Snom D735 review

I’ve been using Snom Voice over IP telephones for about 10 years. Their software works reliably and provides all the features you might wish for, and the hardware is solid too. I know it’s 2018 and most people don’t use landline phones anymore, but the audio quality is still much better, you can’t comfortably hold a cell phone between your shoulder and your ear, and cellular reception isn’t great where I live.

I started with a 360, then had an 870 and later a 760. When it was time to get a new phone, my list of requirements was pretty short: it should have a USB port on the side for a headset and it should have a graphical display. That left only the D735, D765 and D785. The latter two are priced rather similarly, while the first one can occasionally be picked up for just around 100€.

This article isn’t going to be about the software running on the phones: it is and has always been great. Also, it’s the same across all of Snom’s models. So I’ll just write what I liked and didn’t like about the hardware.

I first tested the D785 for a few days. It’s rather bulky and while the large display looks great, the software doesn’t really make much use of all that extra space (yet). The self-labeling keys with the second display seem like a neat feature, but they are a bit hard to read when the backlight is off and not as useful as I had expected.

So I decided to settle for the D735. The one obvious downside is the tiny screen by comparison to the D765. The entire UI is sized down and even the phone number displayed while in a call scrolls horizontally because its width doesn’t fit. There is still quite a bit of whitespace on the call screen, so if Snom reduced the margins a bit, I think it could actually fit a lot more onto that screen. The downside is also an upside: the phone is smaller, more akin to the D715 than to the D765. While the D765 has two rows of six speed dial keys each above the keypad, the D735 has four of them on either side of the display. That allows it to display labels for them on the screen so you can immediately see what would happen if you pressed them. It also lets you have four pages of different speed dial keys. The labels are very narrow — just showing an icon and a few characters of text. However, they tie in with the proximity sensor. Snom has advertised that as a unique and highly innovative feature, which seems overblown — until you actually try it. Just move your hand close to the phone and it displays the full key label (across half the width of the screen). This allows you to put a lot more text into the label than you could on the paper-labeled keys of the D715 or D765 and even more than on the second screen of the D785.

Personally, I think the D735 has the potential to replace the D715 as Snom’s “default” phone. Supposedly the D715 is their best selling device. Since the D735 only costs a little more and has a color screen and more speed dial keys, it seems like a no-brainer to prefer it over the D715. I can also see it cutting into the D765’s sales a bit — if you don’t mind the smaller screen, you get basically the same feature set in a smaller case. The D785 still remains Snom’s top of the line model — if you want a gorgeous huge screen and self-labeling speed dial keys, it offers a great package. The D735 however may just provide the best value of any of the devices Snom currently has in its lineup.

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