Yealink T48GN Review – High Performance SIP Phone
Yealink SIP / Cloud Phone Review
For the past decade and a half, Chinese manufacturer Yealink has been right at the forefront of developments in IP telephony, helping to steer the path from VoIP towards UC and collaboration with its SIP-ready desktop terminals.
The T48GN makes all of that experience and expertise available in a single unit. One of the premier models in Yealink’s premium T4 range, the T48GN is aimed at end users who expect their desktop telephones to be packed full of features and connectivity options, yet still versatile and straightforward enough for widespread deployment throughout a business.
Yealink makes no bones about its aspirations for the T48GN and its place in the global market, referring to it as “the cutting-edge of contemporary VoIP technology in action.” One of the key USPs is the unit’s support for gigabit ethernet connections, enabling rapid call handling for high-volume traffic.
In this review, we will strive to give a flavour of how well the T48GN lives up to those claims. However, please note that this review is solely the opinion of the author and intended only to provide information to our readers. UC Today does not endorse, market or have any role in the sale of any product and operates as an entirely independent resource for news, reviews and opinions in the UC industry.
How Does It Look?
The T48GN has the classic IP desktop telephone look, with a black chassis, a telephone earpiece mounted to the left and dial pad, six navigation and seven function keys mounted in the centre of the main panel. The main user interface, however, is a 7″ 800 x 480 pixel colour touch screen. Having a tablet-sized touchscreen makes it extremely easy to navigate between different tasks and applications, and the layout and design of the softkey icons is convenient, straightforward and intuitive. Overall, it has the look and feel of a quality unit, with the full colour touchscreen the standout feature.
What Can It Do?
If you ever wanted a handy example to show people what you meant by a ‘feature rich’ IP telephone, the T48GN would be perfect. From the outstanding quality Optima HD audio to the wide range of connectivity options, the T48GN ticks pretty much all of the boxes for Enterprise-class functionality.
With up to 16 SIP accounts available per desktop, the T48GN is ideal for hotdesking in large offices. It comes with a local directory store of up to 1000 entries, with caller ID supporting photo logs, and a full range of IP-PBX features including call recording, visual voicemail and Busy Lamp Fields (BLF).
Where the T48GN really comes into its own, however, is the range of connectivity options it provides. A USB port makes WiFi and Bluetooth connections available via a dongle, as well as adding additional storage capacity for call recording and other data. It functions as a full duplex handsfree speakerphone with AEC, and comes with a port for an EHC adapter for wireless DECT headsets.
To make use full use of the SIP trunking support, the T48GN is also available with Skype for Business firmware bundled in. This additional software option turns the unit from a high functioning IP phone to a fully fledged UC interface, making full use of the Skype for Business voice, video, IM, text and presence features. There is full support for Skype for Business’ scalable conferencing tools, plus a direct link to Outlook Calendar for scheduling. It is also very easy to switch between the Skype for Business client and the T48GN phone interface via the wireless “Better Together over Ethernet” (BToE) feature.
What do we like?
The full colour touchscreen really makes this model stand out as a premium example in its field, offering excellent hassle-free navigation and intuitive control through what is a very eye catching visual interface.
The Skype for Business bundle is also a fantastic feature which really lifts the T48GN beyond the IP telephone category and makes it a fully fledged UC terminal.
What could be improved?
With such a powerful and feature rich model, it seems a little disingenuous that the full UC functionality offered by the Skype for Business bundle should be an optional extra. In its ordinary IP telephone mode, it does not feel as if the T48GN makes full use of its high quality touchscreen, its SIP networking and certainly not its gigabit ethernet support. Without the Skype for Business bundle it seems as if a lot of capacity is wasted – for example, the support for three way conferencing only without Skype just does not do justice to what this model is otherwise capable of.
Who is it for?
The T48GN is a perfect versatile workhorse for Enterprise-size operations. With high call handling capacity, the option of adding UC functions with Skype for Business and outstanding performance throughout, this is a desktop IP telephone that can deliver for everyone from the front desk up to C-level executives.
What is it compatible with?
The T48GN operates Skype for Business firmware as an additional software bundle, with support for other Microsoft products such as Outlook calendar. As a SIP phone, it is compatible with hosted and open source PBX platforms such as 3CX, Asterisk, BroadSoft and BroadWorks.
Where to buy and for how much?
The Yealink T48GN is widely available in the UK through channel resellers with a recommended UK RRP of £305.50, reflecting the unit’s high quality range of features and premium positioning.
UC Today Opinion
It is difficult to argue with Yealink’s own assessment of the T48GN as an IP desktop telephone for the discerning user. There is certainly something elegant and classy about its appearance, its build quality and its operability, much of that down to the inclusion of a premium class touchscreen interface.
The main quibble would be whether its price point is justified without the Skype for Business bundle, although it does function as a very versatile telephone particularly well suited we feel to larger office environments. With Skype for Business, on the other hand, it becomes an excellent UC hardware product offering a full range of communications functions which more than justify the premium price.
Have you ever used a Yealink T48GN? What is your opinion of it? In what sort of work environment did you use it, and do you feel it justifies its premium price without the Skype for Business bundle? Whether you agree or disagree with use, we would love to hear your thoughts, and please feel free to share this article with friends and colleagues and invite them to join the conversation as well.