AudioCodes has a new phone, the 450HD – complete with a touch color screen. I have been using the 450HD as my desk handset now for a few weeks, and I like it a lot. Form, fit, function, the 450HD has it all. I am not sure if you can actually lay YOUR hands on one of these gems, but I am sure you will be able to soon. In the meantime, let me present my opinion, so you can start salivating.
What comes in the box? I have an “optional” model number, because I got the AC adapter. Other than that, this is what I got.
A wall mount? Nice touch. I did a project one time where the client had to go out and have all new wall mounts custom made for their new IP phones (different manufacturer).
As I have mentioned before, AudioCodes has great build quality. The 450HD continues this tradition. Very nice. The manual buttons feel good, and the touch screen responds well. After I realized that I had to remove the screen protector thingy, the touch screen went from “responds well” to “most excellent.”
The Screen and Controls
Give it an extension + PIN or futz through getting your URI entered, and in you go. Once you are logged in you see this:
Notice the soft keys on the left. There is four more available on the right side of the screen. These soft keys are programmable via the web interface, the ini file for each phone, or right on the phone itself. Using the phone itself also allows you to do a directory lookup and choose from that so no typing needed. choosing the BLF options gives you presence on the contact…
…works with SfBO users…Wiley Coyote is SfBO and offline, Martin Luther is SfBO and available, while Chicken Hawk is on-premises and has gone into away status. Works with federated contacts also.
Oddly, or perhaps by design, the user cannot change the button assignments unless the admin gives them access to the web interface. And if I was to logoff, give you the phone, and you login to your domain with your user, the soft key assignments are then available to you too. That might be good, that might be bad. Something to consider if you ever have to decommission one of these units. I have elevated this issue to AudioCodes as I feel that these soft-buttons should follow the user, not the phone itself.
Having said that, I like the soft keys. One button dialing is right up my alley.
We have to talk about Skype – that’s why we’re here! SfB logins were totally painless. Extension + PIN code flew right through. I already mentioned the programmable buttons that work so well – and clearly the 450HD is working in concert with SfB for presence, making calls, directory lookups, etc.
Login with username and PW forces using the keypad with multiple pushes of each number to scroll through letters and symbols, etc. YUK. Where is the QWERTY keyboard this unit is screaming for? I am told that it is coming. In the meantime, I suggest the web interface is mucho better if your organization does username login. I always advise my customers to use ext= format in SfB/Lync for this very reason (Not workable if you are SfBO).
Other than that, the 450HD is ready for SfB right out of the box, logs right in, functions as expected in a totally flawless manner. The 450HD picked up the DHCP options, discovered the environment, and asked for an extension and PIN. And connected. Perfect.
With the current firmware (188.8.131.525.140), the 450HD will also log straight into an O365 account with zero squabbles. Martin.Luther@tsoorad.net is a synced account to O365 enabled for mail and SfBO with a PSTN number assigned from Microsoft. Logs in. Perfect.
Note that the phone did not get calendar connected. I am assured that this will be resolved by EOM Jan 2017.
Also note that with a different user, the soft keys remain the same…
Calls out, calls in, audio quality with speaker or handset is most excellent. I am about 1/2 deaf and I had no issues with volume or clarity.
I just realized I used the word “perfect” twice in this section. I was going to change that, but then I realized, it is the right word. Live with it.
Download the BToE client from AudioCodes…extract and install..
…and then get your pairing code from the phone itself.
BToE integration went very smoothly, as expected. In addition, I used a virtual machine that is guest on a VMware host that has no audio, but with BToE that VM cranked right up to using the 450HD as an audio source. Mo’ perfect.
The 450HD web interface is standard, totally functional AudioCodes fare. You can probably figure it all out by just ratting through it without reading a thing. AudioCodes has not yet published 450HD specific admin or user guides, but I am told that they are mere weeks away from providing a lovely document telling you just how to configure each and every nuance of this new product.
The 450HD is fully supported by the IPP Manager. If it works in the IPP Express version, then it will work in the full IPP version also. So nice.
I have already pointed out the QWERTY keyboard and the calendar connection to the O365 tenant account. On the phone, select the “MENU” button, select “settings” and then scroll down a bit, and the LCD Contrast and Backlight Timeout are “not implemented” (yet) – but other than that, the 450HD I have is ready for prime time.
And considering that I was shipped a preview beta unit, gees, only three things? And I am told both are coming before GA.
AudioCodes has a color phone – with some very nice features – ready to go with SfB on-premises and also with SfB online. Clean, functional, well-built, great audio. POE or wall power, pass through switch for your desktop. USB for headset or hockey puck.Did I mention the color screen? Did I mention it worked OOBE with me doing nothing? Works with SfB Online (yes, I mention that twice in one paragraph).
Considering that this unit is not in GA yet – what was that word up above? Oh yes, it starts with a “P”.
The fact they're starting to come up on the Microsoft approved phone list is a big for excitement in the partner community. Comparing to the big dog on the block there is a lot of GOOD reasons this phone will kill in 2017. Oh and don't forget native SILK support!
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