Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3900 Series Review: Far From Legacy
Launched in 2011, the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 (the last of its kind) is still an efficiency monster
Cisco was among the early movers in VoIP telephony, and it continues to maintain its stronghold over the market. It was way back in 2010 when HSBC deployed Cisco’s 30 millionth IP phone!
Unsurprisingly, the company has a diverse range of products, catering to every price bracket as well as usage frequency. On top of that, Cisco recently made in-roads into the business headset segment, adding to its telephony capabilities. For instance, its 500 Series headsets combined with its IP phones make a killer value proposition! So, how does Cisco’s telephony devices fare after over a decade in the game?
We delve deeper, with our review of the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3900 Series.
Inside the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3900 Series
Initially, the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3900 Series had several variants – but most of them have been discontinued over the years. Instead, Cisco has introduced more advanced offerings under its 6900 and 7900 Series. Only the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 is available for purchase today. Here are the features you could expect from this device:
- On-phone display – The Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 sports a 128X 32-pixel graphical monochrome display to give users easy access to phone services and configurations. While the display is quite basic, you can scroll up or down to view the full information
- Footstand and wall mounting – Like most IP phones, you could choose to place it on the desk or mount it for vertical/upright usage. The addition of a foldable foot stand is a nice touch – this lets you position the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 on an incline, or place it flat on your workstation
- Speakerphone – The presence of a speakerphone indicates that the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 isn’t meant for light usage in public areas. In fact, its quite the opposite – a full-duplex speakerphone lets you use the device in a conference room with multiple call participants
- Ethernet – Again, this is a feature that sets the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 apart from more entry-level counterparts. It has a 10/100BASE-T Ethernet connection through two RJ-45 ports, implying that you could either connect to LAN or to a downstream Ethernet device (for example, your PC)
- Audio quality – Designed for regular usage, Cisco has taken measures to dramatically improve the calling experience. There is comfort-noise generation (CNG) features, as well as voice-activity-detection (VAD) programming, to improve overall audio quality
- Memory – In terms of memory, the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 has all the basics covered with a 4MB flash memory and a 32 MB synchronous dynamic RAM. This is adequate for most telephony tasks and was industry-leading at the time of its launch in 2011
- Power supply – It’s a small detail, but one that makes a big difference. You have the flexibility to power the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 using an ethernet connection; you could also use the adapter available in-box to power it locally
- Buttons – The Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 has a two-way navigation button for scrolling the display, as well as a select and back button for navigation. Apart from this, a standard dial pad, volume, mute, speakerphone, redial, and transfer buttons are also present
Why the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3900 Series Makes a Difference
There’s a reason why the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 hasn’t been relegated to legacy. It’s a great mix of business essentials and competitive pricing, sure to appeal to a broad audience. It’s also highly energy-efficient and can function in temperatures from 0 to 40 degree Celsius, which should suit the needs of offices around the globe.
Finally, Cisco has paid special attention to localised compliance needs, with the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 in line with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand telecom regulations, among others.
What We Think
The Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3900 Series has found significant popularity and widespread adoption for companies across the world. For instance, the 3905 phone comes with power adapters for 10 geographic regions. This isn’t a surprise given its comprehensive feature set and affordable pricing. At the time of writing this review, the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905 was available for US$ 32.99 on Amazon.com.
So, for companies new to the VoIP space, the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3900 Series serves as an excellent point of entry. Despite being a basic device, the audio quality is impressive, there is an on-phone display, and ethernet connectivity is also available. At this unbeatable price point, we would definitely recommend the Cisco Unified SIP Phone 3905.