four context-sensitive soft keys underneath the display screen. Only two of these keys are activated on the initial idle screen; they correspond to basic call functions like “New Call,” “Forward All,” and “Redial,” or they can be used to page up and down in the menu screens. When you've missed a call, the two other context-sensitive keys conveniently display shortcuts to a list of your missed calls, and a “Call Return” button that calls the last person you missed. In addition to the default functions, you can also program soft keys to trigger XML applications in the “Advanced Settings” menu of the web interface.
The seven LED hard keys in the bottom right-hand corner of the phone are configured in the “Basic Settings” menu of the web interface. There are four modes for each key: Speed Dial, Busy Lamp Field, Presence Watcher, and eventlist BLF. With the exception of speed dial, these different modes may or may not work depending on if your PBX supports them.
It is worth noting that making attended transfers on the GXP2020 is not quite as intuitive as we would like it to be. Let's say you want to make an attended transfer to your coworker. To do so, you put your caller on hold and select another line to dial your coworker. When you're on your second line with your coworker, you press the transfer button, which triggers the message, "Dial number (blind) or select line (attended)." To perform an attended transfer, you press the blinking LED line indicator of your first call. This isn't the best implementation of an attended transfer, but it doesn't take much to get used to. Here is a video of the process with a Grandstream GXP 2000. Although they are different phones, attended transfers are handled the same way.
It is also worth mentioning that the default setting of the GXP2020 does not automatically hang up when the person on the other end hangs up. Instead, it goes into a fast busy state with the display screen showing a “Line Disconnected” message. This means that you have to manually hang up the phone each time. We easily found a setting (the "turn off speaker on remote disconnect" setting) in the web interface that resolves this issue.
Overall, we were quite impressed with the Grandstream GXP2020. It’s an easy-to-use, ergonomically designed executive class phone that sounds great and won’t break the bank.