ShoreTel has been in the business of making new phone systems now for almost 20 years, and in that time has really only had one family of telephones. However, beginning in mid 2013, they released the all SIP family comprised of the ShorePhone IP420, IP480, IP480g, and the IP485g. This review will focus on the ShorePhone IP485g, the high end telephone designed for a broad set of executive users.
To begin with, let’s start at the back of the telephone. Unlike its predecessors, 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. 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.
There is, of course, a switch in the rear of the telephone which is a gigabit version, unlike the very similar IP 480. This is a great addition for users who do not have the desire or ability to run a separate cable network.
Immediately, the user will notice the large, brightly lit, full color screen. The screen displays such information as caller ID, button labels, access to the soft keys, and directory information, among other functions such as time and date. However, the really great feature of the screen is Visual Voice Mail! When accessing voice mail through the telephone, users can fast forward, rewind, as well as save and delete messages by pressing the appropriate soft key at the bottom of the screen! I love this feature and think that this alone makes the upgrade from the base IP420 model worth every penny.
The front of the telephone also has a
Among the new family of ShoreTel ShorePhone telephones, it is clear that the IP485g is designed to serve an executive. The price point, while reasonable, is notably higher than the ShorePhone IP480 which has a grey-scale rather than color screen and 10/100 switch instead of gigabit. The price point, while higher than the other members of the ShoreTel IP 400 family, is still in line with other VoIP telephones from Cisco or Avaya. Functionally, it easily surpasses the IP420. The gigabit switch is nice if you are running tandem of data and voice mixed on the same physical network. The speaker is a real HD voice machine, which I personally love, plus the Visual Voice Mail puts this phone above the rest of the others in its class.