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Polycom VVX 600

by OnSIP

OnSIP's review of the Polycom VVX 600 business media phone, which features 16 lines/call appearances, integrated Bluetooth support, and more.

Published: February 14, 2013

Summary

Overall:star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24
Configuration:star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24
OnSIP Testing:star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24
Voice Quality:star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24
Ease of Use:star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24star_orange_24

Quick Specs

  • Large (4.3”) TFT (480 x 272) capacitive touch-screen
  • Up to 16 line appearances/speed dials
  • Video playback and video conferencing via external USB cam ( we have not yet tested )
  • 2 x Ethernet 10/100/1000

Pros

  • Fast, simplified provisioning process
  • Excellent call quality
  • Larger, beautiful, responsive touch screen

Cons

  • May be a bit too expensive for some small to medium sized businesses

Note: The VVX has since been discontinued. 

The Polycom VVX 600 is an upgraded version of the Polycom VVX 500, the first phone we reviewed out of Polycom’s expanding line of business media phones. The two phones are nearly identical in build, except that the newer VVX 600 has a larger capacitive touchscreen (4.3” wide, 480 x 272 pixels versus the smaller VVX 500’s 3.5” wide, 320 x 240 pixels). Like the VVX 500, the 600 comes with an RJ9 headset port and two USB ports. The phone comes standard with PoE support, which means if you're not planning to use PoE, the power supply accessory is extra. The VVX 600 supports 16 line appearances, 4 more than the VVX 500.

Visually, this phone is just as impressive as the older 500. The centerpiece, a piece of polished black plastic, blends well with the TFT LCD, which is easily one of the best displays we’ve seen on a desk phone not running Android. Everything else about the hardware is exactly the same as it was on the 500. Buttons are large and satisfying to press, and the handset has a bit of heft to it, so it doesn’t feel hollow like some of the handsets from other manufacturers.

Polycom VVX 500 vs Polycom VVX 600
Polycom VVX 500 (left) compared to the Polycom VVX 600 (right).

Polycom recently announced the entry-level VVX 300, the mid-level VVX 400/410, and two expansion modules designed specifically for VVXs. These new devices, along with the VVX 600, complete Polycom’s comprehensive line of business media phones. We'd say that puts Polycom in a good position: while their Soundpoint series appeals to businesses looking for great audio, their new VVX line can satisfy the growing demand for UC and application integrations on desktop devices.

Phone Configuration

Setting up a Polycom VVX 600 is exactly the same as setting up a Polycom VVX 500. To start, connect the phone to your LAN. When the phone boots up, hit the home button, then Settings on the touchscreen. Select Status, then TCP/IP parameters to get the phone’s IP address. Enter the IP address into a web browser to access the Polycom Web Configuration Utility. Log in as admin with the default password “456.” It is absolutely vital that you change your default password when you get the chance. If you’re an OnSIP customer using our automatic provisioning (boot) server, we will automatically change your password unless you tell us otherwise.

This paragraph is just for OnSIP customers. If you purchased a pre-provisioned phone, you can ignore the rest of this section and use the OnSIP administrative portal to assign users to the lines on your phone. If you did not purchase a pre-provisioned phone and would like to use the OnSIP provisioning server, it’s still quite simple. In Polycom’s Web Configuration Utility, select Provisioning Server under Settings in the top navigation bar. Where it says “Server Type,” select “HTTP.” Where it says “Server Address,” enter “boot.onsip.com.” Save your settings, and you’ll be able to provision your lines using the admin portal.

Polycom VVX 600 - add provisioning server

If you’re not an OnSIP customer, you can manually provision the VVX 600 if you have your full SIP credentials. We detailed this process in our review of the Polycom VVX 500.

Compatibility Testing

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.

We did not experience any issues during our tests with the Polycom VVX 600.

Voice Quality

You get the same great audio quality on the Polycom VVX 600 as you do on the 500. Polycom’s HD voice incorporates audio-quality boosting hardware components, wideband audio codecs, and Polycom’s own patented Acoustic Clarity technology for fantastic-sounding calls.

Here is a comparison between a regular call over the public switched telephone network and an HD call with a Polycom VVX 500.

Note that you will typically only ever experience HD calling at its full potential on calls that do not traverse the public switched telephone network at any point. For OnSIP customers, this means SIP or extension to extension calls between two phones that both support the same wideband audio codec.

Usage

The user experience with the Polycom VVX 600 is more or less the same as it was with the Polycom VVX 500. You can read about the UI and the on-screen phone menus in our Polycom VVX 500 review; there were no major UI changes in the VVX 600. Suffice it to say that we thoroughly enjoyed using both phones. The Polycom VVX 600 might have the slight edge here since the larger display means the same shared UI elements are not packed as tightly; everything has a little more room to breathe, which makes using the phone that much more pleasant.

Polycom VVX 500 and Polycom VVX 600 screen comparison
Polycom VVX 500 screen (left), which can feel cramped at times vs. the Polycom VVX 600 screen.

The VVX 600 does add integrated Bluetooth (Core Specification Version 2.1 + EDR) support, which the VVX 500 did not have. We were able to easily pair the phone with a Plantronics Savor Bluetooth headset by tapping on the Bluetooth icon on the main screen, turning on Bluetooth Radio, and then using the “Manage Bluetooth Headsets” menu to scan and connect. When a Bluetooth headset is connected, you will see a headset image added to the Bluetooth icon on the VVX 600’s main screen. Call quality on the Bluetooth headset was much worse than when we used the handset or speakerphone, but that may have more to do with our headset choice than with the VVX itself. We will be on the lookout for better (perhaps HD compatible) options in the future and update if we find the audio quality to be noticeably better.

Finally, we’ve yet to get our hands on the Polycom VVX camera that pairs with this phone and the VVX 500 to enable video-conferencing capabilities. We expect one to arrive in our offices later this month.

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