As you compare the best business phone systems, you might encounter an interesting prospect: What if you could get phone and video conferencing together? This would unify your communications, but it would likely add to your costs as well.
RingCentral and Grasshopper are top business phone systems with distinct differences. RingCentral incorporates video conferencing functionality; Grasshopper is audio-only but offers a robust feature set that matches RingCentral in many ways.
While only one boasts video options, we wanted to see how RingCentral and Grasshopper compare in terms of pricing and essential business phone system features. We reviewed our detailed RingCentral review and Grasshopper review and checked each vendor’s website for updates to help organizations choose the right business phone system for their needs.
Price and plans
Prices reflect annual billing discount. You’ll pay more for monthly billing.
Prices reflect annual billing discount. You’ll pay more for monthly billing.
Free trial period
Phone number and extension quantity
One core phone number plus one additional number per user; zero to unlimited extensions
One to five business phone numbers; one to unlimited extensions
100 to 200 video conference participants; optional large meeting add-ons
Mobile app features
RingCentral has a vast feature set and potentially high prices. For this reason, large teams and businesses will likely get the most value from RingCentral. However, teams of four or fewer people will pay less than $100 monthly for RingCentral’s least expensive pricing package. This price is a steal for a platform that offers business phone and video technology and fully integrates with Microsoft apps and Google business tools.
RingCentral goes beyond audio communication to provide team messaging, video conferencing and analytics functionality. Its available integrations, which include over 330 ready-to-go apps across over 200 brands, impressed us. Even better, you can use the RingCentral API to develop thousands of custom integrations.
You can opt into one of three pricing packages with RingCentral. These plans’ base prices are modest; however, since RingCentral charges per user per month, your costs can quickly balloon. Still, with features like high-definition video, thorough business analytics and multisite management, RingCentral’s value justifies its costs.
RingCentral stands out for the following reasons:
Team huddles are among RingCentral’s standout communication tools. Source: RingCentral
We recommend Grasshopper for low-budget, low-infrastructure companies that need fundamental business phone tools and features. Grasshopper is also a strong fit if you’re seeking a user-friendly, 100 percent virtual business phone system.
Grasshopper is an entirely virtual business phone system with user-friendly mobile and desktop apps and interfaces. It’s focused almost entirely on digital phone and audio features, with no hardware offerings or third-party integrations.
With Grasshopper, you can make and receive phone calls from any internet-connected device — a feature we liked during testing. We also liked Grasshopper’s business texting suite — helpful for tasks like text message marketing — and voicemail transcription tools. These tools felt as intuitive as standard smartphone texting and voicemail interfaces. Grasshopper is a great choice if you’re looking for an experience that resembles how you’d normally use your phone.
Grasshopper is priced affordably with an easy-to-understand structure. You pay a flat monthly fee that rarely exceeds $100. You’d only dip into the triple digits if you opted into the most expensive Grasshopper pricing plan and added at least two extra phone numbers. You likely won’t need the extra numbers, though — we found that Grasshopper includes enough phone numbers and extensions across all its tiers.
Grasshopper is an excellent business phone system due to the following:
Grasshopper’s interface is clean and unimposing on desktop and mobile — we like how similar it looks on both screens. Source: Grasshopper
RingCentral’s pricing plans are as follows. (Prices reflect annual billing; costs increase by $10 if you choose monthly billing.)
Additionally, RingCentral offers eight paid add-ons:
Compared to many competitors we reviewed, RingCentral’s Core package is cost-effective for small teams. For just $20 per team member per month, you get highly user-friendly, undeniably powerful business phone system fundamentals.
However, we were disappointed with how quickly RingCentral’s prices increase as your team grows or if you opt into the add-ons. The most expensive tier is likely only cost-effective for larger businesses. You absolutely get what you pay for with RingCentral, but we suggest being 100 percent certain you can afford it.
Grasshopper’s pricing breaks down as follows across four packages:
During testing, a company representative explained that extra phone numbers beyond what your plan allows cost $10 per number per month. You can also pay $75 to get a professionally voice-recorded greeting of up to 250 words.
We were highly impressed with Grasshopper’s pricing. Even if you opt into the most expensive pricing plan and choose monthly instead of annual billing, Grasshopper is relatively affordable for fundamental business communications. We also found the add-ons reasonably priced, making Grasshopper one of our top picks for budget-friendly business phone setups.
Grasshopper is your best bet if keeping your costs low is your top priority. You’ll almost never pay over $100 per month. In contrast, if at least five team members use RingCentral, your costs will reach the triple digits. For business phone fundamentals at a bargain, you’ll be happier with Grasshopper.
RingCentral offers a 14-day free trial period. We liked this period length, given the exceptional breadth and depth of RingCentral’s features. While we would have appreciated a 30-day free trial — which is common with other types of business technology — our two-week trial ultimately gave us enough time to test out the vast majority of RingCentral’s features.
At just seven days long, Grasshopper’s free trial left us feeling rushed. Sure, given Grasshopper’s relatively narrow feature set, we didn’t need a ton of time to fully explore the technology. That said, the longer we spend with a platform without paying for it, the better we can assess whether it’s worth its costs. We felt that prospective Grasshopper users would need a longer trial period to make smart buying decisions.
We got to test RingCentral for seven more days than Grasshopper, and that made all the difference. We were confident in how we felt about RingCentral overall at the end of our trial, whereas Grasshopper’s rushed trial left us a bit undecided.
You can integrate RingCentral with more than 330 apps across over 200 leading business vendors. These integrations include productivity apps, some of the best CRM platforms, and workflow automation tools. You can also use the RingCentral API to develop custom integrations with data management tools, team messaging software and the best text message marketing services.
We were impressed with RingCentral’s suite of integrations. We especially liked that the Google and Microsoft integrations are available to all users. The Salesforce and Zendesk customer management integrations available with the higher tiers also performed exceptionally well. In terms of your software with other platforms, we’ve seen few brands do it more effectively than RingCentral.
The RingCentral team messaging suite is home to vital integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft and Google tools. Source: RingCentral
Unlike most other business software, Grasshopper offers no integrations whatsoever with other platforms. This disappointed us, but it didn’t quite leave us frustrated. We felt that, for basic business phone functionality, Grasshopper didn’t need to connect with other vendors to be effective. Although we didn’t like that we lacked integration options, Grasshopper still performed well on the fundamentals.
If you need to integrate your business phone systems with tools like your CRM and text message marketing platforms, RingCentral is the clear winner. Grasshopper doesn’t offer integrations, making RingCentral the only possible choice on this front.
Although teams of six or more automatically get more phone numbers with RingCentral than Grasshopper, the latter wins on extensions and pricing. You always get extensions with Grasshopper, even if you’re a sole proprietor, freelancer or another one-person business.
Notably, this isn’t true of RingCentral; teams seeking a cost-effective business phone system may pay high amounts and still not get any extensions. For small businesses, Grasshopper gives you comparable quantities of phone numbers and extensions at much budget-friendlier price points.
With RingCentral, you get more than a business phone system — you also get robust video conferencing technology. Depending on which RingCentral plan you choose, you can hold video conferences of 100 to 200 people. Not all business phone systems include video tools, so RingCentral’s inclusion of these features impressed us.
The cherry on top for us was that RingCentral’s video suite was incredibly user-friendly and feature-rich. We found it comparable to, though obviously more expensive than, GoTo Meeting, our top video conferencing platform for smaller businesses.
Grasshopper has no video features, though this lack of video technology doesn’t make Grasshopper a poor business phone system. For users seeking only audio technology, Grasshopper is still a great pick. However, if you need video conferencing too — rather than using a business phone system alongside, say, Zoom — Grasshopper won’t work for you. (We’ve compared RingCentral and Zoom, too, if you’re interested in how their video tools stack up.)
Between RingCentral and Grasshopper, only RingCentral offers video technology. However, Grasshopper remains a great option if you’re covering your video conferencing needs in other ways, like using a video conferencing service.
The RingCentral business phone system mobile app includes tools for team messaging, phone calls, meetings and audio conferencing. Your employees can also use the app to modify individual settings for RingCentral notifications and voicemails.
We found these features easy to find — and use — in the RingCentral mobile app. We also found this breadth of features impressive. Sure, many platforms for managing nonphone business concerns offer more robust mobile apps. However, compared to other business phone systems’ mobile apps, RingCentral gave us impressive on-the-go power.
You can make and receive calls and send and receive texts from your business phone number via the Grasshopper mobile app. Additionally, you can use the Grasshopper app to read transcribed business voicemails and review your call history.
All these tools were easy to use within the Grasshopper app, but we were left wanting more. We were disappointed with how much stronger Grasshopper is on desktop than mobile.
With Grasshopper, business texting looks just like personal texting. Source: Grasshopper
Both RingCentral and Grasshopper offer intuitive mobile apps, but RingCentral’s mobile app is far more feature-rich than Grasshopper’s. In fact, RingCentral’s mobile app is among the most powerful we’ve seen across all business phone systems.
Choose RingCentral if:
Choose Grasshopper if:
RingCentral and Zoom are similar in that they offer tools for IVR, automatic call distribution and call monitoring. However, Zoom is often more affordable for larger teams, though we find that RingCentral’s uniquely advanced analytics justify its costs.
RingCentral operates a seven-layer security protocol involving redundant data centers. Experts are also constantly analyzing and optimizing RingCentral to maximize security and service.
Although Grasshopper is entirely virtual, you can use it to forward incoming calls to any device. This means that you can theoretically use Grasshopper in combination with desk phones.
Grasshopper offers toll-free, vanity and local numbers, whereas Google Voice offers only the latter. Additionally, only Grasshopper offers professional voice-recorded greetings.