Fonality, with its much-vaunted Fonality HUD, is a major technological achievement, and making phones compatible with Fonality HUD comes at a price. The good news: That price may be free.

Fonality offers a limited range of phones. Fonality is even completely incompatible with any Cisco phone. They have a limited range of PolyCom and AAstra phones. The reason for this limitation is that it can take a long time to program a phone model to be compatible with their system. The engineers at Fonality pick and choose which phones they will program for, and they prefer to stick with proven technology rather than the newest and shiniest technology. If you think that newer hardware is always better, keep in mind that NASA’s Mars Rover is running on the same “PowerPC G3” chip that was first used to power colorful Apple desktop computers.

Fonality’s business solutions are designed to be flexible to meet customers’ needs. With that in mind, Fonality includes the price of the phone into the monthly cost in some plans. The Fonality Connect, available for $29.99, allows for a free lease on certain phones, and a low additional charge for upgraded phones. The suggested phone is the PolyCom 331, a two-line, entry level, phone with a small black and white screen; to upgrade to the 550 will be $13 per month. If you are looking to do a top-to-bottom upgrade of your PBX, the Fonality PBXtra hybrid or hosted solution is geared more toward initial capital investment. The Fonality Connect plan is better for growing businesses, and the PBXtra is for more traditional businesses, particularly businesses large enough that they have their own IT staff.

On a related note, the Fonality Mobile App is compatible with iOS and Android, and Fonality makes great use of Session Initiation Protocol. You can download CounterPath softphones, such as X-Lite, Bria, and Eyebeam, for your computer.