When it comes to choosing the best business phone system, there’s more to consider than a phone call. Most providers now offer cloud-based unified communication solutions that work across phone, video and messaging, creating a multichannel environment. Finding the right system for you and your team comes down to which vendor offers the solution that best meets your communication styles and preferences.
RingCentral and 8×8 are among the top offerings on the market today. If you’re shopping around for a business phone system, chances are, you’ll compare the two. So we’ve done just that by placing our RingCentral review and 8×8 review side by side and lining up the key takeaways from our research.
Price and plans
Core (basic plan): $20 Advanced: $25
Ultra (premium plan): $35
All prices are per user per month with an annual payment discount applied.
A volume discount is available for plans with over 50 users.
A 14-day limited free trial is available.
X4 (premium plan): $44
All prices are per user per month with an annual payment discount applied.
No basic plan is available.
You can mix and match plans.
There are over 330 ready-to-use integrations with the Advanced and Ultra plans.
The Core plan’s integrations are limited.
There’s an open API for developers to create over 7,000 custom integrations.
There are industry-specific integrations.
Both plans offer over 50 ready-to-use integrations for the most popular business software solutions.
There’s an open API for custom integrations.
There’s HD video conferencing for 200 participants (Ultra) or 100 participants (Core, Advanced).
It offers AI-enhanced and collaboration-fostering features.
You get unlimited storage for up to one year.
There’s HD video conferencing for 500 participants with both plans.
You get public or private streaming over YouTube.
You can use the video API to customize the interface.
You get unlimited storage for 30 days (X2) or 130 days (X4).
It’s easy to set up and use.
You can jump from devices with one click.
There’s a digital workspace for collaboration.
The intuitive platform has a quick setup.
Conversation IQ allows for searchable and shareable recording and transcription of audio, plus analytics.
Vendor support and training
24/7 customer support is available via phone or chat.
It offers multiple training and troubleshooting resources, including RingCentral University.
There’s a RingCentral community forum.
24/7 customer support is available via phone or chat.
It provides multiple training and troubleshooting resources, including 8×8 University.
There’s an 8×8 community forum.
Small businesses that are looking for a simple VoIP phone system will find RingCentral’s basic Core plan to be a good value option. As your business grows, the Advanced and Ultra plans are excellent choices for integrating with other solutions you already use to help keep your business thriving. We especially recommend RingCentral for companies with remote or hybrid workforces, as the platform prioritizes seamless collaboration among employees, no matter how or where they are connecting.
RingCentral is one of the top cloud-based business phone systems on the market, offering messaging, video and phone services with standout features and a slew of integrations. With a user-friendly interface, consistency across devices, a reliable 99.999 percent uptime, AI-powered tools, and collaborative workspaces across chat and video, remote and hybrid employees can work securely and effectively from anywhere.
RingCentral offers superior features to facilitate collaboration, including video whiteboards. Source: RingCentral
We think RingCentral stands out because of these features:
Research shows that remote workers are more productive. RingCentral offers a collaborative digital workspace that ensures your employees will reach their maximum potential no matter where they are located.
8×8 is a solid choice for businesses with a significant global footprint. We love that 8×8 offers such a strong global communications solution, thanks to unlimited international calling, support in 46 languages, worldwide customer service and strong international compliance certifications. It’s also the best bet for businesses that need to reach a large audience, as they will be well served by 8×8’s 500-person video conferencing and YouTube streaming possibilities.
8×8 is a cloud-based unified communications business phone system that provides video, messaging and unmatched international calling without limits. With data centers around the world, a dependable 99.999 percent uptime and support for 46 languages, international businesses will have the right tools to do business across the globe.
Conversation IQ provides advanced tools, such as speech and sentiment analysis, to help your team strive for excellence. Source: 8×8
We think these features make 8×8 shine:
Price (per user per month)
$20 (annually) or
Unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada, SMS and MMS (limited), basic call queues, on-demand call recording, HD video conferences with up to 100 participants, unlimited video recording, basic integrations, basic analytics
$25 (annually) or
All of the features in Core, plus advanced call queues and routing, automatic call recording, advanced call monitoring (whisper, barge, monitor), unlimited internet fax, custom roles and permissions, essential business analytics, 330+ integrations
$35 (annually) or
All of the features in Advanced, plus unlimited file sharing and storage, HD video conferences with up to 200 participants, enhanced business analytics and customizable insights
We like that RingCentral offers a 14-day free trial for first-time users. The trial is limited to five users and two desktop phones. It doesn’t include SMS, but it provides support for up to 20 phone lines. The free trial is a great way to see if the features and functionality of RingCentral work for your business before you commit to an annual contract or opt for the more expensive monthly billing plan.
Price (per user per month)
$24 (annually) or
Unlimited users, unlimited voice calling to 14 countries, HD video conferences for up to 500 participants, over 50 integration options, unlimited internet fax, mix and match plans, Conversation IQ
$44 (annually) or
All of the features in X2, plus unlimited voice calling to 48 countries, call monitoring (barge, whisper, monitor), supervisor analytics, 8×8 Frontdesk
We were disappointed that 8×8 eliminated its basic plan, which offered an affordable solution for smaller businesses that don’t have complex communication needs. However, we appreciate that there aren’t any limits on users in either plan, so companies of all sizes looking for a complete system can choose the solution that best suits their needs. We also like that businesses can mix and match plans so that individual employees or teams work with only the features they need and the company avoids paying for unnecessary features across the board.
We would have liked the possibility of a free trial to allow businesses to get a feel for the system before making a commitment.
RingCentral offers a better overall value than 8×8. Although the two companies’ midrange plans are similarly priced, RingCentral’s Advanced solution offers certain features, like call monitoring and advanced analytics, that 8×8 offers only in its premium plan.
If your small business has only basic communication needs and doesn’t want to splurge on an overly sophisticated business phone system, consider Dialpad’s entry-level plan.
RingCentral is designed to make collaboration as painless as possible, regardless of where your employees are working or how they are connecting. The interface is consistent and easy to use, whether on the desktop interface or the phone system’s mobile app. We also like that RingCentral’s team chat and messaging go beyond basic services, providing a digital workspace where employees can create threads, share files, search past communications and seamlessly switch to a video call.
With one click, you can easily switch from one device to another mid-call. Source: RingCentral
We love that RingCentral can be set up quickly and effortlessly across all devices. Depending on how many integrations you want to implement, you should be ready to go in no time. The administrator portal is straightforward and includes video tutorials to help get things up and running. Plus, through a simple analytics dashboard, you can use pre-built or customizable templates to run data and receive engaging visual reports.
8×8 is easy to set up and use. It should take no more than 20 minutes for businesses with new phone numbers that don’t have complex needs. Free and paid courses are available to help both administrators and users learn the system, but your employees should have no issues getting the platform up and running, thanks to the intuitive interface. We love that, unlike with RingCentral, 8×8 allows businesses to mix and match plans so each user gets to work with the system that best matches their needs.
We really love 8×8’s Conversation IQ, a feature that makes this platform especially easy to use. All communications — whether calls, meetings or voicemails — are recorded and transcribed. These transcripts provide key analytics, like sentiment analysis. We especially like that audio recordings are dual-channel, meaning each side of the conversation is recorded separately. This allows for improved searching and sharing of important information.
Conversation IQ records and transcribes calls, allowing you to search and share pertinent information. Source: 8×8
As far as ease of use goes, we think you can’t go wrong with either RingCentral or 8×8. Both offer communication solutions that are simple to set up and highly user-friendly. We like that both vendors offer support to help admins and users set up and learn to use the system.
RingCentral’s video conferencing can support up to 100 participants at the Core and Advanced levels, which is great for smaller businesses. But we were disappointed that the premium tier only offers an expansion of up to 200 participants without an additional cost. Unlimited video recording with up to one year of storage is available across all plan levels.
All HD video conferences use AI-powered features to enhance the employee experience. Live transcript generation is particularly useful for attendees who arrive late or need to catch up. For employees working remotely, especially those in the field, we found the noise reduction technology that filters out unwanted background noise to be an invaluable feature. After the meeting is over, AI provides summaries, advanced insights and searchable transcripts.
8×8 also offers a stellar video conferencing tool, which is notable for its ability to host HD calls with up to 500 participants. We appreciate that both the X2 and X4 plans allow the same number of participants, so larger companies that need to host sizable video conferences but don’t need all of the features of a premium plan won’t be forced into an expensive agreement.
Other notable features include seamless calendar integrations with Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook, cloud recordings of meetings (30-day storage with X2, 130 days with X4), and advanced meeting analytics presented with easy-to-digest visualizations.
Quality video conferencing capabilities are increasingly vital for all types of businesses. Both 8×8 and RingCentral offer superior products, and overall, there is no clear-cut winner in this category. The right video communication platform for your company depends on what you need to get out of it.
We like that RingCentral now offers 24/7 customer support and professional onboarding across all plan levels — something that wasn’t the case with the company’s previous plan structure. Businesses have access to AI-powered chatbots and human representatives over the phone to troubleshoot problems as they arise.
A wealth of information — including video-guided tutorials, webinars, e-books, guides, reports, expert Q&A and support resources for all aspects of using the product — is readily available on RingCentral’s website. The RingCentral Community provides a forum for users to share their experiences and assist other users with similar challenges. RingCentral University offers courses to train employees on different aspects of the system.
For larger companies with more complex needs, RingCentral provides professional service experts for an additional cost. These IT consultants can help implement, customize, support and manage the RingCentral service.
8×8 also offers 24/7 support through online chat and phone. Businesses can troubleshoot problems by speaking with Otto, 8×8’s AI-powered chatbot, or be directed to a human representative through chat or over the phone. 8×8 has customer service staff around the world, so an agent can be reached for support anytime. Although that may be true for chat, we could reach phone support only from Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
We found 8×8’s training resources to be some of the best in the industry. The company’s website provides access to easily searchable support topics, user guides and manuals in multiple languages. For further learning, users have access to 8×8 University, which offers free, quick tutorials; free longer, on-demand in-depth courses; and paid, instructor-led classes for a complete learning experience. Similar to RingCentral, 8×8 offers in-person support with a technical trainer and administrative outsourcing, also for an additional, undisclosed cost.
8×8 is our choice for customer service because we found the company’s comprehensive support to be among the best in the industry. Also, 8×8’s large global presence allows the company to offer support in more languages — another factor that sets it apart. Still, RingCentral provides excellent support, so if that platform better meets your business needs, you can rest assured that you will receive exemplary customer service from RingCentral as well.
Choosing a business phone system means finding a product that meets your company’s requirements. Both RingCentral and 8×8 offer exceptional, easy-to-use phone, messaging and video communication solutions. RingCentral has the edge on integrations and features to promote collaboration, but 8×8 is your best bet for international communications and large video conferences.
When it comes to integrations, RingCentral is way ahead of its competitors. Advanced and Ultra plans offer over 330 ready-to-use integrations, helping you create a unified communications solution. RingCentral runs smoothly with all of the other systems your employees already use. We especially like that it integrates with leading CRM software, such as Salesforce and Zendesk.
8×8 offers a decent number of integrations with most of the leading business software solutions. The integration library has more than 50 connections to allow your teams to work more productively. Integrations include popular communication services (such as Microsoft Teams, Google and Slack), plus CRM solutions and workforce engagement and management products.
RingCentral is the industry leader in third-party integrations, offering over 200 more than 8×8 with the Advanced and Ultra plans. We like that both companies offer an open API for developers to create custom integrations, but RingCentral beats 8×8, boasting over 7,000.
RingCentral integrates seamlessly with over 330 business solutions, like Salesforce. Source: RingCentral
RingCentral and 8×8 are two of our top choices for a phone system for small and midsize businesses. Deciding which one will help your business succeed depends on your specific needs.
Choose RingCentral if:
Choose 8×8 if:
RingCentral offers an excellent unified communications solution for companies of all sizes across many industries. Some of the companies and organizations that use RingCentral, according to the company’s website, are the Golden State Warriors, Guardant Health, the San Francisco Symphony, Texas Christian University, Canal+, Ryder System, Altura Credit Union and Lush Cosmetics.
No, RingCentral isn’t free to use. It offers three tiers of paid plans for its comprehensive phone, messaging and video service. Plans range from $20 to $45 per user per month. RingCentral offers a 14-day free trial so you can get a feel for the platform for free. However, there’s a free video-only solution for up to 100 participants, called RingCentral Video Pro.
Yes, 8×8 is a paid subscription cloud-based phone, messaging and video service. 8×8 offers two plans: X2, which is a midrange plan that starts at $24 per user per month, and X4, a premium plan that starts at $44 per user per month.
8×8 is a U.S.-based company that provides high-quality unified communication solutions to businesses around the world. Although 8×8 provides excellent international coverage, with data centers and support staff located across the globe, it is an American company headquartered in Campbell, California.