ShoreTel IP 420 VoIP Phone Review

The ShorePhone IP 420

After making phone¬†systems for almost 20 years ShoreTel has really only had one family of telephones. This all changed in mid 2013, when they released the all SIP family comprised of the ShorePhone IP420, IP480, IP480g, and the IP485g. This review will focus on the ShorePhone IP420, the “work horse” telephone designed for a broad set of users.

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The workhorse of the ShoreTel family of phones, the VoIP 420

The Back of the VoIP Phone

Though not as sexy as the front of the telephone, the back of the telephone has some great features. Different from the previous set of telephones, the new family does not have a detachable base, which is a nice improvement. During setup, the cable can be plugged directly into the back of the telephone rather than having to detach the base, plug in cables, and then reattach. During installation, this is a great time saver for the IT professional. There is a spot for a network cable and also for a patch cord to run to a computer.

As with most VoIP telephones, there is a switch in the rear which can act as a pass through for a computer or other network device to “piggyback” onto a single cable with the telephone. In the IP420, this switch is strictly a 10/100 version. Gigabit is not available on the IP420. In our¬†experience, this rarely seems to be a problem as general users are fine with a 10/100, or if gigabit speeds are necessary a separate data cable can always be run, often at a cost comparable with purchasing a gigabit version of a VoIP telephone.

ShoreTel VoIP IP 420 Phone, phone system, telephone system
ShoreTel VoIP IP 420 Phone

The Front of the ShoreTel 420 VoIP Telephone

Immediately, the user will notice the small size of the unit. The nicely proportioned screen displays such information as caller ID, button labels, and directory information, among other functions such as time and date. However, unlike the bigger brother versions of this family of ShoreTel phones, there is no visual voicemail on the screen. There is, however, notification through a bright blinking red light. Users who think that they may benefit from visual voicemail or soft key functions should consider upgrading to the ShoreTel IP480.

The front of the telephone also has

  • dial pad
  • microphone
  • Transfer
  • Conference
  • Hold
  • History
  • Voicemail
  • Directory
  • Mute
  • Light for voicemail notification
  • Speaker activation key
  • Volume adjustment keys
  • Headset activation key
  • 2 programmable keys along the screen

The IP115, replaced with the new IP420

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The old style ShoreTel IP 115

Comments on the ShoreTel IP420

While much smaller and offering less features than the IP480, the price point of the IP420 is very attractive for users who will be utilizing the ShoreTel Communicator software extensively. Further, for more basic users such as call center agents, sales departments, production floor, or other users who do not handle many calls at once, the ShoreTel ShorePhone IP420 is a great choice. I would not recommend it for a reception station or executive assistant who may be handling multiple calls at once simply because of there are only two call buttons available on the screen. However, it truly is the work horse of the new family of telephones from ShoreTel, appealing to a broad set of users with it’s functionality and low entry price.