Straight Talk Samsung LG 290C Review
A Great First Impression
Whenever you get a new phone, there is always some kind of first impression involved. The first things that you notice about the Straight Talk Samsung LG 290C are the fabulously smooth sliding opening, large alphanumeric keyboard, and the good sized, bright, clear LCD screen. Thankfully, there is plenty more to be impressed about as well.
First of all, when you press the menu key, you see 9 bright, colorful menu choices. These are: Prepaid, Contacts, Messages, Recent Calls, My Folder, Browser, My Schedule, Tools, and Settings.
If you prefer, you also have the option to see the menu in a list form. When you open the phone, you even have 4 shortcut keys to fast track the most accessed options. These are: Text, Images, Camera, and Calendar.
My teenager was impressed at the smoothness of the sliding feature that opened the keyboard. It appears to be very good quality and durable. By sliding the phone closed, you also can exit out of something quickly. Although QWERTY keyboard phones might be a good choice for some, the closeness of the keys can be a challenge to many. This numeric keyboard is extremely easy to see and text on since the buttons seem to be good sized. It might make a good choice for larger, or less sturdy fingers, or for someone that might have difficulty seeing.
The 1.3 megapixal camera takes good, clear pictures, as you can see below:
The camera has a zoom feature by pressing the center up key. There are several ways to access the picture taking option, so it is very simple. There is the photo button on the side, the menu, and the shortcut icon button that is just above the keyboard. You may send pictures to another phone or email address, or you may send files via Bluetooth, although it is a little tricky. I found good information on how to do this on this Howard Forums link.
This phone features a long lasting, lithium battery. I found the battery life to last even longer than a week when I didn’t access the browser. However, when I did access the browser often on a trip, it used the battery life very quickly. Within 2 days I needed to recharge the phone. The battery connection jack is at the side of the phone. It is very similar to a micro USB connector.
The features on this phone are extensive, yet simplistic. The address book can hold 1,000 contacts. Contacts are organized by; name, mobile number, email, home, work, fax and a group option if applicable. You also have the option of assigning each contact a specific ring tone or image.
There are several things worth noting about the message feature. One feature that I feel is helpful is there will be a red light flash in the corner of the phone to alert new messages. I thought that might be especially helpful if you are using a mobile phone rather than a land line and might not always have the phone with you, or if you are unable to hear the ring. There are 41 options for ringers. Most of them are on the smooth jazz or new age genre. If that is not enough, for whatever reason, ring tones may also be downloaded. As I was checking into information on this phone, I noticed that you may use the voice command feature to audibly announce who is leaving a message.
The folder contains photos, images, and voice recordings. You may also take photos or record voice by accessing the folder. There are many beautiful images to choose from including moving backgrounds. You also have the option to download and buy wallpaper if you desire more choices.
I have a few complaints about the browser. If I pull my phone out of my purse, it is very easy to grab it and press the browser button. I would suggest using the locking feature on the phone to avoid this problem. As I mentioned before, using the browser quickly sucks the juice from the battery. I lost my internet connection several times on a business trip. However, it did access everything I had need of after a time, so it might be best to use the browser only out of necessity.
I was very surprised to find the alarm clock listed under My Schedule. I thought it would make more sense to list it under tools. There were 5 different time listings under the alarm clock, so I assume it would make sense that you would be using that feature for scheduling. Calendar and notepad are also listed under My Schedule.
Tools contains many options. Voice command, tip calculator, standard calculator, world clock, stopwatch, and unit converter are all listed under tools. I haven’t used every tool option on the list, but I did use the voice command and had a bit of frustration with it. I had to repeat the command several times to get it to accept. There is a volume control on the side of the phone, and it is also hearing aid compatible. The Bluetooth is one other way to access automated dialing other than the voice command. You may also use a speaker feature, if you need your hands free. I didn’t feel the speaker was as loud as I would like, and although I heard the person on the other end very clearly, I wondered how well they could hear me.
A few other things that are slightly on the negative that should be mentioned are that there is no video option on this phone. Although, the screen and graphics are quite large and vivid, there are no games on this phone. The only other slight con would be that this phone does weigh 4 ounces, so it is slightly on the heavy side for a cell phone.
Overall, I found the LG 290C to have excellent signal and voice reception, and to be very user friendly. If you should need further information or tutorials for this phone, you can click here for an excellent interactive tutorial on the Straight Talk website.
The phone I reviewed is a reconditioned model. That does not necessarily mean that the phone has been reworked or repaired, it simply means it was returned, for whatever reason. That didn’t matter a bit where quality was concerned on this phone. The reconditioned models usually run about $20-$30 less than the new phones. The reconditioned model also comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
From the website about the warranty:
STRAIGHT TALK will repair or replace your phone and/or accessory that contains a manufacturer's defect that hinders or prevents its proper operation for up to one year (90 days on all accessories) from date of purchase (proof of purchase required)
The Straight Talk LG 290C not only left a nice first impression, I feel that for about $100, (complete with airtime) for the first month, you could have a very easy, reliable phone with several nice features and options.
Review by Shaunna Wood