Wednesday, August 24, 2016

AT&T ATT-982 2 Lines Corded Phone

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Last year, it came time to replace the four phones we had at work. We had five lines, but the decision was made to go down to two lines. (It was pretty rare that a third line was ever used unless several people were calling out.) When we got the phones, we set them up pretty easily. I have to say that I haven’t really thought much about them since, and I mean that in a good way.

Knowing that I was possibly going to review these phones, I took it upon myself to learn as much as possible about them. Yes, I know. It’s a phone. How much could I learn from the manual? One of the few things that I did learn was that you need to pay for two lines to be able to use the two-line functionality. (The phone won’t split one line into two.)

The phone has a 24-number speed-dial memory capacity. I decided to program the phone myself, starting with my cell phone and the cell phones of several other employees and several other stores in the area. (Before you accuse me of being egocentric, I needed a way to test my ability without bothering anyone else.)

The speed dial uses 13 buttons. Twelve are assigned two numbers each; the thirteenth is used to select the lower of the two numbers. For instance, if you want the first number, you press the first speed-dial button. (For the second number, you press the thirteenth button, and then the first speed-dial button.) Having read the manual, I knew how to do this. However, it’s not always apparent to someone who hasn’t read it. Most of my coworkers don’t bother using it, especially considering that they already have many of the important phone numbers memorized.

The phone even comes with a piece of paper that you can put on the button area of the phone to label the different buttons, which is pretty common. However, we only got one per phone. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do if you have to reprogram the phone more than three times. Also, they’re not adhesive; we had to tape one of them to the phone because it kept falling off.

Now that I’ve spent three paragraphs on the speed dial, let’s go back to the two-line functionality. One of the things I like about the phone is that each line has a different pitch. If a call is coming in on Line 1, you get a lower pitch than if it’s coming in on Line 2. You wouldn’t think that this is useful, but it is. It makes it easier to tell if the first line is in use. (Since both lines have a separate phone number, it is possible that Line 2 might ring first, but it’s pretty rare.)

Each line gets its own button, letting you select that line. Above each button are two LED lights. One is green and flashes if someone is calling. The other is red and lets you know if that line is engaged. If you put a call on hold, the phone that put that call on hold will have a blinking red light for that line. (All of the other phones will still have the solid red light.)

The only other feature that I want to mention is the speakerphone. It’s useable, but it’s not great. We’ve used it a few times and have had to shout into it to get the other person to hear us, even though we could hear them fine. It’s best for when you have to call out or are put on hold for a long time.

This is a four-star phone. It’s not incredible, but it does get the job done. We haven’t had any major problems with it, unlike the phones that they replaced. Ultimately, it’s a phone. You need something that’s not going to drop your calls or give you too much static. As long as it works, everyone is happy. There are several other features, such as a data port and a place to plug a head set in, but we don’t really use these. I also recommend hanging on to the instruction manual. As easy as everything is, you may need a reference later.

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