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October 22, 2019
The newest player in the secondary phone number game is the OpenPhone app, a startup providing cloud-based phone numbers. We’ve reviewed many of the big-name secondary number apps here on the blog, and we do our best to stay unbiased. Let’s examine what makes OpenPhone unique, and compare them to other secondary number apps.
OpenPhone is a secondary phone number service and is available as an iOS or Android app. It’s a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) number provider. This means that all calls and texts happen over the internet through WiFi or mobile data. This functionality is common among second phone number apps, including Google Voice, Burner, and of course Hushed.
OpenPhone touts themselves as a privacy solution for freelancers, startups, small businesses. It’s an option for anyone who wants to keep personal and business calls separate. Both OpenPhone and Hushed offer US and Canada local phone numbers. Users can choose a number in any available area code, though the selection varies. It’s possible to port in an existing phone number to the service, and toll-free numbers are on offer as well.
Co-founder Mahyar Raissi explained to TechCrunch that the impetus for starting OpenPhone was two-fold. Firstly, “most of our users were using their personal phone numbers for business and they absolutely hated that,” Raissi said. Secondly, “contractors who communicated more professionally and were more responsive had more successful businesses and earned more money.”
Compatible Devices: Android phones, iOS phones and iPads
Price: $10 per month for individual users, or $15/month for team users
Free Trial: Yes, free phone number on a 7-day trial
In-App Purchases: $10 per number
App Category: Business
Publisher: OpenPhone Technologies Inc
Minimum Software Requirement: Android 6.0 or higher, iOS 10.2 or higher
To get started with OpenPhone, you need to download the app and select a phone number. You’re able to choose from any available US or Canada area code, though the selection varies. After picking a number, you’ll create your account.
During the account creation process, the app requires you to provide a carrier phone number for authentication. It does not allow you to use another VoIP number to do so. Next, you’ll receive a confirmation text to the cell phone number you provided.
OpenPhone allows up to 5 phone numbers per account, at a cost of $10 each per month. In exchange, users receive unlimited calling and texting within the US and Canada. They also offer one free 7-day trial number per OpenPhone account, so new users can test out the app before purchasing.
If you want to change your subscription number, OpenPhone customer support requests that you contact their team via email or text. They will then will assist you to change your number. There’s no way to change your number directly within the app, but users can add a new number at any time (up to a limit of 5 numbers total).
OpenPhone has some neat features like voicemail transcription and “business hours.” Their user interface is simple and clean, which means the app is easy to navigate and user-friendly. We found that the call quality was clear. Though, like all VoIP number systems, that has more to do with the quality of our own internet connection than the OpenPhone app itself.
Reviews for OpenPhone have been mostly positive, though several users have pointed out that OpenPhone is still very new and has some glitches to work out. The app can be used from anywhere in the world, provided the user has a strong internet connection. Currently, OpenPhone only offers US and Canada phone numbers.
OpenPhone is specifically aimed at startup businesses, and Hushed is more concerned with helping all users keep their personal information private. They are similar, but OpenPhone and Hushed have slightly different aims (though The Verge did name-check Hushed in its own OpenPhone review).
We try to stay impartial here on the blog, but we should point out that OpenPhone’s $10/month subscription is very similar to the Unlimited Plan subscription offered by Hushed for just $4.99/ month. OpenPhone has an annual option as well, with a single number for $120 per year; the Hushed Unlimited Plan costs only $47.99 annually.
We appreciate the simplicity of their services and found the app quite easy to use. Overall, OpenPhone is a fresh addition to the secondary phone number marketplace. It’s an appealing option for anyone considering an extra phone line for business. We’d encourage anyone interested in a second line (whether for business or personal reasons) to try out both. Check out OpenPhone and Hushed and then decide for yourself which app suits your needs best.