Lync Device Showdown


So we have run into a rash of recent issues where users are comparing feature to feature of the phones from their legacy PBX to Lync and wondering where this feature or that feature went to. Anyone who uses Lync knows that the selling point of Lync is its easy to use, flexible infrastructure, easy conferencing and more – but sometimes you run into that one person who simply will not give up their old phone or don’t want to embrace the Lync client to accomplish some of these tasks.

So the below table is our attempt to do a fair side-by-side analysis of the available phones. If you have more features you want to know about or another phone device to compare just let us know. We will continue to update this post as phones/software come available.

Updated 1/8/2014 – Added additional Polycom and Snom information.

Updated 7/1/2013 – Added Polycom 5.x series information.

Updated 10/23/2012 – Added SNOM 821 Information

Updated: 10/22/2012 – Initial Post. Will clean up order in a bit.

Lync 2013 Client
Aries Phone
Polycom VVX500
SNOM 821
Pin Auth N/A Yes Yes Yes
Click To Call Yes Yes (USB) Yes (BToE) Yes (Beta)
Blind Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Consult than Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Direct Transfer to VM Yes Yes No Yes 1
Park Call Yes Yes Yes Yes
Retrieve Parked Call Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Line Appearance No No No Yes
Supports Early Media/No RGS Delay Yes No Yes No
Music On-Hold Yes Yes Yes Yes
Visual Voicemail Yes Yes Yes 1
Click/Push to Join Meeting Yes Yes Yes 2
Displays Delegate/RGS Call Info Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manage Call Forwarding to VM Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manage Call Forwarding to User Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manage Sim Ring Yes Yes No No
Set Presence/DND Yes Yes Yes No 2
Message Waiting Indicator Yes Yes Yes Yes
Speed Dial Yes Kinda Yes Yes
Merge Active Calls Yes No Yes 3 Yes 3
GAL Search Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lync Server Managed (Updates) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Phone Lock (via In-Band) Yes Yes No Yes
Boss/Admin No No Yes Yes
Phone to Phone Paging N/A No Yes Yes

Supports Early Media – When calls come from the Response Groups it takes a few seconds (beeps) for the call to connect. This is due to early media support. The VVX doesn’t appear to have such a large amount of delay as the Aries phones do. Less, but not gone.

Displays Delegate/RGS Call Info – When a call comes in for a delegate, team or response group the top of the Lync client displays the name of that delegate/team/RGS call. Not all devices do that.

Speed Dial – In the Lync Client you can pin frequent contacts to the contact list. The Aries phones kinda work but there appears to be a bug in pinned frequent contacts from displaying correctly on the phone. Sometimes there is a phone number sometimes only an e-mail address. Polycom has contacts on the phone.

SNOM Appendix

1 – Answer Call, Click Transfer, Softkey Directory, Lookup Contact, Open Contact Card by Information Softkey, Transfer to Voicemail, Click Green Checkmark

2 – There is a physical DND button but clicking it did not change the Lync user presence to DND, only on the phone.

3 – Merging calls is done on the device itself and not creating a Lync Conference. That means if the user who hit the merge calls hangs up, it drops all participants from the call.

Polycom Appendix

1 – The Polycom Phone will display the total number of voicemail messages. But doesn’t allow you to see/select them. Must dial into subscriber access.

2 – There is an option to see your Exchange Calendar and see the meeting. Additionally, it has the option to dial the number but when we did this we simply got dead air. Might just be a config issue.

3 – Merging calls is done on the device itself and not creating a Lync Conference. In testing, if we added another user from one of the other numbers (i.e. tried to create a conference call from one of the phones who didn’t merge the call) the conference failed and dropped the user.

? = We just haven’t gotten around to testing/verifying it.

Testing Scenario is with a Polycom CX600, HP 4120, SNOM 821 and Polycom VVX500.

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