Lovely little phone, but be aware...,
This review is from: Cisco SPA 301: SPA301-G3 (SPA301-G3) (Electronics)
I have just bought one of these and got it working nicely on my SIP system. Solid construction as you would expect from Cisco, a feeling of quality no cheap nasty plastics. The sound quality is good, the buttons nice and solid. It can be mounted on the wall or on a desk, a good entry level SIP connection.
The 4 buttons on the side do not light up, they look like they should but they don't. The only light is a multicolour one in the top corner, this indicates voicemail, errors and any conditions worthy of note. It didn't occur to me when ordering the unit, but it has no display so can't record a missed call. It doesn't seem to have memory buttons either. These were not missing features, just something I took for granted and missed.
Generally I found the unit nice to setup, it's not for the faint hearted though. Cisco seem to struggle with simplified setup wizards, they still present complex industrial GUI. There is no question this phone is highly competent. It did pick the inevitable fight with my Draytek router, but then I have found many SIP phones do! So, this can't really be held against it. To be fair, after an initial issue of "ARP mismatch" (resulting an a refusal to connect) was resolved by giving it a fixed IP on the Draytek router(where the bug resides). It's remained connected whilst others have keeled over a couple of times. I view this as a sign of quality. Diagnosing this problem required it to be hooked up to my syslog server though, which many may not have hence my added detail here.
The ring tone CAN be changed, though many think it can't, but the default one is a bit weedy and discrete. Changing it, is an undocumented nightmare via the GUI and I still haven't entirely mastered it, not Ciscos' finest hour. You have to change the Ring1 field in the admin Phone tab. What you change it to, and what the string means is a mystery to me... I just played!
On the surface of it this review sounds damning and there is certainly room for software improvement, but I like my little phone despite these issues. I think this is a testament to the power of a well built unit in a market full of cheap and nasty ones. It feels nice, it does the job and it seems to be reliable. It's also very discrete, and competitively priced. Exactly what I wanted. A small, discrete, cheap SIP phone that won't keep keeling over.