Different business phones suit different needs. There are some which cover the mere basics. And there are others which include plenty of extra functionalities.
If you are a busy executive, you will likely be interested in the second category. And you will likely be interested to know more about Polycom’s VVX 601 business media phone.
Originally released in 2017, the VVX 601 became the next in line of the VVX series. It came about as the heir of the VVX 501 and VVX 600 models. Two phones that have established themselves as viable office communication solutions.
Currently, the VVX 601 is the Poly company’s high-range option for business media phones. According to the manufacturer, this is THE PHONE for executives, knowledge workers or any busy environments in general. Or to quote the exact claim, the VVX 601 provides ‘’the best-in-class desktop productivity for corporate executives and managers’’.
So, does the VVX 601 really take the UC experience to new heights? This review will test such claims and will navigate you in deciding whether this phone is a good fit for your workplace.
The Polycom VVX 601 pack includes a base unit, headset, headset cord, and a network cable. If purchased from some VoIP suppliers, it might come with a power cord but in our case, it did not.
However, the power cord availability is not such a big deal. Nowadays, it’s common to charge the device by using the routers PoE ports.
Just like the VVX 600, the VVX 601 comes with a 4,3’’ QVGA touch-screen display. The colors are rich and the actual touch-screen – responsive. The feeling is smartphone-like and is further recreated by the seamless screen navigation.
The phone has quite a smooth metallic appearance. It is quite enough to put the premium in the “premium business phone”. We found the phone a bit too light, but the headset is heavy enough and it does provide the classic desk phone feeling.
The stand of the VVX 601 is adjustable. If you have read our review about Yealink T48G, you would know why this might be a big deal for some users.
The VVX 601’s sound quality is flawless, as expected from a high-end business phone.
The crystal-clear communication is ensured by Polycom’s Acoustic Fence feature. Essentially, it blocks out all the background noise. The phone held up to the test in our cramped office.
It is a perfect fit for high-paced environments such as buzzing offices or call centers.
UI and Functionality
We found the phone’s navigation to be intuitive and easy. The menu is very smartphone-like. The VVX 601 has 12 programmable keys that can be used for access to the most important contacts with a touch.
When the display is idle, the time and date, as well as the basic soft key functionalities are visible. When there is an incoming call, the screen shows the information of the caller.
There are 3 options for picking up on a call. Number one is picking up the headset, number two is pressing the Answer box on the screen, and number three is pressing the hard Speaker button. All of them work just fine.
The Intercom function is another productivity-enhancing feature that VVX 601 boosts with. It comes with any Polycom VVX phone registered with the OnSIP boot server. It is easily activated from the phone’s on-screen menu.
When selected, the Intercom opens the line to another VVX user without any action required on his or her end. The call is connected automatically and set to speakerphone for your convenience.
This means that co-workers can directly speak to one another without having to worry about pressing buttons or picking the headset up. It would fit well in smaller office structures looking for a more agile workflow.
Keep in mind though – the intercom function works only with fellow VVX devices. Fortunately, this includes VVX devices from older series as well. It also includes devices that are not on the same LAN, so this feature can be used to speak to people remotely.
Can the intercom feature be a legit selling point for equipping the entire office with VVX devices? It depends on the organization’s structure. But in case you and your team have decided to do so anyway – it surely comes as a nice handy bonus.
However, there is another quality to the 601 that might be the real point of sale. It is its integration capacity.
The Polycom VVX 601 improves personal productivity by complementing the workplace applications on their computer. Users can view and manage their Microsoft Exchange Calendars, receive meeting reminders and alerts, or access the corporate directory.
For example, you can check how your Outlook calendar looks for this week before scheduling a meeting with the person on the other side of the line.
The VVX 601 comes with dual USB ports at the back. If you wish to see your company’s logo as a screensaver – just put it on a USB drive and stick it in.
The VVX 601 also supports up to 3 of Polycom’s VVX Expansion modules. This makes it ideal for anyone who needs to monitor and/or manage a large volume of calls on a regular basis. The modules do not require any set-up, as this process is automated by the host VVX phone.
The phone also comes with native Bluetooth 2.1 EDR. It doesn’t get any easier to pair your wireless headset. All that needs to be done is turning the phone’s Bluetooth on and then simply pairing the two devices.
Finally, the VVX 601 can be paired with a camera. Just like the Bluetooth, it is easy to set up. Unlike the Bluetooth, it must be purchased separately.
Configuration and deployment
Whether for 1 or 100 devices – the VVX 601 is truly a breeze to set up with pretty much all the VoIP providers out there. Even people with little technical knowledge can do it. Also, there are plenty of tutorials and guides on how to do that online.
Keep in mind
Polycom has a very stringent warranty and support policy. It is not uncommon that support is not offered to users who have purchased phones over unauthorized vendors.
The best practice for end-users? Always ask the potential vendors if they are authorized to initiate RMA procedures with Polycom Global.
The easy navigation coupled with the integration options truly makes the VVX 601 a viable all-in-one solution. Despite some minor flaws, the VVX 601 is a top-notch solution for top-tier professionals. If we have to grade it we would give it a 9/10.