Locktec WP04 Review - Is a Cheap, SIP Wifi Phone Worth Your Look?

I keep seeing these cheap SIP WIFI phones showing up on the radar and thought I'd take a look at one and see if, just perhaps, you don't always get what you pay for!

I've been seeing the Locktec WP04 here and there (ebay, youtube, and thought I would get one to try it out. Will a $129 WIFI SIP phone work as a low cost, business grade, portable phone? It appears that the WP04 is branded by whoever sells them in your locale and is providing them to the USA branded as the Locktec WP04. (Search on ebay and you will see other branding. Such as yongsongyan)

The name doesn't particularly evoke enterprise grade quality or confidence so I'll admit I somewhat expected to be dissappointed but I thought I'll forge ahead. I contacted sales support to see if they would send me a courtesy unit to review but they kindly said they don't do that and since they have a restocking fee they couldn't recommend that either. So, I laid out the $129 and financed this whole thing entire on my dime. I would like to note that service responded in a very timely fashion.

The unit was shipped via USPS and came in a timely fashion. The package includes power plug, USB cord, battery, and the WP04 all inside a nice box. I immediately found that the unit looked nicer that I expected: piano black and decent "first glance" fit and finish. There was no "Locktec" or "wifi" branding on the unit I recieved (which is probably a plus as far as good looks go?) The unit does feel very light, even with the battery in. (a little weight inside might make it feel more balanced?)

Registering to WIFI and to our SIP based phone system was very easy and straightforward. (well, as easy as typing a complex password on a phone keyboard can be! ;-) But, once again, NO trouble configuring it. When I went to make the first call it just disconnected the call with no warning and the pbx showed it was still connected. Hmm...tried another call and the unit powered off. I checked and the unit had 3 bars of battery. hmm. After emailing to support (once again, excellent response time...very good) they brought my attention to the fact that I need to charge the unit for 10 hrs on first several charges. Okay! got it. So I plugged it in and the next day I was eager to try it out...But it was froze! When I pulled the battery and restarted the unit is still only had 3 bars! So, I decide I would plow ahead and try it's features anyway.

I could make calls today. But I noticed a buzz during the first 3 rings. No big problem. After using the phone I soon noticed that there was no "Hold" button. Am I missing something? No, support says that this phone handles 1 call only. Okay, fair enough. I soon noticed there is also no "Transfer" button. And since there is no hold button I can't use the star keys on the pbx to do a transfer that way either--so truly, no transfer. I accept. But then another thing kept happening to me: I would press "End" to end a call and the end button would get stuck under the sourrounding case. Ouch. Another odd issue I noticed is that if I call the unit and the remote party hangs up the WP04 will keep ringing. (this could be a pbx interop issue I guess) There is also no message waiting indicator. The WP04 also does not have applications like Calendar, Calc, etc often found on mobile devices.

When I talked to the yippz CSR about the lack of business features they noted:

"The WP04 is a basic wifi voip phone with very few bells and whistles. We sell them mainly to large companies for extension use and 2-way radio style comms"
I think that is a fair and honest assesment of this unit.

Now for the features: The unit does have a speaker phone. Also you can save 4 SIP profiles setup. (but the unit can handle only one call at a time.) The unit does have a phone book and will notify you of missed calls.

Check out my video review of the Locktec WP04 below:

The Good:
-piano black
-very light,
-looks nicer than expected
-good support response--1 hr

The Bad:
-one call at a time
-no transfer button
-no hold button
-no message waiting indicator
-no Missed Call Idicator
-audio stuttered for me when pressing buttons at times? (to put on mute)
-no web interface for configuration
-"end" tends to get stuck in the down position
-My first charging experience: overnight--not charged, & froze, buttons don't response

It's a cheapy alright. Not a serious business unit--wouldn't recommend to a business. I would say from my initial experience that this will not be a phone you can just "set and forget". It's low cost (from some vendors as low as $69) but I guess the old adadge is true: you get what you pay for.

If you want to see the Locktec WP04 in the Matt Landis SIP Phone Comparison Chart, click Below:

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