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Aastra 6757i SIP Telephone Review

Saturday, May 02, 2009 ≡ Mario Stocco

Recently, Aastra sent me their 6757i model to demo; a really nice VoIP telephone. The 6757i is the next evolution to Aastra's former 57i model. The name Aastra may, or may not be the most familiar, but do not dismiss it out of hand. The Canadian-based manufacturer builds high-quality telephone gear and has earned a significant share of the European enterprise telephony market.

With the Aastra 6757i out of its box and sitting on my desk, I decided to write a quick review of my impressions of this phone.


Physical Description
Aastra-6757i SIP Telephone

The design is fairly simple with a modern, conservative look to it. Aastra's 6757i is mostly black in colour with silver framing the large back-lit LCD screen. The LCD supports eleven lines of text and replaces the paper speed-dial label found on the lower series phones. The stand is just two posts (legs) that can be removed and replaced in different slots providing four possible angles. As with all of the 67xi series, this phone can be easily wall mounted. The handset is not excessively heavy and has a nice feel to it. Aastra uses symbols for labels on the function buttons; keeping the international market in mind. Buttons are well spaced and have a nice solid (not overly rubbery) feel.



Installation

In my experience, installation guides for phones are a bit of a joke. The guide provided with this machine was no exception. We are told how to plug in the cables and adjust the viewing angle; all very obvious stuff that anyone can work out for themselves in about a minute.

If you do not have experience with SIP phones or you just want to configure a few options, you will definitely need more information than the included installation guide. That would entail downloading Aastra's Administrator Guide and the User Guide.

The 602 page Admin Guide is a wealth of knowledge but is remiss to explain which ones are most likely be to be necessary for connecting to your Asterisk IP-PBX or OpenSIPS proxy server. Of course, your business would most likely have your telephone system vendor install the system and provide the essential training to your own system administrators.

Whether one uses the phone's LCD interface or its built-in web interface, it can take minutes to get the phone up and running on your SIP network. All the phone really needs to know is IP settings for itself and the SIP server (and any proxies which might be in place) plus a phone number, password and username. The short-cut keys are assigned default values including Save, Directory and Conference; these be changed via the Web user interface. The configuration menu is not hard to use, but the Web interface is preferable and provides for more options. If you have this phone set up by your vendor, they will more likely use a TFTP server to configure your Aastra SIP phones.


How does it sound?

The most important question about any phone is "how does it sound?" Voice quality with this phone is very clear, both in transmission and reception. Calls are virtually echo-free and lacked the tinniness I sometimes find in lesser systems. The microphone sensitivity is good without being excessive and the injected comfort (background) noise was not a distraction. The speakerphone works very well and operates on par with the best units from Cisco.


Verdict

My only personal gripe about the 6757i is that I wish Aastra would have provided a steeper range of angles for phone while is sits on a desk. Apart from that, the Aastra 6757i is very usable and well adapted to modern network requirements. The 6757i supports such features as the open source Asterisk telephony system, NAT traversal, call forwarding, call conferencing and XML browser support. I was pleased to find that I experienced no compatibility problems in configuring the Aastra phone for an Asterisk (version 1.6) IP-PBX system.

This telephone is not only functional, but also attractively styled and priced. It has many useful features, flexibility through configuration of short-cut keys and other items, plus it displays above average sound quality. Also of note is that Aastra provides a full one year warranty on this product.

Overall the Aastra 6757i is a great VoIP telephone worthy of your consideration. Are you looking for a new IP phone for your office? Aastra's 6757i is an attractive and very usable telephone without the shocking price tag.


Aastra 6757i Features

  • 11 line graphical LCD screen (144 x 128 pixels) with white backlight
  • 12 multi-functional softkeys:
  • - 6 Top Keys: Static softkeys (up to 10 programmable functions)
    - 6 Bottom Keys: State-based softkeys (up to 20 programmable functions)
  • Press-and-hold speeddial key configuration feature
  • 4 call appearance lines with LEDs
  • Supports up to 9 call lines
  • Full-duplex speakerphone for handsfree calls
  • Headset support (modular connector)
  • Built-in-two-port, 10/100 Ethernet switch - lets you share a connection with your computer.
  • Inline power support (based on 802.3af standard) which eliminates power adapters.
  • AC power adapter (included)
  • Enhanced busy lamp fields 1
  • Set paging 1
1 Availability of feature dependant on your phone system or service provider.
2 Aastra and the Aastra Logo are property of Aastra Technologies Limited.

About this blog

With nearly a decade of in-the-trenches computer telephony experience, Mario Stocco writes this weblog to articulate his thoughts on topics like VoIP, Open Source and life in general.

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