Polycom IP430 IP Phone Review

January 18, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Introduction to the Polycom IP430

The Polycom IP 430 is an enterprise-grade IP phone, The SoundPoint® IP 430 is designed to meet the telephony needs of general business users – cubicle workers that conduct a low-to-medium volume of calls – by delivering a robust feature set encompassing traditional telephony features such as call, park, pick-up, hold and transfer, as well as more advanced capabilities such as shared call / bridged line appearance, multiple call appearances, and presence.

Polycom IP430 Features

The Polycom IP430 is a two-line desktop IP phone that delivers the outstanding voice quality and smoothness of natural two-way conversations with its full-duplex speakerphone featuring the Polycom Acoustic Clarity Technology.

• 2 lines
• 132 x 46 pixel graphical LCD with line LED indicators
• Full-duplex speakerphone with Acoustic Clarify Technology
• Intuitive user interface
• Robust feature set and security
• Integrated Power over Ethernet Circuitry (IEEE 802.3AF)
• Dual switched 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports
• Built-in auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af PoE support
• SIP

Polycom IP430 Product Packaging and Documentation

The Polycom IP430 was packaged well and came with all accessories. Documentation consisted of PDF files I downloaded from Polycom’s website.

One thing I noticed about the IP 430 itself is that there is no special notched Ethernet jack like Polycom phones of the past. This type of jack could only be used with their special included notched Ethernet cable. This special cable would be used for Power over Ethernet or as a point where a wall power supply would plug into. The Ethernet jacks on the phone are ordinary, which means that readily available ordinary Ethernet cables are used.

Polycom IP430 Administration, Configuration, and Use

I used the voice over ip phone’s internal web pages to initially configure the phone to get it up and running quickly. The five sections of this page are titled Home, General, Network, SIP, and Lines. The settings on these pages are enough to register the phone and make calls, but more settings can be changed by using configuration files with an FTP server instead. The phone can also be configured through its LCD screen.

Polycom IP430 Asterisk Integration

The version of Asterisk used for this review is 1.4 beta 3. I used vsftpd as an FTP server for configuring the phone via FTP. The phone came with SIP firmware version 1.6.7 and bootrom version 3.2.1.0012. I found out that Polycom allows for the downloading of older versions of SIP firmware from its web site. The most current versions of SIP firmware and bootrom files are only available to Polycom channel partners.

I downloaded a zip file for SIP firmware version 1.6.7. This zip file contains sample configuration files, the SIP firmware, and locale specific files. The home directory I used on my FTP server is /home/PlcmSpIp. I edited the configuration files as needed by referring to a SIP admin guide downloadable from the Polycom web site. After rebooting the phone, the new settings in the configuration files were not being used on the phone. I found out after some more reading that any settings entered via the phone’s internal web pages would override the FTP configuration files. I found a way of erasing these internal phone settings through a menu entry. After rebooting the phone again, the phone took the settings from the FTP configuration files.

The FTP configuration files have many changeable settings. Changes I made included SNTP time sync, turning an audio MWI off, assigning an extension for retrieving voicemail, and making both of the two line appearances active on the assigned extension.General features such as call transfer, call forwarding, conference, and do not disturb all worked fine.

Polycom IP430 VoIP Service Provider Integration

I don’t use VoIP service providers myself. I had no problems getting the phone to be used as an extension on my Asterisk PBX and dialing calls via Ma Bell.

Polycom IP430: The Good

The best thing about the Polycom IP 430 is it’s mass deployment and configuration functions. These features are found on other phones too now.

Polycom IP430: The Bad

Dialing a SIP URL is possible only by using the twelve key number pad. Many key presses are needed to get an output of one letter, which is inconvenient. Entering a SIP URL would be better accomplished by using an internal web page instead.

One of the phone’s PDF files I was reading said the phone has instant message functions. Composing or replying to an incoming instant message is possible only by using the twelve key number pad. This text entry method has the same problem that entering a SIP URL does as a result.

Overall Impressions

The phone sounds as good as other similar IP phones I have used. I recommend this product.

About the Reviewer

Dave Roper is an IT professional with experience in VoIP, security, networking, Linux, and Windows. He has worked with VoIP companies at the carrier and office level and in deployments of PBXs and IP phones. He has been working with Asterisk and VoIP since 2004 and Linux since 1998.


3 Comments

  • Chris Coulthurst

    So, with the exception of the new (and cumbersome) IP650, no other Polycom Sip phones have backlights? Even off the assembly line?

    I swear, good phones or not, if they can’t get off their suggestions-box-ignoring duff and realize a little lightbulb is important, I’ll go somewhere else for a different phone with lesser audio quality just so I can see who the heck is calling me at 3am!

    -Chris

  • Chris –

    That is unfortunate, but correct. I would keep any eye out for the new line of Aastra IP phones coming out in the next few days….I have seen them and they are awesome!

    Garrett

  • nat

    But has anyone hooked a headset up to this 430? Everything I plug into it sounds terrible…somebody find me a compatible headset!

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