"Solid performer with useful features"4.0 starson by AdamKirk
Pros: Bright easy to read color displays; very user customizable; excellent overall performance, useful onboard tools; independent backlight settings on inside display and keypad; no external antenna.
Cons: Some of the included wallpapers for screensaver are too busy; picture quality of camera not that great; no speakerphone button on outside.
Summary: The displays are nice and bright, and even have contrast controls for both – nice touch there. There are also enough color/graphic schemes that everyone will find at least a couple of them to be to their taste right out of the box without having to add their own wallpaper in. One caveat however - some of the included wallpapers are pretty harsh against the text on the smaller outside display. Some are just so graphically busy that it makes the text blend into with it a little too much (and difficult to read). Fortunately they did include a couple of plain single color backgrounds, a yellow and a red, both of which anyone could easily read the text against. Lastly the PM-225 offers several menu skin coloring schemes and one can change the font sizes for certain functions – also a nice touch.
The buttons are decent and very adequately illuminated with blue LED backlighting. I especially like the way one can navigate through the menus on this phone. It was a pivotal factor in my decision on going with the PM-225 – a lot of the other models I looked at were much more tedious in the way one had to use the buttons to scroll through stuff whereas on the 225 it made sense to me immediately. One also has programmable shortcuts for the items they access the most to make getting around even faster and easier.
The contacts (phonebook) section provides for up to 500 entries – with up to 5 phone numbers for each entry - theoretically allowing someone to store up to 2500 phone numbers in the PM-225. This should be more than adequate for the average user, and probably more contact storage than I’ll ever personally need.
The onboard tools included were actually useful and not so much a novelty. One gets a scheduler, alarm clock, note pad tip calculator, regular calculator and a world clock. This phone includes no games but some are downloadable into the phone (at a cost). I personally couldn’t care less – my previous phone had games in it and I never played them. There are also a variety of downloadable applications for the PM-225, also available at a cost.
This phone comes with 30 ring tones out of the box – 12 monotone and 18 polyphonic. I personally just stick with the boring monophonic ring tones and spare people of my personal tastes in music – however those of you into this type of expression should have no fear! This phone has the ability to download custom ringers, including one’s favorite artists, sound effects or whatever the heart desires.
The web browser is as good as could be expected on a 1.75” display – since it is 65,000 colors it makes for a lot more useful browsing as opposed to a simple monochrome or backlit LCD matrix display (like on my old Kyocera 2255). Browse time is of course very slow to those of us used to the speeds of broadband. Text messaging and instant messaging are also implemented and seem to work fine as well, but as with any phone that doesn’t have a built in keypad for typing messages it’s a tediously slow process to instant message with someone.
The camera functions are pretty straight forward – although the editor review claims there is a built in flash – that is NOT the case with the PM-225. The picture quality is pretty unimpressive but does the job in a pinch. The amount of pictures one can take depends on the resolution used – which is up to 640x480 in fine resolution (and the only USEABLE mode in my opinion – so I’m stuck with only 16 photographs at a time). If one can put up with the lower resolutions they will be able to take considerably more photos, but generally speaking one doesn’t have a lot of memory to work with in any situation where the desire is to take lots of pictures.
I am very happy with the performance of this phone in actual use. Compared to my old cell phone, the PM-225 has very superior reception/transmission performance and much better sound quality – both in what I hear and what the person I’m talking to hears. I have never lost a signal in the middle of a call with this phone (which wasn’t the case with my old set) and have yet to find a spot in my local area where I lose the digital signal at all. For a phone that has an internal antenna it simply is a really good performer.
The audio reports I have received have been very good, and the speakerphone performs just as well. The most notable comment I got about the speaker phone was that it sounded like a regular speakerphone without all the dropouts – I was holding the phone about 2 feet away from my mouth and the party I was talking to had no trouble understanding me whatsoever. I have to confirm the high pitch squealing reported in other reviews – it’s not a big deal or particularly irritating but this does happen when the speakerphone is in use.
The displays do wash out a bit in sunlight, but asking any computerized TFT color display to perform in direct sunlight is a pretty tall order. At night I have absolutely no problems getting my way around the PM-225 as the display is bright and clear, and the backlighting makes the buttons very visible.
Battery performance has been good and it seems to somewhat exceed the manufacturer's claims both in use and in standy mode. It certainly holds a charge considerably longer than my old phone did.
A button or mechanism on the outside that would release the flip would have been handy, especially in the sense of being on the road and not having a hands-free set. This phone is simply a pain to open up with just one hand because of its small size.
More memory for the user interface would be nice – although the PM-225 is generally responsive to commands, there are times where it is sluggish – evident of a device running on just enough memory to make it functional. When it comes to performance of devices that use CPU’s - more is more. Having said this, when I updated the software to this phone the newer version proved to be a bit more responsive to commands overall.
And lastly, I’d like to see the outside display at least show the time continuously. My old cell phone’s display did that and it was nice to just be able to glance at it without having to push any buttons. The PM-225’s outside display certainly wouldn’t need to be continuously on but just a simple basic text indication of what time it is would be handy and certainly wouldn’t kill the battery.
Overall, LG did a nice job in the design of this particular phone, and the overall performance is really good, especially considering it has no external antenna. The ability for user customization is outstanding, even without adding in one’s own wallpapers or ringers.