Game of Phones: A Buyer's Guide to Hosted VoIP Office Phones


A special Game of Thrones buyer’s guide to Hosted VoIP office phones

Is your business shopping for a Hosted VoIP phone?

Finding the right office phone can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of models and each company’s telecommunication needs are unique. That being said, there are popular handsets that Jive consistently recommend to SMBs.  So as office phone experts, we’re highlighting Jive’s most popular VoIP handsets into a buyer’s guide. Download our buyer’s guide infographic so you can find the right office phone for your business.

You may notice that our buyer’s guide is a bit fantastical and medieval compared to others. As certified nerds, we’re eagerly awaiting the final episode of Game of Thrones, season 7.

Game of Thrones and Game of Phones? We just couldn’t help ourselves.

Features to consider when purchasing a Hosted VoIP phone:

  • Price: This is the number one factor for SMBs. For this reason, Yealink is currently outselling longtime leader Polycom because of their lower prices.
  • Number of Lines: Depends on the intended use (e.g. a dealership secretary vs classroom phones at an elementary school). Figure out the minimum amount of lines that your company needs.
  • Conferencing: If you have basic conferencing needs, look for terms like “multi call function” or “three-way calling.” If you need more conferencing capabilities, in addition to a phone, invest in a conference bridge.
  • Ease of Use: Jive carries and is compatible with top-tier VoIP phone vendors (Cisco, Yealink, and Polycom). These tier one vendors spend a lot of resources on making their phones intuitive. Think Steve Jobs’ Apple days in terms of ease of use. With all of our vendors ensuring excellent ease of use, choose a phone based on your product experiences and personal preferences.
  • Auxiliary: If you use bluetooth often, look for this feature. If you’ll be using headsets, headsets work best with EHS (electronic hook switches) that tell the phone when you pick a headset. A USB port is excellent for call recording and some other specialized uses
  • Paging: If paging capabilities are an important feature for your business, look for a multicast paging feature.
  • Design and Screen Display: A vivid color display enhances the perception of the phone greatly.  However, if you’ve been frustrated with  touchscreens in the past, chances are that you may be frustrated by the natural lag in response time characteristic to all touchscreens.

Which Hosted VoIP phone should sit on your company’s Iron Throne?

Game of Phones Jive


Buyer's Guide: Game of Phones

Mother of Dragons: Yealink T48S

Daenerys Targaryen is quite awe-inspiring with her silver hair and dragons flying overhead. Similarly, the Yealink T48S’s colorful and large touchscreen is also beautiful and powerful to behold—as far as office phones go. The touch panel makes switching between different screens and applications quick, easy, and convenient. The Yealink T48S has the most lines (16 of them) out of our contenders for the Iron Throne. [Little spoiler here] We felt this was appropriate considering Daenerys’ Dothraki horde, army of Unsullied, and two remaining dragons. With that kind of power behind it, the Yealink T48S’s 16 lines distinguishes itself from the Lannister Cisco 8851’s 10 lines.

“I am the blood of the dragon. I am strong. ” —A Storm of Swords

Why is the Yealink T428S half the price of the Cersei Lannister phone? Dany has more lines and many of the same features, so why the price difference? It’s in the engineering. We all know of the infamous “madness” that runs through the Targaryen line. Admit it, there are moments when our beloved Dany makes worrisome and illogical decisions. Is this a sign that the hardwiring of her brain will go awry like her father? So while the Yealink T48S is a beautiful, resourceful, and affordable phone, we have to acknowledge that pricer models may deliver more consistent quality.

Similar Options: Polycom VVX 601


Jon Snow Polycom VVX201

Jon Snow: Polycom VVX201

As a so-called bastard residing in the cold remote north, the Polycom VVX201 only possess the basic office phone features: two lines, high-resolution display, dedicated fixed keys, built-in speakerphone, and excellent audio quality. [Spoiler] Similarly, Jon Snow (Stark-Targaryen) doesn’t have the resources, wealth, or alliances of the other Iron Throne contenders, but Jon Snow gets a lot done with the basics: Ghost, Longclaw, and a handsome brooding face.

“The only gods he worshipped were honor and duty” — A Dance with Dragons

And what Lord Snow lacks in bells and whistles, he makes up for with quality. Jon is hard-working, strong, resilient (he did come back from the dead), dedicated, and honorable, which resonates with the strength and dependability of the Polycom VVX201. In fact, in the K–12 space the Polycom VVX201 is used as a classroom phone; we like the image of a dependable and handsome Jon Snow keeping classrooms safe.

Similar Options: Cisco 7821, Yealink 41S


Cersei Lannister Cisco 8861

Cersei Lannister: Cisco 8861

The best office Hosted VoIP phone that money can buy is the Cisco 8861. It’s the best money can buy because of unparalleled engineering. This is our Cersei Lannister. Jive’s website describes the Cisco 8861 as meeting “mission-critical needs. . . [of] executive users,” so in other words this phone is fit for a Commander-in-Chief.  And it just so happens that Cersei currently sits on the Iron Throne, so Queen Cersei wields incredible power and resources. Similarly, the Cisco 8861 has all the features and resources an office phone can offer: 10 lines, bluetooth, USB port, a digital screen, paging, and conference capabilities. But the features that distinguish the Cisco 8861 from all other contenders are the wifi and the cell phone integration capability.

“I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.” — A Dance with Dragons

The comparison between Cersei and the Cisco 8861 breaks down in one area: ease of use. The Cisco 8861 is very easy to use, and. . . well. . . we all know Cersei doesn’t play well with others. So imagine a phone that combines all of Cersei Lannister’s strengths and none of her gaping imperfections. That’s quite a phone! In fact, you could say that the Cisco 8861 is currently winning the Game of Phones.  

Similar Options: Polycom VVX501, Yealink T46S


Petyr Baelish Yealink T42S

Littlefinger: Yealink T42S

Oh, Littlefinger . . . so clever. Perhaps too clever for his own good, but we can all learn a thing or two about prudent investments from Lord Baelish.

“Do you have any idea how costly [The Faceless Men] are? You could hire an army of common sellswords for half the price, and that’s for a merchant. I don’t dare think what they might ask for a princess.” — A Game of Thrones

As a clever and prudent business phone investment, the Yealink T42S embodies Littlefinger’s strengths. You get the maximum amount of features for the low price of $100. While Petyr may be too inscrutable for allies, the man has spies aplenty and the Knights of the Vale. Similarly the Yealink T42S has 6 lines, which is a respectable amount for businesses that need more than one line.

Littlefinger wouldn’t be Littlefinger without his secrecy, and the Yealink T42S uses standard encryption protocols to perform highly secure remote provisioning and software upgrades. Admittedly, the Yealink T42S  may not be as glamorous, or possess the inexhaustible resources of some of the other Iron Throne competitors, but Lord Baelish excels at utilizing what he has. So with the Yealink T32S sizeable resources–six lines, programmable keys, and USB support–and half of Littlefinger’s resourcefulness, you can take the business throne of Westeros.

Similar Options: Cisco 7841

The Night King Jive Game of Phones

If you’re wondering where the Night King is in all of this, we were too scared to list him. Even in the persona of an office phone, the Night King is too powerful, fearsome, and terrifying to imagine.