- Simple setup
- simple to use
- large buttons
- clear, visible, backlit display
- good value
- Single entry for call lists
- relatively small feature set
- only supports a single line/account
Grandstream has three models in its entry-level range, the Budgetone 101, 102 and 200. The 101 has only one RJ-45 10Base-T connector, while the 102 and 200 have two switched ports (10/100Base-T on the 200), providing a convenient way of sharing the connection with a PC if your LAN is short on connection points. The Budgetone 102 is the phone reviewed here.
These phones have a rounded and unassuming appearance. Although the product box shows a much sexier version, in off-white, with translucent buttons, the Budgetones are only available in matt black.
Two screw holes in the back of the phone and a slide-out handset hook allow the phone to be wall mounted if required.
All the buttons on this phone are large (keypad buttons are 15mm by 13mm) and clearly labelled, with a positive feel. Although the LCD status panel is only a two-line display, it is a reasonable size. Along with large characters and a blue backlight that illuminates when the phone is active, this makes the phone's status very easy to read. In standby mode the display is unlit and shows the time and current date. In addition to the LCD there's also a red LED indicator that lights if there is an error condition, or there are messages waiting in the voice mail box.
Partly because the Budgetone 102 only provides a single account, configuration via the internal Web server is straightforward. The opening page displays a single password entry box that grants access to either the user or administration pages, depending on which password is entered. The factory user and password defaults are ‘admin’ or ‘user’.
These phones aren’t supplied with a user manual and all documentation must be downloaded from the Grandstream Web site. But all that's required to set up the phone is to log on as administrator, select the Advanced setting page and type the SIP server, Outbound proxy, SIP user ID and Authenticate ID, into the top four boxes on the page.
There are over a hundred additional settings that can be made: for example, the appropriate time zone can be selected, a user name entered and an FTP site address set, for automatic upgrade downloads of the phones firmware, every time the phone is rebooted. However, these settings aren’t essential for the phone to work.
Menu navigation, for setup from the phone keys, is controlled by the menu key, the up arrow key and the down arrow key. The menus are activated by pressing the Menu key once and can then be scrolled through using the arrow keys. Pressing the Menu key again accesses the selected option, which can then be edited, using the arrow keys to select on or off, or the keypad keys to enter alphanumerics. A third press of the Menu key confirms the entry.
Two buttons, labelled Called and Callers, just below the Menu button allow you to check the last ten numbers dialled and the last ten incoming call numbers when the phone is ‘off-hook’.
With its large clear display, large buttons and ease of configuration, the Grandstream Budgetone 102 makes an excellent, low-cost, entry-level choice for the small business user.
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