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on August 12, 2008
The good: The four-way directional button and center "Enter" button become your primary tool to quickly and easily select features without the need to remember codes or special key sequences. In fact, all too often, these "non-KSU" phones will have buttons with two or more functions -- not this new AT&T series! The buttons on the phone are self-explanatory and only serve the one function for which they are labeled. All related feature options appear on the blue backlit LCD screen when you are in a particular mode that offers more options. For example, when you lift the handset and press the Intercom button, the top half of the screen prompts "Intercom No.?" while the bottom half of the screen presents you to optionally "Page" a single extension (instead of simply ringing it) or to "Page All" and broadcast your announcement on all the phones in your home or office simultaneously.

Another improvement, which is why I suspect these phones aren't backwards compatible with earlier AT&T "non-KSU" phones other than the 1000-series: the Intercom audio is digital, crystal clear. No longer will your Intercom calls be subjected to interference from a nearby radio station transmitter or other nuisance! With two phones side-by-side, you can detect a slight millisecond or so delay as an Intercom page is encoded on your phone to be then decoded on the destination phone. The sound quality is truly impressive and worthwhile. If you are currently experiencing any issues with your Intercom on older non-KSU phones, you might want to give a pair of these a test run.

The bad: If you transfer a call from one phone to the next, the caller hears nothing. No music-on-hold, no tones -- nothing but silence. If they had offered an option to play a soft double-beep tone to the caller every couple of seconds, that would have been a worthwhile improvement over dead-air. (However, the ATT 1080 does play a "Please hold" recorded announcement every few seconds when a caller is transferring to an extension by way of the built-in auto attendent included on that ATT 1080 phone. But even that phone leaves the caller with dead air if they are put on hold or transferred by a human instead.)

One big disappointment was with regards to the system recognizing when a caller on-hold had disconnected. I tried everything in my "toolkit" of test equipment, but it seems these phones just don't recognize (or don't care) when a caller that you've placed on-hold chooses to hang up before you return to the call. The system will continue to keep that line blinking on-hold until you retrieve it -- often to the frustration of loud dialtone in your ear.

The ugly: When integrated with an ATT 1080 with the "SYS EXT" voice messaging feature enabled, trying to figure out how to listen to your messages on any phone except the ATT 1080 is a huge headache! For a phone system that is so "menu-driven" by that directional navigation and "enter" button arrangement near the LCD screen, it is irritating to have to dig out a reference card to use this ATT 1070 phone to listen to your messages in the mailbox reserved exclusively for your extension but actually recorded and stored on the ATT 1080 voicemail/answering system. It just seems to me this could have been better thought out!

My guess is that AT&T would probably "recommend" that you purchase an ATT 1080 phone for every person who needs a voicemail/answering system, instead of using one ATT 1080 to serve voicemail for multiple ATT 1070 phone users as their advertising suggests.

Conclusion: Overall, this is a great telephone. All features worked beautifully, each button pressed produced the expected result -- press the Transfer button while on a call, the LCD prompts "Transfer line to ?". By keeping one function per button, and also utilizing the navigation menu-driven options through the phone's display, anyone can easily figure out how to do anything on these phones without ever needing to read any of the documentation.

The speakerphone sounds nice, although the volume of the speaker could've been louder (in my opinion). Each phone allows you to control the ringing tone, volume, and delay ringing options for each line individually. Believe it or not, that level of control of line ringing assignments are usually reserved for KSU systems only! Intercom calling worked flawlessly. All-Page was loud and very practical for a busy home with office, or larger retail store.
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on March 7, 2013
I was looking for a multi-line phone at a reasonable price and thought this one fit the bill. So I bought two of them for my new business. They worked fine. No complaints. However, about a month after I had installed them, I had a need to use the speakerphone feature. It didn't work. I could hear clearly but no one could hear me. I put them on hold, walked over to the other phone -- that speaker phone didn't work either! I called AT&T Customer Service to complain since the product return period had expired. A very helpful person told me to unplug the power cord, leave unplugged for at least a minute, then reconnect. I did this with both phones and now the speakerphone features are working just fine.
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on August 12, 2008
Overall, this is a great telephone. All features worked beautifully, each button pressed produced the expected result -- press the Transfer button while on a call, the LCD prompts "Transfer line to ?". By keeping one function per button, and also utilizing the navigation menu-driven options through the phone's display, anyone can easily figure out how to do anything on these phones without ever needing to read any of the documentation.

The speakerphone sounds nice, although the volume of the speaker could've been louder (in my opinion). Each phone allows you to control the ringing tone, volume, and delay ringing options for each line individually. Believe it or not, that level of control of line ringing assignments are usually reserved for KSU systems only! Intercom calling worked flawlessly. All-Page was loud and very practical for a busy home with office, or larger retail store.

With a cost of between $100-$150 per phone, these are an outstanding value for any large home or growing business with 2 or more phone lines looking for the simplicity of replacing their old phones with something more serious, flexible, and functional.
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on January 8, 2010
I am on my second at&t 1070 "speaker"phone (returned the first because the speakerphone didn't work on it, and now have my second one with the same exact problem). I'm probably going to return it and buy a competitor's product, even though I've been a loyal AT&T phone buyer for decades.

the headset and handset functions work beautifully. The 4 line function is wonderful. Unfortunately, when I bought a "speakerphone", I did so because I actually needed that function to work, and with this product, it appears to be a common problem that it doesn't. When you have the speakerphone button on, you can hear them, but they can't hear you, even in a totally silent room, which kinda defeats the purpose of buying a speakerphone in the first place, doesn't it?

I have searched the manual and looked online for troubleshooting information to fix this, and can't find something actionable beyond returning the stupid thing. Given all the other people posting about the same problem with no fixes offered, there appears to be a design flaw or quality issue with the speaker function that the company seems to be ignoring.

Of course, you don't figure this out until after you have invested substantial time in setting up autodials, defaults and such.

If you never use the speaker function, this product is a 5, but if you actually need the speakerphone function of the speakerphone, avoid like the plague.
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on March 28, 2011
Updated 4/23/11
Further to the comments below. In our own AT&T 1070 vs. the Panasonic KX-TS4200B bake-off, we ultimately went with the AT&T 1070. But for intercom speaker/line quality issues, both phones have this problem, which since the intercom works using radio frequencies, is typically caused by outside interference. So in addition to my earlier comments below, 2 recommendations for isolating the cause:
1. Make sure your cell phone is typically not placed on your desk right beside the phone
2. Check out this link to track down interference problems - especially making sure your power adapter is plugged into the wall and not into a power board:
[...]
There have been several similar reviews on this phone, which I would echo, for intercom users only. From our experience, having tested both AT&T and Panasonic 4 line phones, we have found that both phones have similar issues, with Panasonic being the better of the two. Some contributors here reported the AT&T speakers failing after a few days, others two out of three were bad, etc. Here is our experience

We first owned AT&T's older 974 phones for several years. Eventually after several years, they failed, not on telephone calls but on intercom calls. A loud, unacceptable screech developed. So we purchased two 1070's and found that while the loud screech problem was gone, on one phone the speaker on intercom was unintelligible. Swapped phone positions, the problem traveled with the phone. Ordered a 3rd phone. Same problem to a lesser degree. Returned all three and purchased 2 Panasonic KX-TS4200's.

We purchased the Panasonics knowing from the AMZN review board that there was going to be delay in the phone recognizing key presses. Some users couldn't stand it. Others could. We found same, although with a medium-paced, deliberate dial, it was fine. However, in the end, we concluded we could live with it either. But the speaker problem on intercom calls re-emerged, to a lesser, but still not good, level.

The AT&T and Panasonic techs won't help you on this. They will just tell you to try doing a hard reset of the phone. But I think we may have fixed it, or at least alleviated it on the Panasonics. The solution, we think, no matter which phone you buy, is to try configuring non-adjacent extension numbers, which are presumably working on just different frequencies and possibly interfering with each other. For example, rather than setting up Ext 11, 12, 13 and 14, try 12, 16, 20 and 24. Can't guarantee it will help, but try it.

Of course if you are not an intercom user, or even if you are and don't mind connecting by intercom with either the handset or the earphone, either the AT&T or Panasonic are great phones. But I do believe, with AT&T, there is a higher risk of the intercom speaker system eventually failing - just based on our own 974/1070 experience, plus the reviews on this board. AT&T needs more robust electronics here, and you may have to return a phone, or two, or three to get one that works. Once you do get it right - great system.
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on August 19, 2008
The phone is great for almost everything and has 4 lines, do not disturb, intercom, caller id, 1-touch speed dial, etc. My only complaint is that the speakerphone is not clear. The speakerphone on my cell phone works better. That being said, when using either the handset or a headset, the sound quality is excellent.
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on September 4, 2009
I bought this telephone because it was one of the only ones available that had more than one line and was a wall-mountable digital answering system. I don't use it for a soho system. I recently found out that, and I quote the AT&T technical team, "the phone can only do one thing at a time". So, if you're on line 1 when a call comes into line 2, you're out of luck - the answering system will just ignore the call and it will ring forever. What a piece of junk. How can AT&T sell an answering system phone that doesn't answer?
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on September 29, 2008
These phones have all the features we wanted in our small business and we are convinced these are the right phones for us. Unfortunately two of the first three phones we've purchased have had the speakerphone microphones die in the first 72 hours of use.
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on April 1, 2010
I am setting up my business and I bought the 1080 and two 1070. If you read the other reviews and see reports of the mic getting busted after a short while, it is true. Happened to ours within 30 days. I am slapping myself for ignoring the reviews as I usually don't. If you need a speaker phone, do not buy this one. It is defective and they keep on selling them in this state. It is hard to imagine they are not aware of the defect.

And now onto the tedious exchange endeavor....
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on December 8, 2009
be sure you read all the information on this phone before you buy. the packaging is very deceiving - the wording on the carton it's packaged in is: 4 line small business system with digital answering system. o.k. it is 4 lines BUT the answering system will work only on line 1 and ONLY if no other lines are busy at the time someone is calling. So if i'm on line 2 and a client is calling me on line 1 i have to put caller on line 2 on hold and answer line 1 - same with all other lines.

deceptive and deceiving - they don't tell you it will work if you buy more than one phone. and when i discovered this it was too late to return it. at & t has lost me as a client.

tax diva
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