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I was looking for a new phone...as long as it worked "as a phone" I'd be happy! Tesco online had an offer one weekend and I could get the LG KG290 with £10 airtime on "Pay as you go" for £16 with free delivery! Seemed a bargain and without going into details I managed to get further discounts which means that in the end I only paid £1 for the phone! A one-off and I was lucky with timing. A cracking start..........
What's the phone like, then? Well, I was upgrading from a bog-standard phone and this was my first mobile with a colour screen! You can tell I was going to be easily impressed!
However, this truly is a great little unit. It has a camera and video function, it plays MP3 music/podcast files, it has a radio! It comes with headphones, a charger and an instruction booklet.
The memory is expandable using a "microSD" card...I bought a 1gig version on eBay for around £2! Twice the cost of the phone, I know.......These cards are minute - about the size of a, er, stamp corner. This means more photos/video/songs can be stored. The phone has a "voice record" function so I imagine with a large memory card you could dictate War and Peace on the train should you wish to! You might get a few odd looks...
I've left the phone recording the uninspiring view from my lounge window while I write this to see how much video you can store on a 1gig card..we're up to 11 minutes so far.
Files can be transferred to and from a PC using the Bluetooth function but I find it easier to remove the card from the phone and use a card adaptor which means you can put music onto the phone using the PCs USB port. We're getting technical...
But I digress, this is a phone..how does it fare? Well, I'm on Tesco's network and signal strength has always been good in England and Southern Ireland. Sound is clear and I haven't had problems being heard. Battery life is excellent with a charge once a week sufficing for my low usage needs. The phone arrived with the battery fully charged, incidentally.
Functions are more than sufficient - it's all there. Address book (with pictures if you wish), Calendar,Alarm Clock,Stopwatch,Memo facility,web browser,texting of every conceivable format.
The unit is a "slide to open" design which means you can answer the phone in one movement and also means when not in use this is a compact item in your pocket. Most functions can be operated without even opening the phone if you just want a quick check to see if you've got messages etc. There's the useful option of adding your most used functions into a short list which is accessed in one press of the cursor joystick on the front which saves you hunting through menus. I like that.
We're up to 20 minutes on video record now...
The design looks modern. Mine's silver and no paint has been lost after 6 months of use. The screen remains remarkably unscratched too. There are three buttons on the side for volume control (call volume and when using the speaker for MP3 playback) and camera operation without needing to go through the menu.
There are games built in if you want to fritter away some time...
Right, we've recorded half an hour of pointlessness now so I'm calling it a day. You get the point.
This is a great little phone which, even at full price (!) of around £20 is a bargain. I don't get excited by mobile phones but I'd have another, no problem..
The Mrs and I both needed new mobile phones recently and our son recommended that we have a drive over to Tesco to look at their Pay-As-You-Go handsets. The reason being, neither of us like to spend too much on our phones though we do both need and use them. Our son suggested that Tesco had a decent range in that would suit us at very low prices so we decided to take a look.
Sure enough, there were loads on offer, maybe forty or fifty and all from about £11 to £100. We both decided on the same model in the end though, the LG KG290. We decided it was a nice lightweight phone that looked appealing, had plenty of functions and was very reasonably priced at £27 each (including a Tesco PAYG sim card). To avoid confusion, thankfully we were able to get this in different colours! The Mrs's is dark pink and mine's silver. The picture accompanying this review is of a black model so even though Tesco did not offer that colour, other stores might do.
Getting to grips with this phone was quite easy though I think the fact that two of us were doing it helped things along! We're not idiots when it comes to new technology though we're no experts either. To start with we had to charge our phones up fully as per the instructions. This only took a few hours which I thought was very reasonable. When it was fully charged, the battery charging motif on the display stopped flashing so we could be certain it was all done.
There was one small problem with the initial charging though now I come to think of it. When you slide the back cover off to put the battery in for the first time, getting the back cover back on is a nightmare! You don't slot it in at the bottom then slide it up. No, instead you have to find just the right position to line it up against the back about halfway up and then slide it the rest of the way. This is because of where the catches are aligned to hold onto it. The back cover is very, very thin so I was getting a bit worried I would break it when I did this!
The functions are really excellent for the price. The display is all colourful and easy to navigate including four "hot keys" on the front panel for quick access to text messaging and phone book etc. The keypad is neatly hidden on a slim slide-out section which you slide down to use but you can access all your functions without sliding this down. This makes the phone doubly compact and neat to use I think.
You've got all the necessary tools on this phone and a few more besides. There's a decent calendar, calculator and stopwatch etc. Plus there are enough ringtones for most people to find one they like. You can have a look at your call activity easily including checking how much calls have cost you. There's internet access on these phones and they even have bluetooth technology too. Then there's the radio function (headphones were included with the phone) and even MP3 capabilities (not that I know how to download tracks onto it to be honest).
The games I quite like, not that they're a particularly important part of a phone I know! There's a Sudoku with three different difficulty levels, something to do when you're on a tea break or waiting around for something at least. There's a little animal heads Tetris type game as well though I can't really work that bit out. Nice bright graphics on both though the sound is a little annoying. I think it's nice to know they still take the time to put a little something on them these days though.
The sound quality is good on this phone though I have to admit to hearing better. That's what you get for buying a £27 phone though! It's not distorted or too weak or anything, just not as strong and well defined as more expensive phones. You can set the sound volume to one of five settings using the buttons on the side of the handset. I've got mine on four to hear it without being annoying to people but the Mrs has put hers on the highest setting (she's getting old bless her).
There's a camera included on these phones too though I have to say it took me a good fifteen minutes to work out how to use it! On my last phone, "camera" was one of the main menu options but is isn't on this phone. You have to select the file "Multimedia" then scroll down to option two. That said, the picture quality is really very good so in that respect I'm very pleased. Because this phone's got bluetooth capabilities it means I can upload any photos to my computer relatively easily too.
There's a video camera option under the multimedia file too which I wasn't expecting. The Mrs pointed out how handy that would have been to have when our Grandson was a bit younger. You don't have the digital camera to hand when little ones do clever things a lot of the time but you often have your phone in your pocket. It must be ideal for first steps and things. You can only record 40 seconds of footage and the resolution is perfectly decent though not great of course. The sound qualities pretty good too.
Overall I'm really very pleased with this phone. It does everything I want it to do and more besides. The quality of the various aspects ranges from good to very good and it's a really reasonably priced piece of equipment. I've spent three times this much on a phone before for a lot less. The only reason I can see for paying more is if you want perfect sound because you use your phone as an MP3 player or because you're fashion conscious about what phone you're seen with. Otherwise, I recommend this to the average Joe and Josephine as a good all round phone at a very good price.
I bought this for christmas and i am very pleased with it, the style is good and image quality is average. The MP3 is good but the volume isn't very good. The radio only picks up about a third of the stations listed, but that could just be because of where i live. The internet doesn't take to long to connect and displays some good internet style pages. The bluetooth is also good but there isn't very good memory on the phone so you would need to but an external memory card for about £10 for a 1GB. Unfortunatly you can't use themes on this phone and You can only use one of the few message tones given, although you can use whatever "sound" you like for yur ringtone. This phone has four different profiles: General, Silent, Vibrate only and Outdoor. You can store less than fifty text messages. The camera is good but i can only store 11 images on the phone without an external memory card But i might be able to store more if I delete some other Music or videos..