Polycom introduced another phone to round out their entry-level line up this past weekend: The SoundPoint IP 335. I’ve been beta testing this phone for the past 6 weeks and have put it through the paces. And now that it’s been formally introduced, I can tell you my thoughts. (Spoiler Alert: This phone is spot on… They took the IP330/331, and made it right.)
The IP 335 contains all the features of the Polycom SoundPoint IP family that we’ve come to know and love: Polycom quality and looks, Integrated Power over Ethernet (PoE) support, interoperability with leading IP PBX (i.e. Switchvox) and Softswitch platforms, etc, all in an easy to configure package. But wait there’s more…
The IP 335 looks identical to the IP 330/331 but there are some very distinct differences. The first very noticeable difference is the high-resolution backlit display. It’s still not very big (102 x 33 pixels) but for the price (est. $199 MSRP) it’s respectable. The back lighting makes for a display that is much easier to read.
The second thing you’ll notice is the headset port. I have always had a huge hangup about the 2.5mm jacks that come on the IP 320/321/330/331. It really annoyed me that I could outfit an organization with IP450′s, 550′s, and 650′s and if we paired them with a headset, we would have to sell a completely different headset for the low end phones. IT managers hated it as well. Problem solved with the IP 335, it comes with a dedicated RJ-9 headset port with Electronic Hook Switch (EHS) support. To accommodate the smaller form factor the headset and EHS connections are made towards the top of the chassis as seen in the image below.
And lastly, Polycom has made the barrier of entry into the HD Voice arena very low. At the $199 estimated MSRP, there is very little reason not to future proof your telephones on the low end with the IP 335′s support of the G.722 wideband codec commonly known as High Definition Voice.
To really beta test a new piece of hardware like this, I knew I needed to go all the way, so I temporarily retired my IP 650 and replaced it with the IP 335. At first I was a little nervous to lose all my “buttons”. But that quickly subsided once I really started making and receiving calls on the smaller phone. I have a Jabra GN9350e with EHS which I also used to connect to the IP 335. It worked like a gem. EHS connectivity was Polycom/Jabra flawless. HD Voice calls were crisp and clear on our Switchvox server. The only thing I missed was my real time buddy status that I get with my IP 650. But bottom line here is this: I could use this phone everyday. And with a low price tag, a lot of people will do just that.
Here are the highlights of the Polycom SoundPoint IP 335:
- High-resolution backlit, graphical display
- Two-line entry-level phone
- Easy to configure and use
- Integrated Power over Ethernet (PoE) support
- Interoperability with leading IP PBX and Softswitch platforms
- HD Voice support
- XML microbrowser
- Backlit 102 x 33-pixel, grayscale graphical LCD
- Two port 10/100 Ethernet Switch
- Dedicated RJ-9 headset port