The much anticipated new magicJack Plus 2014 has finally arrived after months of speculation on it’s features and when it would reach the market. This new magicJack device is very similar to the previous version of the magicJack Plus with several upgrades that make it a fine addition to VocalTec Communications line of VoIP devices.
Despite it’s quality upgrades the 2014 magicJack plus doesn’t come without disappointment. Originally consumers were hoping for a revolutionary upgrade that included the ability to connect from anywhere in ones home via encrypted WiFi but instead the 2014 magicJack plus must still be connected via the port of a wireless router. Consumers had hoped for other features also including the rumors of magic Jack providing triple play service that included internet and cable but these hopes, albeit, quite overzealous were dashed as well.
So what exactly does the new 2014 magicJack include?
For starters the new device looks almost identical to the previous except for being quite a bit larger and having two new ports, including a USB port and SDIO (secure digital input/output) slot (see pictures below). It isn’t however 100% clear yet as to what these ports are for but it is also interesting to note that the word ‘wifi’ is written on the side of the device and many believe that a firmware upgrade will come soon that will allow for the device to connect via wifi, as was originally rumored to be included. Unfortunately, for the time being it looks like these slots are simply there to allow for an expansion of magicJack services in the future without the need to upgrade to another new device. There has been chatter regarding these slots from the company say that they may be used in the future as a way for VocalTec to offer internet service to consumers at an ultra cheap cost structure similar to how their phone service has be popularized. This potential however doesn’t come without complications as they would have to come to some sort of agreement with a 4g or LTE carrier in order to offer internet and other services.
(here is what your purchase includes)
(new device vs. old device)
(new 2014 magicJack Plus with WiFi wording on side and SDIO slot)
Besides the physical differences the new product has also been updated with an advanced on board processing chip that is faster, has enhanced processing power, and more memory. As a result the new device will be able to provide superior voice quality that is unlike anything yet seen within the VoIP industry.
The pricing structure has also changed with the New magicJack plus 2014. With the 2nd gen device users paid an initial upfront fee of $69.95 for the device and 1 year of telephone service. With the new 3rd gen dongle the initial outlay for the product has been reduced to $49.95 with the caveat being that it only comes with 6 months of service (they are also currently running a special where existing users can upgrade for only $29.95 and take either the 6 months or the time remaining on their subscription, whichever is longer). Renewals however stay the same and are priced out at $29.95 per year or $99.95 for a 5 year plan.
Lastly, in the past VocalTec has taken some heat for stating the the previous plus device did not require a computer to be used but the truth was that you needed a computer in order to register and activate the device before it would work. As far as registration goes this holds true with the 2014 magicJack Plus but the key difference is that it doesn’t have to ever be registered in order to be used. Instead you can immediately plug it into an outlet and your router and begin making calls. You can then register it at a later date if you so choose at the magicjack site. See our other post for official instructions on how to register and begin using the New 2014 magicJack Plus.
Overall the new 2014 magicJack Plus has some nice upgrades but nothing incredibly eye popping that makes it a must buy right away for those that have the 2nd gen device and no sound quality issues. For those that do have problems with sound quality it however could be a worthwhile investment immediately. In the long run the potential for WiFi and triple play service make the new device very enticing and certainly something that most users should consider upgrading to when their current subscription is up or at the latest when magicJack/VocalTec puts out a firmware update that enables WiFi or works out a deal with a 4G or LTE carrier to provide other services.