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Aastra 6731i review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £104
inc VAT

It works well, but the Aastra 6731i was hard to set up, required a firmware update to work and doesn't even come with a power supply.

Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services are a cheap alternative to using a landline or mobile phone.

They can save you money on call charges and have advanced features to give a home office the capabilities of a big business. Most services provide software phones, which you install on your PC and use with a headset microphone. However, if you plan to run a small business using VoIP, you should consider a hardware phone such as Aastra’s 6731i.

It supports six Session Initiative Protocol (SIP) lines, so you can have six incoming phone lines with six different numbers. Each line can have its own ringtone, and you can transfer callers to other users on your network, put them on hold or set up three-way conference calls. An Ethernet pass-through lets you connect your PC to the network through the phone. It doesn’t have a headset port but you can replace the receiver with an RJ11-compatible headset. It also has a speakerphone. The receiver cradle is poorly designed, making it easy to knock the handset off accidentally.

The 6731i comes without a power supply, so most users will need to buy Aastra’s 48V unit, which we’ve included in the price. The phone supports Power-over-Ethernet, so you can power it this way if your office is suitably equipped.

The keypad includes hold, redial and a ‘goodbye’ key, which ends calls and exits menus. Other buttons open the options menu, switch to speakerphone, begin a conference call, transfer calls and switch between lines. The menus are easy to navigate. Call-forwarding settings allow you to select the circumstances under which the phone forwards calls, and enter the number you wish it to forward to. A preferences menu lets you set your time zone, change ringtones, add speed dial numbers and switch the phone into headset mode. There’s also a password-protected Admin menu that replicates configuration options from the web interface, although it’s less convenient to use.

The administrator password required to configure the phone via its web interface isn’t included in the manuals on the accompanying CD. We had to download Administrator Guide from Aastra’s site. We also had to update the firmware before the phone was fully functional, which turned out to be a convoluted process. Once done, the Global SIP settings let you configure common settings for all six lines, but you can also configure each line separately. The web interface isn’t clearly presented and there’s little onscreen assistance.

Because of the fiddly update process and awkward configuration, we prefer the Snom 300, which has a clear manual, a well-structured web interface and the same core features as the 6731i. It also comes with a power supply for just £88 from

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