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RingCentral phone system review

A fast and furious beast of a small business phone system - read our RingCentral phone system review to find out more

Our Verdict

RingCentral is a dynamic and exciting small business phone solution that’s feature-rich and completely focused on servicing the small to medium enterprise. It remains an affordable option despite being a little pricier than some of its competitors.

For

  • Excellent global reach with some snazzy artificial intelligence capabilities
  • RingCentral Meetings is a hugely powerful online video meetings solution

Against

  • Pricing can be confusing and there are lots of terms and conditions
  • Slightly higher-priced than competitors

Editor's note: Looking for a VoiP or Video Conferencing for your business? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

RingCentral is a feisty little package that just keeps on winning the hearts of its users. A quick search of the internet reveals that this is one small business phone system few reviewers can resist thanks to its excellent feature set, variety of pricing options, robust interface and reliable call quality. It also rated as “Easiest Setup” in our round-up of the Best Small Business Phone Systems. That said, it isn’t perfect and some features are lacking in the finesse that you would expect from such a heavy hitter. But overall this is a really good choice for the smaller business. 

RingCentral phone system review: Features

It seems fairly obvious that a small business phone system would prioritise calling features. Thing is, some competitors in the market, like Ooma, don’t quite hit the mark as well as RingCentral does. The product has the per user price tag that adds up, but it also has mobile apps, desktop apps, local numbers, paging, shared lines, visual voicemail, call delegation, call screening and the list goes on. When it comes to calling and mobility, RingCentral has pretty much ringfenced the features and put them all in front of you with a neat little bow.

Two features that really rock are the PBX administrative tools that gently rest in the cloud and offer you a plethora of customisation options, and the team collaboration tool called Glip. True, the name could do with some work, but the feature set is pretty extensive for a free addition to the RingCentral platform. You can enjoy collaborative document editing, task management, PDF tools, business messaging features and all other tasty extras as part of the RingCentral package. It’s also more that worth mentioning that Ring Central provides unlimited users and thousands of free toll-free minutes per month.

RingCentral phone system review

Gliph comes for free and is a powerful collaborative office tool (Image credit: RingCentral)
Product Specs

Unlimited extensions: Depends on your pricing package
Pricing model: From $34.99 per month
Number of users: Pay per user
Platform lock-in: None
Deployment options: Cloud
Mobility apps /access: iOS and Android
Customer service: Tutorials, learning guides, customer support centre

RingCentral phone system review: Design and usability

RingCentral is not complicated to use and has an extremely low barrier to entry. You can set aside your IT guy as you venture into the admin console that has been created with the average user in mind. You get this really lovely visual view of your system that covers your cloud PBX features, helps you schedule your calls, manage your number porting, customise user templates and even organise your hot desking. Of particular value is the ability to create and follow specific audit trails that allow you to see changes made in your system by other admins or users. It is a searchable database that helps you troubleshoot issues and potentially locate problems. 

RingCentral phone system review

The RingCentral Admin Console is visual, intuitive and provides access to cloud PBX settings (Image credit: RingCentral)

RingCentral phone system review: Performance

You can use the softphone or mobile application options to call from your RingCentral solution but, like Ooma, it works best with a SIP phone on your premises. You will also need a really good connection for the best performance, RingCentral does have a service whereby you can purchase dedicated connectivity from them but this will add weight to your bill. That said, performance was superb with great quality calls, minimal delays and barely noticeable lag. Installing and using the mobile apps – available on both iOS and Android – was easy and took very little time to set up. As with most RingCentral set-ups, there are guides and walkthroughs that get you going and you can find most of them either on the RingCentral site or the Resources section. Your mobile phone app will let you access the cloud PBX easily and with pretty good quality and you can use it to manage video meetings, messaging and call routing. 

RingCentral phone system review

RingCentral mobile apps are easy to set up and use (Image credit: RingCentral)

RingCentral phone system review: should you buy?

RingCentral provides the SME with a robust and reliable calling platform that can be tailored to suit specific requirements at scale. The pricing platform is slightly higher than some of the other offerings on the market, but RingCentral has managed to bypass the need to turn everything into an add-on, rather than just pushing as many features as possible into each package. You can upgrade or downgrade your solution as you need, and you can use the admin console to fine-tune your business messaging and customer engagement parameters. 

This system stands out not only for its bouquet of features but also for its ability to make things like SIP calling and carrier minutes and PBX functionality into easy-to-understand solutions for the business. It also integrates with some of the biggest names in the business, such as DropBox and Google Apps and Salesforce and Zendesk and Microsoft Skype for Business, so you get lots and lots of tasty extras, some of which are actually free.

What other small business phone systems should you consider?

While RingCentral is one on the best phones systems in the market right now, it certainly isn't the only choice. Here's our pick of the options you should consider when choosing  the best for your business. Click through to read the full review.

3CX is great for fast-growing SMBs; Vonage Business Cloud is good for its reliability and reputation; 8x8 Virtual Office works well for businesses of all sizes; Grasshopper Virtual Phone System is the best phone system for startups; Ooma Office is best for the startup and the SMB.

To see all these phone systems compared, check out our best small business phone systems buying guide.