OpenPhone Review–The Good and Bad

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OpenPhone is an ultra-simple phone system that’s suitable for solo use or teams of up to five people. It shines for its strong SMS messaging features, making it a great option for brands that prefer text-based communication with customers. But its phone features and call-handling capabilities are limited compared to other providers.

OpenPhone's interface

How OpenPhone Compares to its Closest Competitors

OpenPhone is very simple and targets businesses with one to five users. Sure, other providers can support small teams, but that’s all OpenPhone does. If you’re bigger than that (or will be soon), we recommend considering a different VoIP provider.

Nextiva, for example, can handle businesses of all sizes, whether you need a standard phone system, an advanced omnichannel contact center solution, or something in between. It’s a few dollars more per month than OpenPhone, but comes with everything you need to start a virtual call center or infinitely scalable phone system. Plus, Nextiva is an all-in-one communication platform—giving you unlimited calling, unlimited faxing, video calling, team chat, meeting rooms, and more. 

OpenPhone has stronger texting features and offers call recording with every plan. But these are really the only two areas where it has the edge over Nextiva. For the vast majority of businesses, Nextiva is a better option and it’s versatile enough to support teams of less than five people through teams of up to 100 people or more.

CallHippo is another close competitor. The prices are nearly identical, but OpenPhone is better if you want unlimited calling and unlimited texting. CallHippo has more advanced features, specifically for lightweight call centers, but you’ll pay based on usage for calling until you reach a plan tier that’s double the cost of OpenPhone—and CallHippo still doesn’t give you unlimited texting for that price. 

If you need something even simpler, Grasshopper is a virtual phone system you can use to add a business number to your existing mobile phone. It’s cheap, easy to use, and includes basic tools for solo users or very small businesses with simpler needs.

If you’re still having trouble determining the best option, check out our Nextiva review, CallHippo review, Grasshopper review, favorite call center software, or full list of VoIP providers.

OpenPhone vs. Other Business Communications Alternatives

If OpenPhone is too basic for you and you need something more advanced, you could consider something like RingCentral or Dialpad. 

These are both better options for larger teams and those with more advanced needs. They come with more customization options, stronger call-handling features, and tons of ways to leverage AI and automation. 

Both RingCentral and Dialpad also have stronger team collaboration features, too. But you’ll end up paying more for all these extra capabilities.

See our RingCentral review and Dialpad review to learn more. 

OpenPhone: The Good

The Good

Very easy to use and set up: As a cloud-based VoIP phone system, getting started with OpenPhone is as easy as it gets. It’s just a matter of signing up, choosing your number, and then installing the app on your smartphone or computer. That’s it—then you can start calling and texting immediately through the apps or through the web-based login. 

Beyond the initial setup and deployment, using OpenPhone on a day-to-day basis is super simple. While not as feature-rich as some other platforms out there, OpenPhone has no learning curve whatsoever. All of your calling, texting, and communication features are just a click away, regardless of which device you’re using. 

Affordable for any budget: OpenPhone starts at just $15 per user per month. This is significantly less than other call center software that costs anywhere from $50 to $100 or more per month for each user. For smaller teams, startups, or solopreneurs on tight budgets, OpenPhone is a cost-effective solution compared to the pricey alternatives out there. 

When comparing costs, OpenPhone is a great deal if you don’t need any advanced features. Plus, you can opt to pay month-to-month for just a few dollars more if you’re strapped for cash right now and can’t afford to commit annually. Not every contact center solution offers this level of payment flexibility, as some force you into yearly billing. 

Unlimited calling: Every OpenPhone plan comes with unlimited calling throughout the US and Canada. So you won’t have to worry about paying metered rates or unpredictable bills based on usage. Even if you’re just getting started and don’t anticipate making lots of calls for the foreseeable future, OpenPhone is still significantly cheaper than a traditional business phone line or mobile carrier. 

The fact that you can handle your calls from the same device as your personal phone makes it even more appealing since you won’t have to purchase an additional smartphone and carry two phones everywhere you go. This is a key benefit of softphone technology. 

Unlimited texting: OpenPhone also offers unlimited texting with every plan. You probably won’t find a lower rate for unlimited texting from any cloud contact center or VoIP business phone system on the market. This is really an area where OpenPhone shines—giving you the ability to send and receive texts from your smartphone or computer with carrier-grade deliverability. 

You can use this feature for one-to-one conversations as well as mass marketing, sales, or customer support. 

Free local or toll-free number: When you first sign up for OpenPhone you’ll have the option to choose your own local or toll-free number. There are thousands of options to choose from, giving you the flexibility to set up a local presence in virtually any area. For example, a sales rep based in New York can choose a California phone number if they’re primarily targeting leads on the west coast. 

You can also get a custom vanity number (like 1-800-MATTRESS) to align with specific marketing campaigns or just to raise brand awareness and ensure your number is memorable. 

Affordable rate for additional phone numbers: It’s super easy to add or remove phone numbers within OpenPhone as your needs change. So maybe you’ll start with just a local number but eventually decide to get additional lines for different needs—like sales, support, and a main company line. 

These can be purchased for just $5 per month, which is a great deal. Other platforms charge $10 or $15 for additional lines.

Call recording on every plan: OpenPhone’s starter plan supports on-demand call recording, and you can configure automatic call recording on the next two tiers. Some of our favorite business phone systems and contact center solutions don’t offer call recording until you reach higher plan tiers that are nearly double or triple the price of OpenPhone. Others charge $10 or $15 extra to add call recording to your plan. 

Whether you want to record calls for quality assurance purposes, compliance, training your team, or just as a way to reference meetings without having to take notes during calls, OpenPhone has you covered. 

Free number porting: If you have an existing business phone number and want to switch providers, you can port it to OpenPhone for free. This is highly recommended for any established phone number, as you won’t have to worry about customers, leads, or vendors calling a new number that’s no longer in service or answered by someone other than you. 

You’ll get all the benefits of OpenPhone without having to start over from scratch. 

Simple collaboration for small teams: OpenPhone has some cool team collaboration tools built-into the system, particularly useful for smaller teams of up to five users. There’s an internal threads feature for team chat, and you can even organize team members into distinct groups based on their department, location, role, or whatever you want. 

For group messaging, OpenPhone lets you track who has viewed or previously viewed a message within the thread. So you won’t be left wondering if you’re being ignored by a teammate or if they just haven’t seen your message yet. It also helps hold teams accountable for replying to threads. Teams can also share contacts with each other and take notes related to those contacts.

Strong texting features with AI and automation: Unlimited texting is just the beginning. OpenPhone has some of the most powerful text features we’ve seen, particularly at this price point. You can save your most frequently-used replies as snippets to reuse with a single click for inbound texts. 

OpenPhone’s technology supports AI-suggested responses that you can quickly choose and send or edit before replying. The auto-reply feature ensures that inbound calls, texts, or actions are instantly sent a text based on the trigger you’ve set up for that particular action. There’s also a feature that allows your entire team to collaboratively respond to customer texts from a single thread, so the first available agent can answer quickly—even if they weren’t the one initially handling that conversation. 

Options for international calling and texting: International calls and texts aren’t included with any OpenPhone plan. But if you do need to send calls or texts to other countries, you can do so without limits and just pay metered rates or usage-based fees. 

We don’t necessarily recommend this for high-volume international usage. Other providers are definitely better in this scenario. But for one-off needs or infrequent calls, it’s nice to know you can still use OpenPhone without having to purchase an add-on or international plan. 

Potential OpenPhone Drawbacks

Limited calling features: Voicemail transcripts and call recording are essentially the only calling features on OpenPhone’s entry-level plan. You can’t even put someone on hold to transfer inbound calls to a teammate unless you upgrade. Even when you upgrade to access these few extra tools, OpenPhone is missing dozens of otherwise basic features you’d get from other call center solutions and business phone systems. You won’t get a cloud IVR, any outbound dialers, or advanced call distribution capabilities with OpenPhone. 

Limited integrations: OpenPhone only comes with seven total pre-built integrations, and one of those is still in beta. Plus, you’ll need to upgrade to access integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce. Other systems integrate with 50, 100, or even 300 different third-party apps. OpenPhone does integrate with Zapier, giving you some added flexibility for syncing with other business tools. But that’s not quite the same as a native integration. 

No faxing: Virtual faxing is not an option on any OpenPhone plan, and it’s not available as a paid add-on either. This is something we commonly see available from other business phone systems and contact centers. So its absence here is noteworthy. 

Not scalable: OpenPhone limits its entry-level Starter plan to just ten users. But if you have that many people on your team, you can get a more powerful phone system elsewhere for just a few extra dollars. Even at the higher plan tiers, OpenPhone is really basic and doesn’t provide calling or communication features that growing businesses need. It’s really only suitable for up to five people at most. 

Limited support: You get “standard” support with OpenPhone, which means you’ll be relying on their knowledge base and chatbot for most inquiries. We couldn’t find a customer support phone number listed anywhere or live agent availability hours. In our experience, if a phone system has 24/7 support, they tend to advertise it—and OpenPhone does not. 

Extra setup fees: While OpenPhone has low prices, you need to pay a one-time setup fee of $19 to activate texting. There’s also an ongoing messaging fee that ranges from $1.50 to $3 per month. This won’t break the bank, but it definitely adds to your total cost and isn’t something we see from other providers. 

Not a complete internal communication platform: OpenPhone is not an all-in-one communication suite. There are a few simple features designed to help small teams stay connected, but you still need a separate solution for file sharing, video conferencing, conference calling, faxing, and other common internal communication features. 

OpenPhone’s Plans and Pricing

OpenPhone is significantly cheaper than other call center solutions on the market. These low rates are largely due to the platform’s limited features and appeal to small teams, but it’s still a great value if you plan to take advantage of the unlimited calling and texting. 

Pricing is very straightforward, with just three plans to choose from:

  • Starter — $15 per user per month
  • Business — $23 per user per month
  • Enterprise — Contact sales for a quote

These rates are based on annual billing. They jump to $19 and $33, respectively, if you opt for month-to-month payments. 

The Starter plan only makes sense if you handle very few calls, and all incoming calls are going straight to the appropriate person on your team. Without the ability to place callers on hold or transfer them to a teammate, this plan is tough to justify for most modern businesses. But it’s fine if you just need a phone plan for a few people, and the majority of your contact center activities are text-based. 

In addition to the extra calling features, you’ll have access to HubSpot, Salesforce, and Gong integrations at the Business tier. This is important if you’re planning to sync OpenPhone with your CRM. 

In comparison, Nextiva starts at $18.95 per user. This costs less than OpenPhone’s Business tier, but it comes with way more features. 

Alternatively, CallHippo starts at $18 per month for its office phone system and $16 per month for its call center plans. It’s in the same ballpark as OpenPhone, but you’re not getting unlimited calling or texting with either plan. This makes OpenPhone a better value, but CallHippo has more advanced calling features that could make it appealing for low-volume teams.

Stick with OpenPhone if you have a really small team and plan for mostly text-based interactions with your customers. Try it free for seven days to see if it’s right for you.



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