Yealink T58A: A C-level’s S-tier
After undergoing comprehensive testing, the SIP-T58A proved to be a reliable desk assistant for busy professionals. This is a phone that delivers excellent audio quality, has a generous array of useful collaboration features, and is easy to use right from the start.
Looking to invest in the T58A for your business communication purposes?
This review will provide you with all the information you might need about this model. Here, you will find information about the basics, as well as some important details.
There’s an important distinction to consider when it comes to the T58A variations. There are two different versions to this phone – the standard SIP one and the Teams IP one.
While the regular SIP client version is also Teams-certified, the Teams IP version serves as a standalone MS Teams device. Think of it as a custom hardware solution designed specifically for the Teams app.
This distinction is representative of a wider trend within business telecommunications. A trend consisted of increased integration across hardware devices, software platforms, and internet-based modes of connectivity.
And Yealink and Microsoft, who have been collaborating in this exact direction since 2015, released a series of Teams-ready IP devices. A series that includes the T58A as well.
Yealink’s collaboration with Microsoft coincides with the tech giant’s initiative for replacing Skype-for-Business with Teams.
The new Teams interface will be addressed in a dedicated section below. For now, simply consider that you should pay attention to which version you are potentially purchasing.
Regardless of the regular SIP or the Teams IP version, the T58A delivers one wholesome and superb user experience.
Both the standard SIP device and the Teams IP phone are actually Microsoft Teams-certified. The difference is that whereas the SiP ones are optimized for the Teams app in terms of firmware, the Teams-ready devices are more like a hardware extension to the Teams app.
That is, the phone’s entire on-screen navigation is customized in accordance with the app’s features and overall appearance. This is why it’s referred to as ‘a standalone Teams device’.
Appearance & Design
The T58A’s rich-color display immediately catches the eye. It is 7-inch large, which makes the navigation a breeze. Also, it is a multi-point touchscreen. This means that users can perform more complex tasks with their fingers (e.g. the pinch-to-zoom feature).
The T58A’s screen is actually fully adjustable and can be tilted generously. Also, on its upper right side, there’s an LED indicator. It signals call status, message status, and the phone’s system status.
On the downside, the screen is not anti-glare. This can cause some frustration, especially if any sunlight gets to the screen’s surface.
The video resolution is 720p at 30 frames per second, which is ideal for video business meetings. Both phone versions are supported by the Android 5.1.1 operating system; both have a pretty fast response speed.
The regular SIP-T58A comes with a built-in web browser, calendar, recorder, and more, which also supports the installation of third-party applications for business customization.
However, it is advisable not to overwhelming the phone with too heavy apps. Remember, this is still a desk phone. And as such, its CPU is not particularly fast.
Unlike the T58V, the T58A doesn’t come with an in-built camera (this actually being the only major difference between the two models). Nevertheless, the optional two-megapixel HD CAM50 camera can be attached. Read more about the camera in the Hardware Integration section below.
Despite the large screen, the T58A manages to retain the classic desk phone feeling. The matte surface, the metallic buttons, the heavy headset. Small but nice touches that make up for one elegant appearance.
Also, experienced desk phone users will notice that all the shortcut buttons are there (mute, redial, speakerphone, transfer, hold).
If you intend to mount this phone onto a wall, keep in mind that you should purchase the wall stand separately.
The standard T58A supports up to 16 VoIP accounts. Also, it sustains up to 3-party video conferencing and up to 5-party video/audio mixed conferencing.
The phonebook has space for 1000 entries. Generally speaking, this is just the right amount for the users this phone is intended for – managers and upper-level professionals.
The T58A has 27 DSS keys with its regular interface, along with 8 programmable keys. The DSS keys are essentially speed-dialing keys.
Moreover, every DSS key displays the allocated number’s status (‘green’ for available, ‘red’ for busy). Thus, users can monitor when their colleagues are busy. That, coupled with the intuitive menu, enhances the overall workflow quality.
Whether used exclusively for Teams or not, any phone’s sound quality is of most importance.
Yealink’s Optima HD audio system delivers a truly crystal-clear sound for the T58A. In fact, T58A delivers probably the best sound quality in the industry. From our experience, we are yet to encounter a phone that does better.
The full-duplex speakerphone with AEC (Auto-Echo Cancellation) technology works wonders in loud environments. And on the other hand, the OPUS codec helps maximize the acoustic performance of the phone’s handset, headset, and especially the speakerphone.
Last but not least, the T58A’s handset has a built-in HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible) feature. As the name suggests, it assists people with hearing loss to catch what exactly is being communicated to them.
The T58A’s sound performance is all-around solid. It is definitely a device that heavy telephone users can rely on. Regardless if they spend more time on the handset or the speakerphone.
The T58A has built-in both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Wi-Fi that actually works, at that). Users can connect their wireless headsets without occupying a USB port. Alternatively, Bluetooth can be used for pairing with mobile devices.
The T58A has two USB 2.0 ports at the back. The one at the top is where you stick the removable CAM50 HD camera at.
The two-megapixel CAM50 is not included in the phone pack, and it must be purchased separately.
One handy feature of the camera is that it has a ‘sliding door’. This allows users to cut out images while on a video call, or to shut the camera off completely (in case they don’t like the idea of a camera staring at them all day).
Just like the screen, the camera itself is fully adjustable, too. It can be tilted back and forth after the user’s liking.
The other USB 2.0 port allows for media and storage via a USB flash drive or a direct wired/wireless USB headset connection.
For example, you can plug a USB stick with photos that can be projected as a slideshow. That is, the phone turns into a digital photo frame when in screensaver mode. The phone actually has two screen saver modes.
The T58A includes dual-port Gigabit Ethernet with PoE. This means that it can be powered via the above-mentioned 802.3 AF port.
Tip: If you wish to reduce the cable clutter around your desk, the PoE powering option is certainly the better.
However, some users prefer securing the phone’s uptime by using a standard 5.0V AC adaptor for power. Keep in mind that such adapters must be purchased separately.
The SIP-T58A can be paired with up to 3 color-screen EXP50 expansion modules. However, such a pairing option remains unavailable for the Teams edition at the moment.
One feature that adds extra value to the T58A is its intercom function. With it, users can connect the phone directly to a door entry system. Thus, the phone can display the video on the screen, and unlocking the door will be possible with a single touch.
Set-Up & Configuration
Setting up the T58A is a pretty standard procedure. It is done via Yealink’s web-based interface. Upon starting the panel, users will see that there are tons of customization options, too.
Also, administrators can take advantage of centralized deployment, management, updating, and uninstalling to ensure application standardization. If equipping your office with various Yealink devices, they can be bulk configured effortlessly.
Such is the case with the regular SIP version. With the Team’s IP phone, it is even simpler.
In fact, there is no configuration step with the Teams-ready phone. This has been replaced by a simple plug-and-play.
Users simply have to insert their Office365 credentials and that’s about it. The device will then be automatically initialized. Once users initialize the phone by logging into their Office accounts, multi-factor authentication can be enabled as well.
Visually speaking, the Teams interface is quite different from your standard Yealink SIP interface. In terms of navigation and overall feel, Teams feel like…well, like browsing through a collaboration app. It reminds me of Skype, Google+, or even something like Slack.
The menu is very stripped down and simplified. There’s a bar on the left side from where you can change your availability status or change your theme color to a darker one.
At the bottom of the screen, there are three buttons: Call History, Meetings, and Voicemail. Quite self-explanatory.
When clicking on Call History, a dial pad shows up next to the calls list. Also, there’s a search bar.
The Meetings section is also very straightforward. It actually makes things very handy for users. They can not only see all their scheduled meetings going on, but they can join any of them with just a single touch.
As for the Voicemail – it works as every other voicemail would. With one exception. It actually transcribes the recorded message. This means that users can receive important information and then simply copy-paste it forward to colleges, if necessary.
At the moment of testing, we could not sync contacts from our Office365 account. The only contacts visible on the phone are the contacts on your Teams server. However, Yealink and Microsoft assure us that this will be fixed in the future.
The T58A Teams IP phone supports a hybrid mode of operation. When this mode is activated, via the Survivability app, users can switch back and forth between Teams and the SIP client.
The hybrid mode comes in handy in two main scenarios:
- when users want to use some special SIP account features.
- when there is no connection to the Teams server, but users still have to make calls.
The complete instructions on how to use Hybrid mode can be found in the T58A’s user manual.
If the SIP-T58A is an example of a rock-solid desk phone, the T58A Teams IP is an example of collaboration done right. Such seamless integration between software and hardware is indeed rare to experience.
Whether you will opt for the standard SIP version, which is optimized for Teams, or the fully Teams-ready IP phone – this depends on what level of cross-platform, cross-device integration do you see your business at.
Are you interested in a cheaper device from Yealink’s T5S series – check our review of Yealink T56A.