- comfortable to hold
- easy menu navigation
- reasonably large buttons
- easy access to rear connectors
- Display is on the small side
- display not backlit
Introduced in February 2006, the Snom 300 is the latest VoIP phone from Berlin based Snom Technology AG. This compact phone offers an impressive list of features for an entry-level product.
Snom has reduced the apparent bulk of the 300 by moulding extensions for the LCD panel and the end of handset rest, that project from the main body of the phone. The handset has a pronounced curved, sculpted shape that makes it easy to pick up and very comfortable to hold. The handset rest is deep, providing a positive feel when hanging up and there's a small tab that must be removed, reversed and clipped back in to provide a hook for the handset, when the phone is wall mounted.
A clip-on, plastic foot is provided, that elevates the front of the phone to around 20 degrees for desk use. This can be reversed for wall mounting
All the buttons have a light but positive feel. Menu navigation is by means of a round, silver, four-way rocker pad, flanked by buttons on either side, one marked with a cross, for cancel and the other with a tick, for accept. These cancel and accept buttons are global and accept and cancel calls, as well as menu selections.
Although this phone can be programmed for up to six VoIP accounts or lines, this is at the expense of reassigning some of the six programmable function buttons that run down the right edge of the phone. By default these are assigned and labelled as Line 1, Line 2, Redial, Directory, Transfer and Mute. Two extra punched plastic overlays are supplied, which can be labelled with chosen functions and clipped in to the recess around the 6 keys.
Configuration using the buttons on the phone is described in the Quick Installation guide included with the phone. Data entry is aided by intelligent auto-fill. Web configuration is covered in the online manual available from the Snom Web site. The current firmware only supports four accounts or lines, although support for six is planned for the next upgrade. Just to confuse, these are referred to as 'identities' on the internal Web pages. The factory default user name and password for the internal Web server is 'admin'. Once logged in all that's required is to select one of the 'identities' and fill in the second to fifth entry boxes. The first box can be filled with almost anything but would normally contain your name or the SIP ID.
The external switch-mode power supply is in the form of a small rectangular block (75 by 48 by 27 mm) with a captive lead, terminating in a coaxial power connector that plugs into the rear edge of the phone, next to the two Ethernet connectors. It will accept mains voltages from 100 to 240 volts A.C. Snom has solved the problem of international mains connectors by supplying three different mains leads for the USA, GB and Europe that all plug in to a figure-of-eight socket on the power supply. One concern is that the power supply does get rather warm.
The Snom 300 is a neat, compact phone that's comfortable to hold and operate. One drawback is that the LCD status panel is on the small side and has no backlight, so it can be hard to read in low levels of ambient light.