Saturday, July 31, 2021

Ecosia search engine

Regardless of what search engine you use on a day-to-day basis - be it Google, Bing, or something else - you’ve undoubtedly seen the many ads that populate the pages of even the most generic searches. Ads are a major income stream for search engines, which is why they often dominate the first third (or more) of your delivered results. 

Ecosia, a Berlin-based search engine launched in 2009, has greater plans for the income generated off of search result ads. Instead of feeding all of that revenue back into the company, Ecosia donates 80% of its profits to tree-planting organizations around the globe. 

While its eco-friendly agenda may be enough to onboard new users, we wanted to know exactly how Ecosia stacked up against search engines, both big and small, in terms of overall user experience and privacy. Here’s what we found.

Search Results

Ecosia may be an alternative search engine but its search results appear quite similar to those from Google or Bing (Image credit: Ecosia)


From the get-go, Ecosia’s layout, customization options, and even its search results and ads might feel familiar to other leading search engines. That’s primarily because its deliverables (results and ads) are provided by Microsoft Bing, with Ecosia’s own algorithms filtered in for good measure.

On the home page, a large search query bar dominates the real estate. As you type in searches, auto-suggestions will kick in to help finish off your query. To drive home the company’s green operations, a ticker below the search bar counts how many trees have been planted by the engine’s users (over 130,000 as this review is being written).

On the results page, results are displayed in an aligned-left fashion. Filters for web, images, video, and maps (which links to Google or Bing Maps) are located at the top of the page, along with a More dropdown for Wikipedia, Amazon, and other web services.


You can customize Ecosia's language, search region, auto suggestions and more from its settings menu (Image credit: Ecosia)

By clicking Settings (top of the page), you’ll be able to customize things like website language, search region, and auto suggestions. You can also click the hamburger icon at the top-right corner of the screen for links to an about page, privacy practices, and Ecosia’s swag shop.


Ecosia takes a number of steps to protect your privacy (Image credit: Ecosia)


Compared to other search engines, Ecosia takes user privacy quite seriously, as outlined on the company’s “Privacy” page. Ecosia only holds onto certain user data for up to a week, after which the info becomes completely anonymized. Unlike other search engines, Ecosia does not sell your data to advertising companies. Additionally, every search is encrypted for extra security while you’re browsing.

Where privacy is a major concern, we recommend using one of these VPN services for the utmost security.

Search Results 2

Bing and Ecosia search results often appear quite similar as the service's ads and deliverables are provided by Microsoft (Image credit: Ecosia)

User experience

For those that have used Google or Bing’s search engines, Ecosia will feel very familiar. Results were returned quickly with the most relevant deliverables sorted to the top. Tapping into Bing’s framework, there’s quite a bit of crossover when it comes to results. For instance, a search for “Walt Disney” on both platforms delivered essentially the same results, albeit with a few formatting tweaks.


Ecosia is the perfect search engine for those who are environmentally conscious as each search can help plant a tree (Image credit: Ecosia)

One major differentiator between both platforms is Ecosia’s emphasis on its carbon-reducing mission. No matter what part of the site you’re on, you’ll always see a tree icon in the top-right corner of the page, indicating how many searches you’ve conducted using Ecosia. According to the site, you’ll need about 45 searches under your belt to plant a tree. That’s assuming that within that bulk of searches, a majority would need to result in ad-clicks, as Ecosia’s tree-planting revenue comes directly from ad profits. 

Furthering this, the non-browser Ecosia will often display a banner at the bottom of the page recommending you add the Ecosia browser extension, accompanied by a message stating “Let’s plant some trees!” (see above image of Ecosia’s search results). 


You can add Ecosia to Chrome in just one click with the company's browser extension (Image credit: Google)

If you so choose to follow this suggestion, Ecosia can be downloaded as a browser extension for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, which prevents you from having to launch a separate URL for Ecosia when conducting searches (and making it easier to get your tree-count up).


Ecosia also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android (Image credit: Ecosia)


Ecosia is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux devices. You can use the search engine with major browsers including Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and more. Ecosia browser plugins are also available for Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla.

You can also download the Ecosia mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.


In terms of overall privacy, Ecosia goes toe-to-toe with DuckDuckGo and Qwant, two engines that prioritize security and non-tracking when using their respective sites and browser extensions. While DuckDuckGo is a bit more privacy-focused, neither competitor donates their proceeds to conservation efforts (if that’s important to you). 

Then, there’s Google and Bing. Both search engines are widely popular and offer an intuitive experience based on previous searches and user data, but there’s always the risk of some of your search history being harvested and sold to outside companies. 

Final verdict

Ecosia looks, feels, and delivers results in a manner befitting of a safe and well-designed search engine. For those looking to give back to the universe in some way, the company’s green initiatives are inspiring, making you feel like your every query is going towards a good cause. Additionally, Ecosia’s browser extensions make it easy to incorporate the engine into your daily Chrome/Safari/Firefox workflow. 

While algorithmic profiling may not be as user-oriented as Google or Bing, rest assured that Ecosia’s lack of profiling means your data isn’t being used in any kind of transactional manner.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Adobe Portfolio

Few people feel comfortable at the prospect of designing their own website, which is why there are so many companies offering their DIY web services. Portfolio is Adobe’s offering, as long as you're a Creative Cloud subscriber. As you’d expect from a creative company, the websites Adobe will help you create, are focused on showcasing your creative work.

When you get into Adobe’s Portfolio page you’re offered a choice of two types of sites: a ‘Full Portfolio’ of your work, or a ‘Welcome Page’.

Whichever one you select, you’ll have the opportunity to add additional pages and create a full featured site. For the purposes of this review, we chose the Portfolio option.

Template Selection

Choose the type of site you wish to create and select from a handful of templates (Image credit: Adobe)

Getting started

You’re given a choice of 12 themes. The large previews give you an idea of what you’ll be creating. They also include a small thumbnail of what each theme will look like on a mobile device, which is an original way of informing you that all these sites are designed to look great no matter which device you’re viewing them from. Click on one to see a full page preview of it, with an option to check the design on other screens (Desktop, Tablet or Phone).

Once you’ve selected your theme (which you can change any time you want), the main interface comes into play. It’s divided into two sections. The biggest one on the right is where you’ll be designing and previewing your pages, while the sidebar on the left is where you can control various settings.


Link to other Adobe Creative Cloud services (Image credit: Adobe)

One of those, called ‘Integration’, can be of great benefit if you already use other Adobe services: this is where you can link to your Behance account, a Lightroom library stored online, or photos you’re currently sharing on Adobe Stock. This lets you connect your new website to any of them to import content directly.

But let’s start this exploration properly by looking at the main preview area.

The design area

This entire section is where you build up your pages. As mentioned above, these pages are designed to showcase your work, which currently look empty with a ‘Add Page’ button on the left. You can use this to create a page as stated or setup a link to one of your Lightroom albums.

Add Sections

You can add various sections to your pages, like a regular website builder (Image credit: Adobe)

Creating a page is very straightforward. You’re presented with buttons to add images, text, videos, social media icons, forms, even link to a Lightroom album and an audio file. There’s also a means to embed HTML code directly.

Once you’ve added something, those buttons disappear, but you can access the same menu by clicking on any blue cross button that appears as you mouse over your page.

You fill your page with your photos which you can import one at a time, or in groups. By default, photos are displayed one above the other, but you can also create photo grids and control how your images are presented on screen.

It’s all very straightforward, and you do get to grips with the interface in very little time. We did find that sometimes a photo would not upload - but it wasn’t hard to replace the broken link with a fresh copy.


You have a handful of traditional customisation options when editing text (Image credit: Adobe)

As mentioned earlier, you’re not limited to adding photos to your website. You also have the option of including text boxes, thereby creating what could be viewed as a more traditional webpage, even though this isn’t Portfolio’s primary purpose. Just like when you add captions, you have basic text editing tools available to you, although these only appear once you highlight some written text.

Frustratingly, every time we added a text section, the page would jump back to the top and we had to scroll back down to where we were before, in order to start typing.

If you make videos, you upload them as you would a photograph. Should you rather wish to share a vid you posted on another site like YouTube or Vimeo, that’s where the Embed function comes into play. However, despite the fact many web builders we’ve tried in the past, like WordPress or EverWeb know what to do when you paste the YouTube video’s URL into an embed field, and convert that to the code needed to insert it properly, Portfolio has adopted the more archaic method of requiring the actual embed code to work. This isn’t a complicated process and video hosting sites do make it easy to obtain it straight from their sharing options, but it’s nevertheless a process that takes longer than simply pasting a URL.

Social Media

Linking to your social media account could be much less frustrating than it is (Image credit: Adobe)

Social media

One of your options is to add a social media bar on your page to link viewers to your various accounts. The way it’s done is more complicated than it should be though: clicking on that section replaces the sidebar with a long list of social media sites. You’d think that in order to create a link you’d just add your handle in the relevant fields. However it isn’t so: instead of just typing ‘[yourhandle]’ in the Twitter section for example, you have to enter the entire URL, ie, ‘twitter/com/[yourhandle]’. This is most frustrating, especially since the field in question is specifically for Twitter so should know the URL starts with ‘’. Trying to add a Twitter URL to another social media field (like LinkedIn for instance), also leads to an error - ie, the fields know to expect a specific input, yet force you to type in the full address. This is needlessly harder than it is made out to look.


You could be satisfied with adding content as described above and leave it at that, but if you want a bit more customisation, you’ll find options tucked away in various places. These appear when you click on an item’s blue menu (top left of said item).

For instance, click on an image’s menu to add an alt text, a caption, link it to a URL, or alter the photo’s margins. Do the same at the top of the page - the menu called ‘Page Container’ - to see the sidebar replaced with a series of sliders to help you alter your page’s margins and alignment.


Depending where you add a page, the result will be different: add one from the Sidebar, to make it appear in the navigation menu at the top of your website. However, you can also add a page inside one of those pages, but it is then represented as large thumbnails inside the page it was created in.

This might confuse novices at first who are puzzled why the new page they created doesn’t appear in the top menu, or why it doesn’t have a large thumbnail preview. It is however easy to use the sidebar to drag these pages around, should you have created one accidentally in the wrong place.


The preview section lets you see what your site will look like when viewed on various devices (Image credit: Adobe)

There’s a nice previewing option that lets you see how your site would look on multiple screens, which includes tablets and phones both in landscape and portrait orientations.

The sidebar

This is where you can access settings that affect your entire site. There are two major features here:

One lets you make site-wide changes, like adding a background image, select where it is placed on the page, manage your pages (both top pages, and pages within pages), rename and reorder them, and even switch to a totally different theme.

The Settings options are pretty extensive. You get to select which of your top pages will be your main one (the one visitors see first), connect your site to Google Analytics, add SEO keywords and meta tags, upload a Favicon, and even set up a specific 404 page (by default it links to your main page).

If you’re worried about protecting your images, you have the option of disabling right-clicking on your photos (this is not selected by default but when turned on, it will dissuade the more casual content thief), and you can even password protect your entire website.

You are allowed to create up to five websites from a single Creative Cloud account and they can be as big or as simple as you need them to be.

Adobe hosts the site(s) for you, and offers you a generic [name] address (the name is selected automatically but you’re allowed to change it to something more suitable - as long as it’s still available.

If you own a domain name, you can connect it to your site, and there’s also the option of purchasing one straight from the Settings menu.

Final verdict

Overall, Portfolio strikes an interesting balance. If you just want to upload photos to share with others and use a site to advertise your skills, you can be ready to go in minutes. But you also have the ability to minutely customise your site to make it look as you like.

There are some confusing aspects to the interface, and it can feel a little slow at times, but it does create good looking pages, offering you as much customisability as you’re comfortable with. Being free with your Creative Cloud subscription is simply icing on the cake.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Review

Two-minute review

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is great value for money

(Image credit: Future)

We cannot recommend the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset enough to anyone looking for a premium, long-lasting, comfortable headset: it ticks every box we look for when searching for decent tech. And, in a world where pairing headsets to Bluetooth dongles and wrestling with buttons and flaps and dials is the norm, the simplicity and ease-of-use on the Stealth 700 Gen 2 stands out a mile. It is, by some margin, one of the best PS4 headsets and best Xbox One headsets on the market at this price point.

Stylish, sophisticated, and well-made for such a modest barrier to entry (at least compared to some of the more expensive headsets out there), this headset can deal with music listening parties, solo game sessions or raids with deft ease. A crystal clear mic that’s – unfortunately – indiscriminate about what it picks up may you give you pause, if you live in a noisy area or household, though.

The only price you’ll pay for this robust, jack-of-all-trades set-up is some slight muddiness in particularly bright mixes and games. But when you’re yelling down the mic about an unfair guard break in Guilty Gear Strive or holding your breath as your clan mate saves you from a wipe in a raid, you’ll barely notice the headset's fondness for bass and mids, anyway.

RIG 500 PRO HX Gen 2 headset price and release date

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is very easy to use

(Image credit: Future)

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset is available from $150 / £120 / AU$249 and it is available now. It fits into the mid-to-upper price range for a wireless headset, and its closest competition would likely be the SteelSeries Arctis 9X, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT, or the Asus ROG Strix Fusion 700. Notably, these headsets are far more expensive than the Stealth 700 Gen 2, however. 

As such is compatible with PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC – though the headset is largely directed towards Xbox platforms.


The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 design is simple and sophisticated

(Image credit: Future)

In a world of garish colors, RGB light strips, and ostensibly ‘gamer’ design, the understated cool black of the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a breath of stylish, fresh air. Black and silver is always going to look smart – and pairs wonderfully with the Xbox Series X and its related accessories – and the big, soft ear cushions bring in some soft textures that tie the whole thing together. These frankly unbelievable leatherette cushions filled with cooling gel-infused memory foam fit to your ears with deft ease, and you can wear this thing through a whole night of banging your head against a Destiny 2 raid and not want to take it off. We take our figurative hats off to the ergonomics testers at Turtle Beach for this one.

The headset’s newly-added metal-reinforced headband and glasses-friendly design mean even players with big heads and glasses frames aren’t going to be made to feel uncomfortable during marathon sessions. We have very minor complaints about the quality of the hinges and joints that allow the cups to move and the headband to adjust, but through some quite intense testing (over a period of months!) the headset has held up and is as good as new now, some 100+ days into our review period.

Pairing with the headset’s comfortable setup is a battery life that puts older wireless models to shame. The Stealth 700 Gen 2 should last through 20 hours on a single charge – though we’ve managed to get more out of the headset on occasion (when playing without voice chat, for example). This doubles the first Gen headset battery life, and it charges via USB-C, making it fit with most modern accessories, too.

Audio performance

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 sound is remarkable, for the price

(Image credit: Future)

The Stealth 700 Gen 2 houses 50mm nano clear neodymium drivers, so the headset is at its best in complex, more bass-focused environments and games. As such, FPS enthusiasts and shooter gluttons will find the most enjoyment in the more low-end focused sound stage. If things start getting really hectic – we’re looking at you MMO players – the headset can struggle to layer things through in a way that’s easy to parse, and in hectic environments, you might notice the headset’s usual clarity gets a bit muddy. 

Pro players, you’ll enjoy the ability to toggle various settings to bring up different types of sound – one setting (Superhuman Hearing) prioritizes footsteps and incidental sounds, making it easier to pick out directions opponents are approaching in FPS titles. That’s saved our hide in Warzone more times than we’d be willing to admit. Just be aware that this seems to also boost all audio levels, so you might need to alter volume settings console-side to offset that.

Microphone quality and wireless connectivity

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 mic is quite sensitive

(Image credit: Future)

The microphone is incredibly accurate and clear and allows you to speak at a resting volume with no interruptions or distortion on the listening end. The flip-to-mute feature – making a welcome reappearance from other Turtle Beach hardware – is as intuitive and easy to use as ever, and will help prevent drunken gaffes (if you’re so prone to them) or unwanted munching noises as you chow down on some snacks in between bouts in Tekken or something.

Interestingly, the mic really isn’t discriminatory in what it picks up. This reviewer lives in a place with a fair amount of overhead traffic, located not too far away from an ambulance depot (it’s a real joy). Multiple players on the other end of the chat picked up both ambient rain noise and distant sirens via the mic – that’s not an issue in and of itself (if anything, it speaks to the mic’s quality), but you may want to be aware of that if you live in a busy and loud urban area.

Should I buy the the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset?

Buy it if… 

You value comfort
Soft, cooling ear pads that suit glasses wearers and people with head’s of all sizes and a decent headband make for long-lasting comfort

You appreciate ease of use
Hassle-free, high-quality audio that will pair to an Xbox on a button-press? It’s an unfortunately uncommon dream.

Don't buy it if...

You live in a loud area
There are a few weak points on this headset, and just one or two critical hits are liable to render the whole thing useless if you’re not careful

Clover point of sale (POS) review

Get a quote for a POS system today.

Clover's stylish POS systems are plentiful in their offering of business-ready features and fast, secure payments. We'd suggest Clover POS as great solution if you’re looking to streamline your in-house services and want to replace old kit such as cash registers, payment terminals or other hardware. 

A Clover point of sale solution lets you do away with all of that and replace it with a more integrated POS system, with modern products that can keep your business running much more efficiently. 

Clover POS has a range of options to choose from and gets consistently praised for offering simple to use but powerful hardware that just works. 

You can subsequently mate the kit with either a Clover merchant account or use one from a merchant services provider. Clover is also sold by the likes of Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, and SunTrust.

Other options in the POS marketplace include Sage Pay, PaySimple,, Worldpay, PayPal, Helcim and Stripe. If you want to weigh up Clover against a leading competitor, read our Square POS vs. Clover POS system review

Clover POS pricing

The Clover Station Pro is the brand's most powerful point-of-sale system yet.

The Clover Station Pro is the brand's most powerful point-of-sale system yet.  (Image credit: Clover)

To get the most accurate pricing, always contact Clover POS directly. 

Signing up for a merchant account with the company starts from $9.95 per month, with payments taken virtually or entered by hand being charged at 3.5% + 10¢ per transaction.

If you use a Clover device to take payments, the rate drops to 2.7% + 10¢. You’ll first need to decide if the Register Lite or the regular Register Plan suits your business, depending on its size. 

From there, Clover has an extensive range of products and services that seem to cover all bases. Mobile payments package Shop Flex, for example, is $499 while Shop Go is just $69, which allows you to accept swipe, dip and payments from your phone. 

A more sophisticated package like the Station Pro one, meanwhile, costs $1649 and delivers a point of sale hardware bundle that serves both employees and customers with a dual screen setup. 

Looking for a compact package? Shop Mini is a smaller offering, at $749, while there are also full-service POS options for restaurants including the Shop Station at $1349 and smaller Shop Mini at $749.

Clover POS is able to help you process all types of payment

Clover POS is able to help you process all types of payment (Image credit: Clover)

Clover POS features

The Clover point of sale hardware range has been designed to cover all bases, with the taking and processing of payments and orders obviously being the main considerations. 

However, the hardware and software combination also allows you to organize your inventory and cultivate new customers too. 

Clover POS is cloud-based, so it can be administered from anywhere and there is also no per-employee charge, which means it is easily scaled for use by an entire team. 

Additional devices can be added as you grow and Clover’s options of using additional apps and devices means it’s certainly flexible. 

Along with the hardware options listed in the pricing section above, Clover POS systems can be augmented with accessories, such as kitchen printers and displays, along with a lockable cash drawer.

Clover POS can be tailored to suit multiple retail and restaurant uses

Clover POS can be tailored to suit multiple retail and restaurant uses (Image credit: Clover)

Clover POS performance

Even in its most basic guise, a Clover POS system arrives with all of the core ingredients to get up and running. 

Therefore, it should require minimal effort to subsequently adapt to your business, with the added benefit of multi-layered security on a PCI-certified system adding to the overall performance appeal. 

And, the fact that Clover POS is cloud-based also means it’s resilient if you suffer connectivity issues, allowing you to continue processing payments and ensuring successful transactions if if your internet is down. 

When it comes back up again Clover POS pushes through all of your stored and encrypted data.

Clover POS gets highly praised for its user-friendly terminals

Clover POS gets highly praised for its user-friendly terminals (Image credit: Clover)

Clover POS ease of use

Clover has been nicely designed and works whether or not you’re the main administrator or an employee who needs to dip in and out of the interface to get your daily duties done. 

What’s more, the cloud-based platform it’s run on means that all of your important data is stored remotely, which also means its safeguarded against anyone inadvertently doing the wrong thing. 

That could pay dividends in something like a retail arena where you might have several employees also using the Clover system.

Clover POS offers a range of inventory and reporting options

Clover POS offers a range of inventory and reporting options (Image credit: Clover)

Clover POS support

When it comes to support options if you’re running a Clover POS then there are numerous routes for getting assistance. This includes phone, chat and email 24/7 according to Clover. 

A dedicated help center covers a lot of bases with its exhaustive selection of topics that cover basic troubleshooting, working with the Clover web dashboard, getting to grips with the apps as well as staying on top of updates, security and managing your account. 

However, it’s worth also bearing in mind that if you have a merchant services provider alongside your Clover account then support for that will likely come direct from that source. 

Software and hardware from Clover on the other hand, will be provided by parent company Fiserv.

Clover POS has a range of terminals at your disposal including the Mini

Clover POS has a range of terminals at your disposal including the Mini (Image credit: Clover)

Clover POS: final verdict

There are multiple options for Clover POS and that makes it hugely appealing for a very wide selection of businesses. 

While its use is mainly suited from small to mid-size ventures, Clover POS is also scalable for retail and restaurant use, which means that you can build it up as your business expands by moving up to the next suitable package. 

One of the main areas of attraction here is the ease of use that comes with this range of POS solutions, allowing it to be mastered by multiple members of staff. 

Adding to that appeal is the range of supplementary apps that boost its credentials with one-touch launch convenience. These range from offering staff-assistance tools and customer offer benefits through to delivering reports and managing inventory. Overall, there is lots to like here.

Avaya J Series

Founded in 2000, Avaya provides businesses with a variety of different products and services in the communications space. As well as managed services, unified communications solutions and contact center tools, the company has become well respected for its VoIP handsets. 

Please note

This is our all-in-one roundup reviewing six VoIP handsets within Avaya's J Series of devices for 2021. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find 

(a) a full evaluation of the Avaya J129, along with our assessment of the essential features modern businesses depend on

(b) a review of the Avaya J139,  

(c) our take on the Avaya J159, with its primary and secondary color displays

d) our assessment of the Avaya J169, and whether it managed to provide an "enhanced desktop experience"

e) our review of the premium Avaya J179

f) we take a look at the high-end Avaya J189, and its integrated functionality with the Avaya Aura platform

g) and we examine the J100 Expansion Module

You can jump to the reviews of those individual products by clicking on the links in the bar at the top of this page, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as the features of businesses will benefit from assessing all three phone ranges before deciding which one best suits their needs. 

Among a number of different devices, Avaya sells wireless handsets, conference phones, hospitality phones, headsets, and room systems. The company’s IP phone range is known as the J Series, or the J100 Series, and is known for its slim form factor, an impressive range of features, and affordable price points. The Avaya J Series may not be as flashy as some other VoIP handsets - particularly when examining the more affordable devices in the range - but the sheer variety is bound to appeal. 

The J Series covers entry-level handsets right the way up to higher-end devices, with each one priced appropriately. Businesses will need to carefully examine exactly what kind of features they need before committing but, in any case, the Avaya J Series has several highly-rated devices to choose from. 

Avaya J129

Avaya J129

(Image credit: Avaya)

The Avaya J129 is the entry-level offering within the J Series but still boasts a clean, compact design that is bound to appeal to businesses that may not have that much desk space to spare. The J129 represents a good choice for lobbies, hotels, meeting rooms, or any environment that involves public or walk-up scenarios. It supports SIP telephony capabilities and can be used with Avaya Aura, Avaya IP Office, and other approved third-party call control platforms. 

The J129 is well-positioned to meet the needs of small to medium-sized organizations, promising a cost-effective device with good audio performance and a number of productivity-enhancing features. The black-and-white screen and the lack of programmable buttons may disappoint some users, but it is worth keeping in mind that these features are usually packaged with more expensive devices. 

Businesses should also be aware that this device is a one-line phone that is only capable of supporting two concurrent calls, so firms with more intensive VoIP needs may have to look elsewhere. Still, the inclusion of three context-sensitive soft keys and display prompts should provide most businesses with the kind of productivity benefits that they need. Users will find it easy to reach the most commonly employed features, including call forwarding, ad-hoc conference calls, call history, and voicemail access. 

Users of the J129 can enable Wi-Fi support if they purchase the J100 Wireless Module but it is not currently possible to use a wired connection and the Wi-Fi at the same time. So, all in all, the J129 is unlikely to amaze any customers - but that’s probably not its aim. Instead, Avaya has created an affordable, entry-level phone that gets the basics right. 

Avaya J139

Avaya J139

(Image credit: Avaya)

Moving on to the J139, customers are likely to notice a few impressive additions included with this model. The monochrome display of the J129 has been replaced with a 2.8-inch color screen and as a four-line IP phone, businesses have a little more flexibility in terms of handling a higher call load. 

Other noteworthy features of the J139 include high-definition audio, including wideband audio codec, the inclusion of softkeys for everyday functions, and quick access to a recent call log with space for up to 100 entries. Visual cues are also designed to speed up task management through four dual-color red/green LED buttons. 

The J139 also has built-in volume boost functionality to support those with hearing impairments, allowing them to use the handset comfortably without the need for a separate amplified headset. In terms of its environmental credentials, the fact that the J139 supports redacted energy consumption is also likely to be admired by many customers. The handset’s Power-over-Ethernet Class 1 design, with built-in ‘sleep mode’ means that the device boasts good energy efficiency credentials. 

Again, the J139 is not much to look at and more advanced features are missing, but if businesses want a device that includes all the core VoIP features, and comes with a color screen, the J139 represents a good choice.

Avaya J159

Avaya J159

(Image credit: Avaya)

Continuing to move up the pay scale of J100 phones, the J159 boasts two screens to ensure that users have access to all the information they need. By leveraging existing investments and accommodating changing business needs, the J159 promises to deliver a flexible architecture that optimizes communications.

This device comes with four softkeys, high definition audio quality, integrated Gigabit Ethernet interface, headset support, and optional Wi-Fi support. This multiline phone also comes with 10 status indicators and supports a secondary Gigabit Ethernet port for PC connections. An impressive 48 administrative buttons should also ensure that users have plenty to keep them busy when they first set up their phone - even if it’s just working out what everything does. 

Calendar integration and additional personalization options represent other reasons why businesses may want to purchase the J159 over more affordable models within the J Series range. 

Avaya J169

Avaya J169

(Image credit: Avaya)

Initially, the J169 may seem like a backward step within the J Series range due to its grayscale display but the handset does come with four softkeys, eight buttons with dual LEDs, wideband audio for headset and handset, as well as full duplex speakerphone capabilities. The J169 also supports up to three Avaya J100 expansion modules and accommodates advanced unified communications solutions through Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).

The J169 would make a great handset for salespeople, call center staff and knowledge workers, who would all benefit from the range of features on offer here. Users will gain access to eight buttons with dual LEDs (red, green) and four softkeys, as well as hard buttons for phone, messages, contacts, history, home, navigation cluster, headset, speaker, volume and mute. Additional LEDs for speaker, mute, headset, message and history are also included, as are a further 24 administrative buttons. 

Another noteworthy addition to this model is the option of rich, classic, alternate and downloadable ringtones. Although a customizable ringtone may not seem like the most important feature for a business phone to have, the ability to instantly recognize your particular handset in a crowded office could prevent missed calls. 

If businesses can handle going back to a non-color screen, then the J169 is worth considering. The handset also supports a wide range of languages, including Arabic, Simplified Chinese, German, Japanese, and a number of others. For businesses that serve multiple markets, this feature may be hugely important. 

Avaya J179

Avaya J179

(Image credit: Avaya)

The Avaya J179 promises a premium desk phone experience, boasting a color display, four softkeys, high definition audio quality, and an integrated Gigabit Ethernet interface.  The J179 IP phone also offers headset support and can be used with up to three 24-button Expansion Modules.

As an eight-line phone ideally suited for power users, the J179 comes with all the advanced telephony features you would expect and also promises zero-touch deployment via Device Enrollment Services Support. The latter, in particular, is sure to appeal to businesses that may have experienced implementation challenges previously. 

Amazing high-definition audio is one of the standout features of the J179 handset. The wideband audio codec will help members of staff to have more productive conversations with their customers, while Bluetooth connectivity means that they can remain engaged with their clients even when not sat at their desk. 

Unusually for many VoIP phones, the J179 comes in a variety of different colors so users don’t have to make do with the same old black or grey desk phone. It’s a minor feature, but it represents a nice touch by adding some personalization. 

Avaya J189

Avaya J189

(Image credit: Avaya)

Representing the top-of-the-line model within the J Series, the J189 is designed to support your power users. It comes with two color display screens, four softkeys, 16 feature keys, and the same high definition audio quality that had become the standard expectation among Avaya VoIP phones. Exploring the two displays in more detail, the larger, higher-resolution five-inch display can be used in split-screen mode to provide even more flexibility for end-users. 

Impressively, the J189 offers the option of accessing 96 virtual buttons, so users certainly have a lot of customization options at their disposal. The handset also comes with two USB ports (one USB A and one USB C) and can be augmented by up to two hardware J100 Expansion Modules. Compatibility with Avaya software is also included as standard - such as Avaya Aura and Avaya IP Office.

J100 Expansion Module

Avaya J100 Expansion Module

(Image credit: Avaya)

The Avaya J100 Expansion Module is typically used in settings where call coverage is of the utmost importance and even a single missed call can have significant consequences. The J100 comes with a 4.3-inch, 272 x 480-pixel color display and provides access to as many as 24 buttons for access to additional contacts and functionality. The expansion module can be connected to either the Avaya J169 or J179 IP Phone, with the module inheriting the display properties of the device that it is connected to. Avaya users can connect a maximum of three J100 modules and, as with the corresponding phones, they can be placed in two stand positions as well as a wall-mount position.

Thankfully, call operation features are straightforward when using the expansion module. If users want to make an outgoing call, for example, they simply lift the handset, press the line button that corresponds to the extension number that they want to call, and then put on their best telephone voice. Alternatively, if individuals would rather make a call without lifting the handset, they can press the relevant line button to make a call using the speakerphone. The expansion module also allows for quick access to applications like Contacts, Recents, and Calendar simply by pressing the corresponding button.

For anyone that is unhappy that most VoIP solutions are delivered with a standard look, you’ll be pleased to hear that the J100 Expansion Module allows for the customization of its display. In the settings menu, users can change the background image, the screen saver, the font size, and adjust screen brightness. Although this flexibility may not sound like much, it does let Avaya users have a little more control over their communication hardware. 

Our overall verdict

With all the Avaya phones we’ve reviewed today, they seem to be lacking a killer app - a standout feature that makes it easy for them to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive VoIP market. When that is added to reports of inconsistent helpdesk support, the J Series loses some marks against its competitors. That being said, the compact form factor on offer and the reasonable price point means that the handsets are still certainly worth considering. 

  • Want to compare Avaya to its rivals? Check out our guide to the best VoIP handsets available

On Cloudboom Echo

Two-minute review

The On CloudBoom Echo is the carbon plate racing shoe follow-up to the Swiss brand’s Cloudboom shoe, which launched in 2020.

With the Echo, On’s still seeking to give Nike and the likes of Adidas and Asics a run for their money with a shoe that’s built for road running and one that it says you can take onto the start line of anywhere from 10k up to a full marathon.

Like its predecessor, it still has a carbon fiber infused Speedboard that runs the length of the shoe but has been tweaked to improve the explosive, forward propulsion feeling. That’s matched up with a double layer of On’s CloudTec cushioning that combined is designed to a offer less firm ride than the first Cloudboom.

Pair of On Cloudboom Echo running shoes on a race track, viewed from above

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

The upper is made from 100% recycled engineered mesh with the rubber outsole design tweaked the patterning to help it hold up even when you’re upping the pace on wet roads.

It’s also dropped a few grams in weight, but sticks to the same 9mm heel-to-toe drop and comes in the same white on black colourway for the men’s and women’s version of the shoe.

At $270 / £210 / AU$369.95, it’s cheaper than the Nike Zoom Alphafly and the Asics Metaspeed Sky, but is still a premium to pay for shoes built to go fast in.

While still a little firmer than racing shoes from Nike, Asics and Adidas, the Cloudboom Echo feels like a better fit for going longer than the first Cloudboom and is one best saved for race day and speed sessions where you’re working at building that ideal race pace.

Man wearing On Cloudboom Echo running shoes by a tennis court

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Price and release date

The On Cloudboom Echo was launched in June 2021, and costs $270 / £210 / AU$369.95 from On’s website and third party retailers.


The Cloudboom Echo is available in just the white on black colorway with splashes of green at the heel and the bottom of the upper. It’s a typically stylish looking On shoe and one that’s definitely going to be a better fit for those with narrow feet. On says it fits true to size and we’d say our UK size 8 was a good fit for our narrow feet with decent space up front in the toe box to allow for some wiggle room.

Weight-wise, our size 8 Echo weighed in at 225g, putting it around the same weight as the Alphafly but not quite as light as the Asics Metaspeed Sky, which comes in under 200g. It’s still a nicely weighted shoe, thanks largely in part to the thin, almost paper-like feeling mesh upper, which On says has been made from 100% recycled polyester. The tongue is thin and spreads itself across the top of the foot and doesn’t budge once you get moving. The flat laces are great for getting a nice locked in feel, though can be a bit fiddly to untie if you go really tight with that lacing.

Pair of On Cloudboom Echo running shoes on a running track, with their soles showing

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

In terms of the key shoe specs, the Echo has the same 9mm heel-to-toe drop as the first Cloudboom but has moved to a higher 27mm stack height in the forefoot and 35mm in the heel. It’s still not quite as stacked as the Alphafly, Vaporfly 2 or the Saucony Endorphin Pro, but it does mean it can offer a more cushioned and protected ride than the original Cloudboom.

On’s signature CloudTec technology is still in place, and it’s a double layer of those pods used to offer that cushioning and responsiveness. A carbon fiber infused Speedboard is there too that has a more aggressive design that coupled with its CloudTec cushioning is designed to propel you forward and offer more efficiency than other racing shoes.

The outsole has been beefed up in the forefoot and the specific areas in the heel that are meant to improve traction on wet surfaces, but also offer something more stable when you’re hitting bends or twists in a course or route.

Pair of On Cloudboom Echo running shoes, viewed from behind

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)


With over 50km in this shoe covering short 5km runs, interval track sessions and some longer training runs two things become clear with the Cloudboom Echo. It's a much more pleasurable experience running in than that first Cludboom and it’s one that’s best enjoyed running at your fastest. It doesn’t have the versatility to be used for easy miles or as a daily running shoe simply because it’s just not built for that.

The big change here is that the Echo feels noticeably less firm than the Cloudboom, which made it okay for shorter distances, but a tough one to want to go back out and run longer training runs in. Now On has a shoe that you’ll want to run further with.

Close-up on the insides of a pair of On Cloudboom Echo running shoes

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

The shoe is pleasingly light and the upper that feels like barely an upper is cool and breathable to wear in hot running conditions. The combination of the dual-layer Cloudtec cushioning and more curved Speedboard now feels more complimentary than it did previously and that’s kudos to On for recognizing it needed to do some tweaking here.

The Echo felt most rewarding at six minute/mile or quicker speeds, where you can engage that softer-feeling midsole cushioning and the more curved Speedboard that has the noticeable feeling of trying to push you forward. It felt great in interval track sessions and if you can maintain that pace over long distances, it doesn’t feel hugely taxing on the legs once you’re done. We’d personally still side with slightly softer cushioning like you’ll find on something from Asics or Saucony, but if you prefer something a little firmer for longer distances, then the Echo is going to appeal.

Man's hand holding a On Cloudboom Echo running shoe, showing the side profile

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

The traction on the outsole was great too, even in pretty treacherous rainy conditions. There was no slipping and sliding and while that upper looks like it’s fit to soak through, it didn’t leave our feet in a big wet mess.

The Cloudboom Echo is more of the shoe we thought the Cloudboom would be. It’s nice to run quickly in, you feel nimble and stable in it and it’s a fit that definitely feels best for those with more narrow feet. It’s not a do-it-all shoe and as we said, some might favour something a little softer in the cushioning department.

If you want something with a nice, light upper and something to go fast at moderate to long distances, there’s plenty to like here. If you can live without that firmer feel and want to spend less, you could look at the Saucony Endorphin Pro or the Hoka Carbon X2 instead.

Buy it if

You want something to run fast in
The Cloudboom Echo is one to save running fast in, so if you want a dedicated shoe in your rotation to do that, then this does fit the bill.

You like a firmer ride for longer distances
On’s cushioning tech is more comfortable on the Boom than it was on the first Cloudboom, but it’s still a firmer feeling than other racing shoes out there.

You want a good looking running shoe
If you obsess as much about looks as you are performance, On make some stylish running shoes and that doesn’t change with the Cloudboom Echo.

Don't buy it if

You have wider feet
On says the Cloudboom Echo fits true to size, but we’d definitely err on the side of caution if you have wider than average feet.

You want a do-it-all shoe
As we said, the Cloudboom Echo is just for running quickly, so it’s not one to grab for slow, easy miles or to be a go-to daily shoe.

Eufy SoloCam E40

Two-minute review

Eufy, the smart home brand from Anker, is a company that’s most well known for tech peripherals such as USB cables and power banks. Although relatively new to the home security market, the brand has quickly gained a reputation for offering some of the best home security cameras that are more affordable but just as effective as those from rivals Arlo and Ring. 

The Eufy SoloCam E40 is one of the brand’s newest wireless home security cameras. It’s a weather-proof battery-operated device that will push a notification to your smartphone if it detects motion in its 130-degree field of view, allowing you to log in and view the camera’s live feed.

On detecting motion, the SoloCam E40 records 2K color footage during the day and, thanks to infrared, black-and-white video at night, allowing you to review an incident at a later date. However, unlike many of its rivals, the footage is stored on the 8GB of memory built into the camera itself, which means you don’t need to subscribe to a monthly cloud storage service to get the most out of this home security camera. Eufy says this equates to around 30 days of motion detection clips based on 30 detections a day, with each video lasting for 10 seconds.

The Eufy SoloCam E40 has on-device AI that can identify whether the motion is caused by a human or another source, and a built-in microphone and speaker enables you to also converse with anyone in the camera’s field of view.

In addition, integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant mean you can use a compatible smart display to review the camera’s feed and use the camera in home automation, too.

Unlike EufyCam 2, which is Eufy’s previous range of wireless home security cameras, the SoloCam E40 doesn’t require a base station to connect to the internet. Instead, the camera comes with built-in Wi-Fi and can connect directly to a router. It’s powered by a battery, which Eufy says will last up to 120 days between charges.

At 129.99 / £119.99 / AU$229, the EufyCam SoloCam E40 is one of the most affordable battery-powered 2K home security cameras on the market, and the inclusion of free on-board storage makes it ideal for anyone who wants detailed footage of their home without the burden of on-going costs.

Eufy SoloCam E40 price and availability

  • List price: $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$229

The Eufy SoloCam E40 will set you back $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$229 through Eufy’s website and select electrical retailers including Amazon in the US and the UK. Eufy says it will be released in Australia at the end of the year. 

Eufy also offers a more affordable Full HD version of the wireless security camera. Known as the Eufy SoloCam E20, it costs $99.99 / £99.99 (around AU$135) and is available now in the US and the UK. 

front of the Eufy SoloCam E40 on a wooden surface

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Battery-powered
  • 8GB free built-in storage
  • No freestanding mount

The Eufy SoloCam E40 is one of the bigger battery-powered weatherproof home security cameras we’ve tested, measuring 1.9 x 3.9 x 1.9 inches / 4.9 x 10 x 4.9 cm (w x d x h). The camera comes with a compact screw mount that attaches to the back of the camera and allows it to be wall-mounted. The mount includes a ball and socket joint that can be angled to capture everything you want in its field of view. It’s also possible to use the camera freestanding, placing it on a surface without the mount. However, used in this way, there’s no way to angle the camera. You may find yourself balancing the unit on piles of books to ensure the lens captures everything in its field of view. 

On the front of the camera is the 130-degree camera lens, along with an LED that illuminates blue when the camera battery is being recharged. There’s also a microphone, so you can converse with anyone in its field of view. A sync button on top of the camera is used for setup, or to perform a factory reset of the camera. On the back, covered by a silicon flap, is a micro-USB socket for charging the battery.

As we’ve already mentioned, the Eufy SoloCam E40 comes with 8GB of built-in storage, which can hold up to 30 days of video clips (based on 30 events a day, with each lasting 10 seconds). Unfortunately, the battery isn’t swappable, which means SoloCam E40 will be out of action when it's being recharged. Eufy says this can take up to eight hours. It’s also worth noting that the camera comes bundled with a charging cable, not the power adapter for a wall outlet. 

Like other Eufy wireless home security cameras, the Eufy SoloCam E40 is simple to set up.  Just download the app on your smartphone or tablet and create an account. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to press the sync button on the camera, enter your home Wi-Fi password and use the camera’s lens to scan a QR code that will be displayed on your phone. Follow the on-screen steps to name your camera, and it’s ready to start monitoring for motion. 

side view of the Eufy SoloCam E40 on a wooden surface

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • 2K footage is clear and detailed
  • Free built-in video storage
  • AI detects if a human caused motion

On test, the Eufy SoloCam E40 recorded clear, super-detailed footage both during the day and at night. There’s a slight fish-eye effect on the video, but not so much that it detracts from the detail on display. During the day, footage is captured in color, but since the camera lacks any built-in spotlight – such as the Arlo Pro 4, for example – video recorded at night is in black-and-white. 

We found the built-in AI was accurate when it came to identifying people in its field of view, even providing a small thumbnail of the human in the Events list. We found the two-way talk function clear, plus it’s possible to manually trigger a 90dB siren in the camera when viewing the live feed. 

There are a range of modes that allow you to arm or disarm some or all of your Eufy cameras at the same time. In addition, you can set a schedule for when the camera should be recording.   

Screen grabs of the Eufy Security app which works with the Eufy SoloCam E40

(Image credit: tECHrADAR)


  • Easy to navigate
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Create a recording schedule

Just like other Eufy home security cameras, the SoloCam E40 uses the Eufy Security app, which we found simple to use. Once the app is launched, you’ll see a list of devices installed in your home, along with a snapshot of the most recent motion detection. From here, you can access a number of quick actions for each device, including snoozing notifications for set durations, viewing a list of motion detections from today, and the most common settings for each camera – such as creating activity zones, so you’re only notified about motion in these sections, which reduces unwanted alerts. 

An Events tab offers a list of past footage in chronological order, while the Security section allows you to control how a camera behaves when you're home or away. There’s also an Explore tab that provides more details on Eufy products.

The SoloCam E40 offers integration with Amazon Alexa and Google, allowing you to view its live feed on one of the best smart displays – although, unfortunately, unlike Eufy’s other cameras, this camera doesn’t come with support for HomeKit. 

Back of the Eufy SoloCam E40 on a wooden surface

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life

  • Battery lasts up to 120 days between charges
  • Takes eight hours to fully recharge
  • The battery isn’t removable 

According to Eufy, the battery in the Eufy SoloCam E40 will last up to 120 days between charges, as we’ve already mentioned. This figure is based on 30 events a day, with each lasting 10 seconds.  We put the camera through heavy testing in a short period of time for this review, so can’t therefore confirm this ‘typical use’ figure. However, battery life will depend on how often motion is detected, how many times the live feed is viewed, if the siren is triggered, and the number of times the two-way microphone and speaker are used.

The camera comes with a handy Power Manager feature that allows you to prioritize battery life by reducing the footage length and reducing the frequency of motion detection. Unfortunately, the battery isn’t swappable, so the Eufy SoloCam E40 will be out of action when it needs charging. It took around eight hours to fully recharge using the bundled USB cable. 

Should I buy the Eufy SoloCam E40?

Buy it if...

You want subscription-free storage
With built-in memory that can store up to 8GB of video clips, the Eufy SoloCam E40 is worth considering if you’re looking for a home security camera that doesn’t come with any on-going subscription costs.  

You want extremely detailed video
The Eufy SoloCam E40 records footage in 2K, which means you can mount the camera high up to cover a wide area without losing detail in the video.  

You have other Eufy devices
If you already have other Eufy products, or anticipate buying them, it makes sense to choose this as your wireless home security camera. 

Don't buy it if...

You want a freestanding camera
The Eufy SoloCam E40 is designed to be mounted on a wall. It can be used freestanding, but with no way of angling it when used in this way, it's probably best avoided.  

You want color night vision
Such an affordable price tag means that the Eufy SoloCam E40 will inevitably have to compromise in some areas, one of which is color night vision. If you’re looking for a camera that can record night-time video in full color, this isn’t the home security camera for you.  

You want swappable batteries
The Eufy SoloCam E40 built-in battery means the camera will be out of action when the unit needs recharging. If you’d rather a camera with swappable batteries, to avoid any outage of service, then consider Arlo’s battery-powered range of wireless home security cameras instead. 

First reviewed: July 2021

Yealink SIP T2, 3, 4, 5 series

Yealink was established in 2001 in China, specializing in video conferencing, voice communications, and collaboration solutions. In less than a decade, Yealink had become China’s top SIP phone provider and, more recently, started to forge partnerships with other Chinese organizations, including Tencent Cloud, Sony China, and China Telecom.

Please note

This is our all-in-one roundup reviewing four of Yealink's flagship ranges of VoIP devices for 2021. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find 

(a) a full evaluation of the Yealink SIP T2 range, along with our assessment of the essential features modern businesses depend on

(b) a review of the Yealink SIP T3 series,  

(c) our take on the Yealink SIP T4 range, with its Optima HD Voice system, and

d) our assessment of the Yealink SIP T5 range, which comes with extensive video collaboration features at the high-end,

e) a look at the Yealink Device Management Platform that can be used to manage your VoIP handsets.

You can jump to the reviews of those individual products by clicking on the links in the bar at the top of this page, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as the features of businesses will benefit from assessing all three phone ranges before deciding which one best suits their needs. 

Yealink’s IP phones, which come in a number of models to suit different companies’ needs and budgets, have acquired widespread popularity. Among some of the higher-profile users of Yealink devices are the United Nations, online retailer and the fast-food restaurant chain Pizza Hut. 

Included within a number of illuminating case studies, Yealink highlights the use of its IP phones in Sampson County Schools in the US. Given that a large percentage of school districts continue to bear the cost and problems associated with legacy PBX phone systems, the adoption of Yealink VoIP handsets (in this case, the T26P model) has greatly improved communication at the schools, without adding to their budgeting challenges. Impressively, the handsets have suffered a failure rate of less than 2.5% over the last five-plus years of operation.

Whether your organization is in education, healthcare, finance, or any other industry, communication is absolutely vital. This is particularly true with the COVID-19 pandemic making in-person meetings more difficult to arrange.

Businesses are relying more and more on digital technologies to ensure that their staff can remain connected to colleagues, clients, and customers. Although VoIP phones have been around for a number of years, they have evolved significantly of late, and many now offer a host of video collaboration and unified communication tools. Yealink’s VoIP phones are no exception and the company has a number of different handsets on offer. Below we’ve reviewed four of the company’s VoIP ranges, so businesses can easily determine which one is right for them. 

Yealink SIP T2 range

Yealink SIP-T29G

(Image credit: Yealink)

Yealink’s T2 series boasts six different models, ranging from entry-level devices to high-end phones that would suit any enterprise. The most budget-friendly option is the SIP-T19P E2 IP phone, which is a single-line handset that still boasts a number of handy VoIP features and has impressive build quality. 

The SIP-T19P E2 comes with a 132x64-pixel graphical LCD display, dual 10/100 Mbps network ports, and integrated Power-over-Ethernet, the latter of which makes it ideal for extended network use. Although the fact that this model only supports a single VoIP account may rule it out for some firms, having the option of using a headset or mounting it on the wall means it does come with a fair amount of flexibility. 

Moving up the pay scale, the SIP-T23G boasts three SIP lines and a backlit 132×64 LCD screen. The handset is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses or home offices, and while other devices may come with more advanced features, the SIP-T23G is hard to beat in terms of value. Plus, the inclusion of 32 keys, including four soft keys, provides a good amount of customization. The SIP-T23G can also be auto-provisioned, meaning that businesses will receive a handset that is already set up before they receive it. 

The most advanced model in the Yealink T2 series is the SIP-T29G phone, which comes with a high-resolution TFT color display, making it the only device in this entry-level range to support color output. The SIP-T29G also boasts Optima HD technology to deliver crystal clear audio quality and 12 SIP lines for medium to heavy VoIP users. It’s also worth noting that the T29G can be augmented through the addition of an expansion module, which will greatly increase the number of programmable keys available to users. Overall, call center staff and executive users that don’t want to break the bank could do a lot worse than choosing a device from the T2 range. 

Yealink SIP T3 range

Yealink SIP-T33G

(Image credit: Yealink)

The Yealink T3 series gets off to a rather inauspicious start with the SIP-T30 model, which offers a 132x64-pixel graphical LCD, an adjustable multi-angle stand, but otherwise looks fairly unspectacular. It’s when you look under the surface, however, that the T3 series starts to get interesting. Because the T3 range comes equipped with an enhanced processor, it boasts stronger computing ability and upgraded functions. 

The improved chip really starts to come to the fore with some of the higher-end models, including the Yealink SIP-T33P. This color screen IP phone delivers high performance and facilitates local five-way conferencing. An extra-large backlit 320x240-pixel color display combines comfort and clarity. Other features included within the SIP-T33P include dual 10/100 Mbps network ports with integrated PoE, support for a Yealink wireless headset, and Smart Noise Filtering. 

Crucially, the T3 series also supports the Yealink Device Management Platform, which provides an easy and convenient way for businesses to manage their endpoint devices. The management platform provides remote diagnostics, call statistics, and bulk configuration, which could save companies a lot of time - particularly if they have a lot of handsets to deploy. 

The top-end model in the T3 range is the SIP-T33G, which also comes with a high-resolution color screen. The device comes packaged with its own network cable for businesses that only have one Ethernet cable for their desk computers and don’t want to invest in a whole load of new cabling to get their VoIP phones set up. The footprint of this phone is also impressively small, so it makes a great option for offices that don’t have much space to play around with. 

Yealink SIP T4 range

Yealink SIP-T48U

(Image credit: Yealink)

With the T4 series, Yealink really starts ramping up the number of features on offer, starting with the SIP-T40P model. This handset comes with industry-standard encryption protocols, support for three SIP accounts, and a number of programmable keys. It also comes with a foot-stand, flashing LED to indicate incoming voice messages or calls, adjustable volume, and four navigational keys. 

The Yealink SIP-T46S is well-suited for busy executives, coming with a fast interface, a high-resolution TFT color display, and HD audio. The handset also comes with an impressive number of connectivity options, including Gigabit Ethernet technology, and support for accessories like a Bluetooth USB Dongle and a Wi-Fi USB Dongle. 

Users are also likely to be impressed by the T46S’ design and build quality. The handset has an elegant appearance, making use of premium materials and a scratch-resistant surface. The T46S also supports up to six expansion models for up to 240 additional buttons, so businesses are unlikely to find that they run out of space on this model. 

The most premium device in the T4 range is the Yealink SIP-T48U IP phone, which features a seven-inch color touch screen with backlight, Optima HD voice with Acoustic Shield,  Smart Noise Filtering, and PoE support. The installation also promises to be straightforward, as the model comes with Yealink’s Redirection and Provisioning Service and Boot mechanism to help you avoid a complex manual setup process. For a high-level phone, it is surprisingly simple to configure and manage. 

Yealink SIP T5 range

Yealink VP59

(Image credit: Yealink)

What immediately stands out about the T5 range is the screen. Significantly larger than those included with other models offered by the company, the display on Yealink’s T5 models is clearly aimed at businesses that need clarity and speed with regard to their comms. 

Although the most affordable model in this series, the T53, does come with a black-and-white display, at 3.7-inches it still stands out compared to most other VoIP handsets. One word of caution regarding this particular handset is that some users have complained that the headset port fails after only a few months of use. Obviously, many individuals will probably use the built-in receiver but for companies that deploy headsets, it’s a consideration worth bearing in mind. 

Moving to the SIP-T58A model, users are sure to be wowed by a business phone that combines HD audio and a rich video calling experience. Built on the Android 5.1.1 operating system, the SIP-T58A comes with a seven-inch adjustable multi-point touch screen, a removable two-megapixel HD camera, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, and even boasts its own built-in web browser.

Rounding off the T5 range is Yealink’s flagship video phone, the VP59. As this device supports the Android 7.1 operating system, it at times feels more like a tablet than a desk phone. This is particularly true given the number of collaboration apps available - with the likes of Skype, Slack, Trello, Evernote, and others all easily integrated with the device. The fact that the phone also connects to Yealink’s VC Desktop software, means that users can collaborate direct from their PC or laptop as well, which may prove particularly useful as businesses start to adopt more flexible remote working policies.  

Yealink Device Management Platform

Yealink Device Management

(Image credit: Yealink)

As with most IP Phones, Yealink handsets make much of their software capabilities and this can be seen most clearly via the Yealink Device Management Platform. The platform is a comprehensive toolset for deployment, management, and troubleshooting for up to 5,000 Yealink devices. It provides users with the opportunity to examine specific needs by region, user, or device. It gives a clear overview for the provisioning of multiple handsets, streamlining the complexity of managing IP phones when you have more than one user or office branch. 

With the complexity of VoIP solutions increasing, having the ability to customize feature sets, access quality management tools, and exercise powerful management capabilities is becoming increasingly useful for corporations. By granting remote access to IP phones, the Yealink Device Management Platform can automate the update process, without causing unexpected downtime or requiring unnecessary manual input. 

The Yealink Device Management Platform comes packaged with a comprehensive set of tools,  a web-based intuitive user interface, a customer support service available upon request, as well as a free license also available upon request. Lots of organizations may be interested in switching to VoIP phones but are concerned by the administrative burden potentially involved - this is where the Yealink Device Management Platform comes into play. 

If you are thinking about deploying Yealink handsets at your office, whether from the T2, T3, T4, or T5 range, adopting the Yealink Device Management Platform first could make the process a lot easier. The platform comes with remote diagnostics tools and the option of carrying out mass resets/reboots in the event of something going wrong. The graphical quality of the experience management display also means that you can analyze the performance of the handsets. With this kind of overview, companies no longer need to ask directly for user feedback to gain insights into how their phones are performing. 

Our overall verdict

There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to picking the Yealink range best suited to your organization. Fortunately, the company provides a host of information online about the features that come with each model and, once the handset arrives, further documentation makes installation and maintenance straightforward. 

Although there have been reports of some faults with the headset port, overall the build quality on these handsets is mightily impressive - particularly when users consider the very competitive price points.

  • Want to compare Yealink to its rivals? Check out our guide to the best VoIP handsets available


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