Grandstream GXP2200 Review

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Randy Savicky
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Grandstream GXP2200 Review

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The Grandstream GXP2200 Gigabit IP phone is another Android-based IP phone in a growing line of Android-based IP phones that includes the Panasonic KX-UT670, CloudTC, and the ESI 250. A couple years ago I espoused the benefits of a tablet-based desktop phone running either iOS or Android, so that this "universal" device becomes your portable tablet/computer and your desktop IP phone. We're not quite there yet, since all the Android desktop IP phones are not battery powered and require either a Power over Ethernet (PoE) or AC adapter for power. Further, as with anything, cost will play a role. While a large 10+" tablet acting as both your desktop phone and computer is nice in concept, the larger screen adds a premium to the price-tag, not to mention higher processor requirements, more memory and storage, etc. The Grandstream GXP2200 on the other hand retails for just $229, which is pretty reasonable.

The Grandstream GXP2200 supports 6 lines and runs Android 2.3. It features HD audio, which is becoming more standard in all IP phones now, sports a 480x272 capacitive touch screen TFT LCD, dual Gigabit network ports, integrated PoE and Bluetooth.

Getting in Sync
What I really liked about the GXP2200 was how easy it was to sync my Exchange Server Contacts so it populated the phone's address book. It supports the standard Android "Accounts & Sync" capabilities, so you can add a corporate (Exchange) account as well as your Google account. Nice! Even cooler, I went into Grandstream's Android marketplace called GS Market and installed a 3rd party Android app called Voice Dialer. Then I was able to press the Voice Dialer icon, speak the name of one of my Outlook Contacts and it would recognize the name remarkably well, allowing me to dial by voice. regular_smile

I did however discover a minor bug which I reported to Grandstream. The Voice Dialer recognizes the names just fine. The problem is it seems to stick parentheses around the phone number’s area code and a dash after the phone exchange, i.e. (203) 555-1000.  The parentheses (and dash) then get passed to our Asterisk-based IP-PBX which causes a message “Sorry, invalid extension. Please try again.”  It's obviously tripping up the Asterisk dialplan.
 
Obviously, this is more of a 3rd party app issue than Grandstream’s issue. However, this app is in the Grandstream Android store on the phone, so I assume it’s been somewhat certified to work on this phone. I did notice that any contacts I add directly on the phone are added without any parentheses or a dash and they dial out just fine. It's only Outlook synced Contacts that fail because Outlook forces formatted phone numbers with parentheses and a dash. Probably a simple software fix to strip out parentheses or dashes.

Fortunately, when using the built-in Contacts app it doesn't have any issues. Just scroll through the Contacts list and press the green phone icon to dial. It's your standard Android Contacts app so you can delete or search for a contact as well.

Angry Birds Benchmarking
The GXP2200 supports up to 5-way conference, a phonebook with up to 1000 contacts, call history with up to 500 records, and it comes with 3.18GB of storage giving your some initial room to load up your favorite Android apps, though you can use the USB port to add more memory. I tried out some of the Android apps in the GS Market. I noticed Angry Birds Rio was one of the apps, which I decided to install and play. You're probably thinking why am I playing games on desktop IP phone I'm supposed to be reviewing, right? Well, if any app is the standard benchmark for Android, Angry Birds is it! smiley-tongue-out Angry Birds launched, it started playing some music and then the app closed/crashed. There, see? I told you Angry Birds is a good benchmark and you thought I was only trying to play a game.

Die Process, die!
I swiped from the top down on the screen to bring up a screen that allows me to view notifications and processes running. I had quite a few processes running, so I killed a few of them and re-launched Angry Birds Rio. This time it worked. Playability on the ~3.5" screen was pretty good since the touch screen was very responsive and the speakerphone's audio quality was excellent. Here's a snapshot of the game loading:
grandstream-gxp2200-angry-birds-rio.JPG

Skype for the Win!
Now onto more business-related Android apps. Skype is hugely popular, and Grandstream was one of the first to support Skype in their products. Skype is available in the GS Market, so I gave it a go. It installed and I made a few test calls. The GXP2200 doesn't have a camera built-in, so it cannot transmit video, but it can receive video. I made a video call and the frame rate and quality on the GXP2200 was excellent. Skype calls default to speakerphone mode. Interestingly, if you pick up the handset to talk you hear dialtone added into the voice conversation, making it impossible to carry on a private conversation with the handset. It's possible you could use the GXP2200's Bluetooth feature with a Bluetooth headset to get around this, but I suspect it would also default to playing dialtone as well.

Update 4/9/13:
I was able to get the handset to work while on a Skype call:
1)    Pick up handset, wait for dialtone to timeout and go silent
OR better option:
2)    Pick up handset, hit Home/House icon to silence the dialtone

Then after either method above, swipe from top of screen down to bring up Notification window. Switch over to System Settings. Then change Media Channel from Speaker to Handset. Now I can carry on a private Skype conversation from the handset.

I haven’t tried pairing a BT headset to see if dialtone is also inserted. I get the design decision here though. You want the IP phone, which is primarily a corporate desktop phone, to default to getting dialtone as soon as you pickup the handset. You could be in an Android app such as Google Voice, Angry Birds, or whatever, but as soon as you pick up handset, it gives you immediate dialtone to make a call, or in the case of an inbound call it instantly connects you to the caller. However, I’m wondering if it's possible for the screen to display something like “Mute dialtone” so 3rd party apps such as Skype and others can be played over the handset speaker.

Besides Skype, the GXP2200 works with Google Voice, Microsoft Lync Client, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and more. They also have an advanced SDK toolkit for custom business application development and deployment control. One other nifty Android app worth mentioning is Blacklist, which comes preloaded. I added my cell phone number as a test, dialed the phone and the call was immediately kicked back to the auto-attendant. Bye bye telemarketers and recruiters! It's this sort of feature that shows the power of Android and its utility in the desktop IP phone space. One other feature of note is you can record calls (SD card required).

USB Camera Support
The USB port does support some USB cameras. I randomly tried 3 webcams I had lying around. The first Logitech failed, the Tandberg PrecisionHD failed, and finally the Logitech BCC950 successfully worked with the Camera app I downloaded from the GS Market. Curious if the USB camera would work with Skype as well, I tried it and alas it didn't work.

LDAP Phone Book Support
The Grandstream GXP2200 supports LDAP phone books. I configured it to connect with our Active Directory server as follows:
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Next, I opened the LDAP Book app on the phone. I was able to search by phone number or by the cn=common name=full name of people stored in the LDAP / Active Directory server. The documentation was a bit lacking on how to configure the LDAP settings, so took a bit of troubleshooting to get it so I can search by name or the beginning part of a phone number.

Here's an explanation of two of the important fields to help out anyone who buys this phone:

LDAP Name Filter field: (&(telephoneNumber=*)(cn=%))
The result of your search will be ALL LDAP records which have the "telephoneNumber" field set and the ("cn" = common name) field containing your search criteria.

LDAP Number Filter field: (|(telephoneNumber=%)(Mobile=%)(ipPhone=%)),
The result of your search will be ALL LDAP records which have the "telephoneNumber" OR "Mobile" OR "ipPhone" field containing your search criteria.

On an inbound call from my cell phone, the phone displayed my cell number in two locations on the display and almost instantly (after doing LDAP lookup) it swapped one of the phone numbers to my full name. Subsequent calls seemed to cache the LDAP lookups since it displayed my name without swapping out the phone number. Nice.

As for outbound LDAP dialing, alas it suffers from the same parentheses / dash issue as the Contacts app. If your LDAP server has phone numbers with dashes or parentheses the dialing won't work. Only solution is to strip them out from the LDAP/AD server or wait until Grandstream issues a fix.

Grandstream GXP2200 Features & Specifications
  • Supports Android Operating System 2.3 & vast number of 3rd party Android applications
  • 480x272 pixel capacitive touch screen TFT LCD
  • Exchange and Google Account sync
  • Built-in Blacklist app
  • Call Recording (SD card required)
  • LAN Port - 10/100/100/1000 Mbps port with integrated PoE
  • PC Port - 10/100/100 Mbps port
  • Layer 2 (802.1Q, 802.1p) and Layer 3 (ToS, DiffServ, MPLS) QoS
  • HD handset and speakerphone with support for wideband audio
  • Support for G.711u/a, G.722 (wide-band), G.729A/B in-band and out-of-band DTMF (in audio, RFC2833, SIP INFO)
  • H.264 BP/MP/HP, H.263/H.263+, MPEG4, up to 1080p resolution
  • Media Player
  • Music Player
  • Telephony Features
    • Hold, transfer (unconditional/noanswer/busy), forward, call park/pickup
    • shared call appearances (SCA)/bridged line appearances (BLA)
    • virtual BLF/speed dial extensions
    • downloadable phone book (XML, LDAP, up to 1000
      items)
    • call waiting
    • call log (up to 500 records)
    • boss-secretary virtual button
    • hot desking
    • personalized music ringtones
  • Auxillary Ports
    • RJ9 headset jack (allowing EHS with Plantronics headsets), USB, SD, extension module port
  • Unit dimension: 188mm (W) x 210mm (H) x 85mm (D) (handset onhook)
  • Unit weight: 0.86kg


Ratings
Score
Installation
Documentation
Features
Performance
Value
Overall

Conclusion
The Grandstream GXP2200 ($189 on Amazon) is an impressive desktop IP phone due to its core Android operating system that brings powerful features to the table along with Grandstream's core IP telephony features such as HD audio and 5-way conferencing. There is a lot you can do with this phone and I barely scratched the surface of what it can do in this review. Check out the video demonstration where I highlight some of the GXP2200's features, including a Skype call, Voice Dialer, browsing, and more:


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