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Ooma Telo vs. Obihai Obi200 VoIP Phone Adapter: Which One Works Best?

(Last Updated On: July 11, 2017)

Ooma Telo has long been compared with other VoIP devices such as Magic Jack, Vonage and Basic Talk. With these comparisons, the Ooma Telo has always come out on top.

Now, how does the Ooma Telo compare with the Obihai Obi200 VoIP Phone Adapter? Will the Telo continue to lord it over the VoIP services space? Or will Obi200 steal the crown?

Obihai Obi200 VoIP Phone Adapter

Obi200 is one of the three Obi devices for the home offered by Obihai Technology. The device works with a Google Voice account and your own telephone.

Enjoy the premium features offered by Google Voice, including:

  • The ability to take and make calls on regular phones. You can also use just one phone number for all your devices. You can specify which phones would ring depending on who is calling you. For instance, you can route calls from your boss to your smartphone or send the call to your spouse’s mobile phone if it is from any one of your in-laws.
  • Call any phone within the United States and Canada for free. If you are using the Obi200 outside of the United States and Canada, you pay only 1 cent per minute.
  • International calls to more than 150 countries are charged lower. You can now call China, Mexico, and Brazil for as low as 1 cent.
  • Avoid spam calls. Do calls from telemarketers stress you out? You can now send texts and calls to a spam folder! Out of sight, out of mind!
  • Obi200 gives you voicemail features, including customized greetings depending on the caller and automatically transcribing your voicemail messages.
  • Telephony features such as call waiting, call recording, and call screening.
  • Google Voice is only one of the many VoIP services supported by Obi200. The device can support up to four VoIP services and can even support T.38 fax lines. It has several user interfaces, including Android and iOS mobile apps and OBiON PC, allowing you to use your smartphone or computer to make and receive calls.

Obi200 also allows you to add an optional e911 service, wherein you have to pay only $25 per year.

OBiTALK Web Portal Integration

You can use the OBITALK Web portal to help you manage and configure Obi devices and endpoints.

You can also use this to set up your speed dial directory and configure several telephony functionality such as caller ID, call waiting, voicemail notification, three-way conferences, call forwarding settings, anonymous calls, blocking calls, do not disturb, call return, and repeat dialing.

What you would love about Obi200

If your aim is to save money, then the Obi200 is a good choice as it allows you to call phone numbers in the US and Canada for free, while giving you drastically discounted long distance rates.

You can also use it with other VoIP services such as Google Voice, PhonePower, Anveo, and other IP phone services.

Additionally, you would love how flexible Obi200 really is. While the company recommends using Google Voice, Anveo or PhonePower, you can use your own VoIP service. With other VoIP providers, you have no choice because you are locked to that provider’s VoIP offerings.

Obi200 is very easy to set up and doing so would take you only a few minutes. It also gives you clear voice calls because it uses top voice encoding technologies that guarantee lower latency and better call quality.

What could be better

While setup is a breeze, configuring the Obi200 can be quite challenging especially for those who are not tech savvy. If you are looking for a turnkey VoIP device that you can just plug in, then Obi200 may not be for you.

Obi200 does not work on its own. This means that you would need to avail of a VoIP service such as Google Voice or have an SIP trunking service provider.

Ooma Telo

Ooma Telo works just like every other VoIP services out there, only it delivers better service and features. It gives you clear voice calls and allows you to enjoy the following free features:

  • Free calls to any US number, paying only for the fees and taxes.
  • Low-cost international calls starting at 1.4 cents per minute. You can also get the Ooma World Plan, which allows you to have unlimited calls to more than 60 countries for $18.
  • Ooma mobile app allows you to make free calls to other smartphones with the same app installed.
  • Free Ooma-to-Ooma calls
  • You can tell Amazon Alexa to call your friends with a simple voice command.
  • Ooma online portal allows you to check your call logs, hear voicemail messages and set up your Ooma.
  • Easy set up. You can install and set up your Ooma in only 15 minutes or less.
  • Uses DECT technology.

You also get these telephony features:

  • 911 and 911 alerts
  • Call waiting
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail
  • Number porting or choose a new US number

What you would love about the Ooma Telo

Ooma gives you basic telephony services free. The free service includes several great features such as the 911 service, caller ID, and call waiting. However, if you want more advanced features, you can get the Premium service for $10.

The premium service gets you advanced features such as voicemail sent over e-mail, call blocking, call forwarding and do not disturb.

The Ooma Telo also works with connected devices such as Phillips Hue and WeMo. For instance, you can have your smart lights turn green if you receive a call on your Telo.

You would also love how easy it is to set up the Telo. You only need to connect Telo to your network using an Ethernet cable and then plug in any standard telephone, even cordless phones.

There are many things that you can do with your Telo. If you want to connect your Telo to your Internet network wirelessly, you can buy the Ooma Air USB dongle or the Ooma Bluetooth adapter.

You can also buy the Ooma Linx, which allows you to connect DECT cordless phones or fax machines to your Telo.

Then you can get the Ooma Safety Phone, a wireless speakerphone that you could wear so that you could easily pick up a call or make emergency calls. This device is very useful for those who are caring for the elderly.

Ooma also offers the Ooma Home Security system, which allows you to hook up your Ooma Telo with sensors that help keep your home safe.

Ooma Telo vs. Obihai Obi200: Which is the better deal?

If you are looking for a home phone service that allows you to save on your phone bills, then Obi200 makes more sense because of the cheaper price for its device. Obihai Obi200 is effectively half of what the Ooma Telo costs.

Additionally, you would need to pay state taxes that could reach $8 per month with Ooma Telo.

Price and cost are not the only reasons why Obi200 wins. It allows you to use your current VoIP subscription and even supports Google Voice. For this comparison of features, we are going to look at the free Google Voice services.

Side-by-side comparison: Ooma Telo vs. Obihai Obi200

 

  Ooma Telo Obi200
Unlimited domestic calling YES YES
Web-based account management YES YES
Voicemail YES YES
Mobile app YES YES
Call waiting YES YES
911 YES Optional
Three-way calling YES YES
Do Not Disturb PREMIUM YES
Call forwarding / Multi-ring PREMIUM YES
Instant Second Line PREMIUM YES
Ring Groups PREMIUM YES
Compatible with Nest PREMIUM YES
Blocks unwanted callers PREMIUM YES
Price $99.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) $47.46 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Annual rate Free N/A
Premium plans $9.99 per month N/A

Which one is best?

As you can see, using Obi200 with Google Voice allows you to enjoy unlimited calling to anywhere in the United States. It also offers a Web portal to manage and configure your account. You get voicemail, mobile app, and three-way calling, too.

For more advanced features, however, you would need to pay $9.99 per month with Ooma Telo, while you can get it for free with Obi200.

These include do not disturb, an instant second line, ring groups, and the ability to block unwanted callers.

Both the Ooma Telo and the Obi200 are also able to work with Nest, in that they can call you with alerts when Nest detects smoke, or if somebody is at home when nobody is supposed to be there.

You can also have your calls automatically forwarded to your smartphone when Nest goes on Away mode. This functionality is a premium offering for Ooma, which means you would need to pay the $10 monthly fee to get it.

One feature where Ooma Telo wins is the 911 feature. It comes free with the basic plan, but you would need to pay $25 per year for e911 on Obi200’s Google Voice. When it comes to savings and features, it would be obvious that you should definitely choose Obi200 over the Telo.

However, if you have a smart home, you might want to go with the Telo because it has a lot of options to work with smart devices.

Ooma already has its Home Security package that allows your Telo to work with a variety of sensors to help you secure your home. Ooma Telo also works with smart devices such as Phillips Hue and Wemo.

Another thing that you should consider is that Obi200 is able to provide these features because of Google Voice.

What would happen to your home phone service if Google should decide to discontinue this service? We do not know, but Google has already sent out feelers in 2014, expressing that they might discontinue Google Voice and focus on Google Hangouts.

The good thing is that you can still use your Obi200 device with other VoIP services, but that might mean you will need to start paying a monthly fee, or lose some of the features offered by Google Voice.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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