Portable phones have a nasty habit of overpromising and under-delivering. Rubbish call quality, poor reception and awful range are typical issues I’ve come across. I was greatly relieved testing the new Grandstream DP750 and DP720 where I found portable actually meant portable. The new DECT units supersede the previous DP715 base station and DP710 handset and are truly the latest and greatest of the DECT offerings. The base station supports 5 handsets at a time, 10 sip accounts, handles 4 concurrent calls simultaneously and even has built in 3-way conferencing capability. The base station also supports PoE which gives the option of one less AC adapter in the room. The handset has an advertised range of 50 meters indoors and 300 meters outdoors, with a colour TFT LCD panel and 250 hour standby time. It neatly features a 3.5mm headset jack which is great when paired with the included belt clip for hands free pacing. The handset is also RCM approved which is bonus points for NZ. Being the tech snob I am I decided to put the new units through their paces.
Set up is a simple affair by plugging everything in and pairing the handset. That’s about it! The instruction manual covers everything well and the initial setup time was barely 5 minutes with most of that time spent unwrapping the goods. The handset can display the IP of the base station in its options menu, rather than being forced to dial an IVR to hear its address which is a very nice touch. The web UI is tidy and easy to configure with a logical flow to the configuration options. The base station and cradle AC power port is now a micro USB port which is a great move away from the typical clunky proprietary connectors. The handset also offers a micro USB port for an alternative way to charge off the cradle. Hand feel is exceptional and the smooth edges of the units are very aesthetically pleasing. Grandstream have really nailed the design and ease of setup.
The DP750 and DP720 combo supports G.722, G.726, G.711μ/a-law, G.723.1, G729A/B, iLBC and OPUS codecs (Audiophiles rejoice!). Audio quality was fantastic even with minimal signal. Not once did I come across the voice-through-a-tin-can or ‘normal conversation turned whale song’ effects. This is indeed an HD device and use of the phone resonated that. The loudspeaker volume is fantastic and can easily be heard from a distance. The normal handset volume is great and I had no complaints around hearing the caller.
You’re forgiven if you skipped to this section first. Call drop outs can be frustrating and we’ve all had our fair share of annoyance with portables. Some of my teenage years were spent working out of a warehouse with an early 2000’s -name redacted- portable phone that enjoyed dropping voice quality and calls when I was barely a few racks deep. It made phone pick and pack orders rather difficult to say the least. Whilst attenuation from things in the way will always be an issue, I’m happy to report the DP720 handset more than lived up to my expectations. I had to walk a decent distance from the office to have a call cut off, and even tested from a lower floor through a thick layer of concrete and rebar with great results. Open air tests are great on paper, but I wanted to see just how many things I could put in the path between the base station and me holding the handset before my call dropped.
I got pretty darn far. The photographer was standing on the 2nd storey of the building with the base station in an office on the 3rd storey, which equates to a lot of concrete and people between me and the base! The phone was sitting happily on 1 bar of signal and I was getting strange looks from the car owners at that stage. Signal and range with these units is exceptional to say the least.
I don’t think any business or VoIP enabled residents should be without these. From a typical office setting, a car workshop, a busy warehouse or supermarket floors the new DECT solution won’t miss a beat.
Grandstream have released an incredibly solid DECT solution to the market. The units look and feel fantastic, sound terrific and have a mind boggling range for a DECT beast. The RCM approval further backs the high build quality. The DP750 and DP720 units are brilliant additions to the family and build exceptionally on their DP715 and DP710 predecessors.