* Prices may differ from that shown
SONY ERICSSON T290i
I bought this phone on the 10th April 2006 for £38.32 from the local co - op store.This phone is a pay as you talk phone and the network is vodaphone. This phone is ideal for sending text messages, to download games, wallpaper and sounds and has integrated loudspeaker for handsfree. With this phone you can receive photos through mms, but can not send photos unfortunately.This phone also has a clock and alarms, games and web services.
When you buy this phone you also get a £5 top up for free and a free sim card. Also you get a charger with the phone, after that if you top up with £5 in the week then you will also enjoy free weekend calls and texts for free.
my phone is black, with silver buttons and a silver frame and comes packed in a red cardboard box and is a touch little phone it has.been dropped on numerous occasions, but is still going strong.Its not to slim of a phone but not to chunky either and still fits in a handbag.
I have had no problems with this phone and it is over 4 years old, i would definately buy another one of these makes in the future when this one eventually packs in. A good quality phone at an excellent cheap price.
Sony Ericsson T290
Lets get started. The measurements for this are (nearest mm) 102x44x19 and the weight is a light 79grams. This shouldnt bother phone critics who feel that everything is either too heavy or bulky.
It is a fairly old design kind of phone and is very low end. I would say that users who dont want a camera etc and who arent technologically very good, would find this useful.
The keypad is fairly fiddly to use, especially the OK button, which you sometimes miss when you try to press it.
It takes round about 1hr 30mins to charge this phone and it does last about a day. This isnt a great battery though it is good for a low use sort of phone.
The menu has 9 icons.
The phone book can store 250 numbers each of which can store three numbers and an email address.
In messages you can receive and send picture and text messages.
The call list stores 10 missed calls and 20 overall.
The settings are traditionally like all phones, which you can change in order to your preference.
You can set a single and continuous alarm clock, and it even works when the phone is switched off.
It also has a timer and calculator.
Images and Sounds contain all your multimedia stuff. There is a voice recorder which is fairly useful, scene as the memory is so low.
The phone has two games, Deep Abyss and V-Rally 2. These are very basic though entertaining games.
The phone is quite good for £30 and for a first time user. There is only one problem. It is very slow. Once you get used to it, it gets annoying as you are 10 steps ahead of the phone!
Overall, a good, average phone
When my younger son wanted to upgrade his old phone, he went for a fancy Sony Ericsson phone that was on special. Part of the 'special' was that Orange gave us a free Sony Ericsson T290i. Since I had been using an old black and white, monophonic Samsung, my kids decided that I should get the colour, polyphonic T290i. I've been using it for over a year now and I thought you'd be interested to hear what I think about it.
Let's start with the most important things you should know about this phone. Firstly, the battery life this is probably one of the best things about this phone. The specifications say the battery will last for 300 hours of standby time, or 12 hours of usage time. Now, I'm not a heavy phone user I make and receive anywhere from 6 to 12 calls per day, but don't like to talk for long. I also get many, many SMS messages because my daughter's phone has been cut off to outgoing calls, but can still text message, but I usually call her back or write a very short message in return. With this kind of usage, I find that I need to charge this up about twice a week. Even though I have a different phone I use while driving, and my longest calls are usually on that phone, I'd still say that this battery life is probably a bit above average.
Recharging the phone back to full power doesn't take very long at all, and I think the minimum you need from totally empty to completely full is a bit under two hours. I've had times when I've put the phone in to charge from empty, for only about 30 minutes and the little battery icon has gone from red all the way into the green (there's yellow too, for when the battery is starting to run low), but that amount won't get you a totally green battery icon. That will keep me going for at least a day, so that's not bad at all. The only thing about the battery that I don't care for is that when it gets into the red for too long and is about to run out of steam altogether, you only get a notice on your phone once or twice near the end, and then you'll hear a little duck-like quack, and the phone then turns itself off. I really don't think that this gives you enough warning, and there have been many times when I've let the battery down too much, and didn't know that it had turned off. If the warning notice started coming up as soon as the icon went from yellow to red then perhaps this wouldn't happen as much. It also might be more helpful if the phone 'cried' a bit more before it turns itself off a few times in the last hour or so before it expires would be better.
I do have to say, however, that no matter how low the phone battery is, I've never had a problem with hearing people or them hearing me. This brings me to the general reception quality of this phone. As I've said a low battery doesn't mean poor reception, and it wouldn't make sense if the sound quality while the battery is strong wasn't equally as good of course it is. I've even noticed that when the signal is low on the phone, I can usually hear people quite well. The only problem is that when this is the case, people do have a hard time hearing me on occasion. Still, I'd say that this is better than can be expected. I would have to say that of all the cell phones I've used, I seem to have far less problems with people hearing me and hearing people on this phone than with any other phones I've used including the trustworthy Nokia models I've had. Top marks in this area.
The next important thing about any cell phone (for me) is making calls. One of the problems with this phone is the way that the keys are made. On this model the keys are little oblong shaped, cushioned buttons, which I don't really care much for. Even with small fingers and not overly long fingernails, I find it difficult to press the right keys every time I want to dial. The buttons are relatively small in size and that means that the letters on the keys must be quite small. While the numbers and letters are lit up when you're dialing, the pale green light on the silver keys doesn't make reading the letters and numbers any easier. In fact, I wish I could turn off the key lights because when it is off the letters and numbers are dark gray which shows up more clearly against the silver than the green light does. Of course, my difficulty in reading the keys could be partially due to my quickly advancing age, but I'm sure that this isn't the entire problem because even with reading glasses on, it isn't easy. And if dialing is a problem, you can imagine how sending a text message would be even more difficult. In this area, I find the T290i to be one of the worse phones I've ever used. Thankfully, I don't write a whole lot of text messages and having a phonebook does help with most dialing.
That brings me to the phonebook itself. They say that there is room for 250 contacts on this phone but I usually save my numbers on the SIM card so that if (or rather when) I upgrade, I don't have to worry about copying my numbers from one phone to the other. In any case, the nice thing about this phone is that you can store more than one number per contact which is a good thing because then you don't have to have several numbers for one person. The phone lets you store home, office and cell numbers as well as email addresses for each contact. You can also set any particular contact with a special picture and ring-tone. My old Samsung only let me assign four contacts with their own ring-tones but this phone lets me assign a ring-tone to each and every contact I have, which is very nice. The big problem here is that there are too many options for the phonebook. If you just want to look at a number, you have to go into the phonebook, select "view contact" and then search for the person. That isn't the only option since if you want to call or edit a contact you have to choose one of those options. If you want to call a contact, after you've found it and hit "yes" then it will show you the number and you have to hit the dial button again before it will dial. All this seems a bit convoluted and it would have been easier just to access the phonebook and then chosen via a menu what you wanted to do, or just hit the dial button to call. This makes using the phone very clumsy and slow if not frustrating. Thankfully, you can set up the keypad with quick dial numbers so that calling people you want to reach most is as easy as pressing one number and then the dial button (much like many phones these days).
A little more about the colour screen, messaging and polyphonic ring-tones might be helpful to you. The screen itself is actually quite big and the menu has nice, clear icons for navigating around the phone. When you move between the icons, there is text at the top to tell you what the icon represents, and I found this to be a very nice feature. The opening screen is very clean with the time at the bottom center, reception to the left and battery to the right all big enough for me to see even when I am not wearing my reading glasses. You can also put wallpapers on that screen and there are several to choose from our you can download as many more as you'd like. Finally, there is a screensaver (mandatory, apparently) that turns the screen black with the time (digital) that moves up and down the screen, changing from white numbers to black numbers on a white band. It isn't wonderful, since I would have preferred an analogue clock, but it's not horrid, either. Also, when you receive or make a call, the dialing and caller ID take up the whole screen again, good for us elderly people who don't wear their glasses all the time.
Speaking of my blindness, I should mention the messaging on this phone. Aside from regular text messaging, you can send MMS and email from this phone, as well as chat via the text options. I usually only send text messages, so all the rest is superfluous for me. Again, the screen is good and big and you can even change the size of the letters if you need. There are options to change the language including that annoying thing where the phone guesses what you're trying to type. You can add pictures and use a huge selection of symbols and even the dreaded "smilies". The only problem is that when you want to add a number, you have to change the 'language' to numeric or keep pressing the keys through all the letters and symbols until you get to the number which is a pain. In general, messaging with this phone seems to be okay for me.
The ring-tones being polyphonic are very nice, but the choices they give you with the phone are pretty lame. Thankfully, there's also no limit to downloading these, either (except for your pocketbook limitations, that is). These sound okay when the phone rings, and the volume seems good enough to hear even in a noisy street with the phone in my pocketbook. There's also a melody composer on the phone but since that is monophonic and I've never learned how to use those on any phone.
Other features of this phone include three games (Deep Abyss, Five Stones V-Rally2), and of course you can download more, Internet access capability, an organizer which includes events, alarms, a timer, a stopwatch and a calculator. You can also put pictures into your contacts, but because this phone doesn't have a camera, you'd have to download these, and I just can't be bothered to do that. There is an earphone attachment available for this phone but you can't get a hands-free set for your car for this phone.
In sum, this is a good phone that doesn't have lots of bells and whistles. It has very good clarity in making and receiving calls, the battery life is excellent, and messaging functions are okay. It is awkward how the phonebook/contacts work and when you dial from the phonebook, it sometimes takes a very long time before it gets going. But the biggest drawback is the uncomfortable and small keys on the keypad. Still, if you're looking for a cheap phone that will give you the basics in cell phone usage, but still give you polyphonic tones and a colour screen, then you might want to take a look at Sony Ericsson's T290i. I'll give it three stars and recommend it, but not wholeheartedly.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © February 2007
There's a very good review of this at http://www.mobile-phones-uk.org.uk/sony-ericsson-t290i.htm
You can get this discontinued model via Amazon.co.uk on their marketplace from £40 or via ebayexpress.co.uk for about the same price. I'm also told that you might also be able to find it in some high street phone shops from as low as £10-20.
This is virtual genetics' ultimate frontier: the clone of the T230, which is silver, and they cloned it so you'll get the same phone, in black. I had a T230 and my girlfriend had T290i, and we said, they are totally alike except for the colors.
There's not much to say about the phone, it looks good, it knows some stuff, like polyphonics, color pictures and animations, games (but no java!), wap through GPRS and CSD servers, MMS, has 1 Mb memory, which is quite frankly very little. And that really covers the services it provides! But if you want a cheap phone that has all this as minimal, you got what you were looking for. You can use a camera with it just like with the T23 only they don't give it for free with the phone.