Both handsets are handsome enough - though the 'FM Radio' sticker blazoned across the face of the 271 does it no favours - and come with clear, bright 65,536-colour, 128 x 128, 2.7cm-square screens. The keyboard of the 275 is the better looking of the two, being the same colour as the handset body. However, the grey single-piece keyboard of the 271 is better damped than the standalone keys of the 275 and feels better to use. It also lights up with a more uniform and pleasing glow when activated.
LG's LG271: camera-free but skinny
Ease of use is exemplary. The left hot-key takes the user directly to the first menu title page (Messaging) then lets you scroll down through Contacts, Call History, Settings, Alarm, Organiser (Calender and Memos), the FM radio on the 271 and finally Tools (Calculator, Stopwatch, World Clock, Unit Converter and something called Lost Mobile Track, of which more below). In any of these menus, a left or right scroll allows the user to move to the main access page of the next menu along - a nice touch.
The right-hand hot-key can be set to create a list of ten commonly used favourites that can then be accessed directly. All in all, then, one of the best thought-out menu systems we've seen on a mobile for quite some time. A bonus not expected on a handset of this price is the ability to add words to the T9 predictive text dictionary. Each LG handset comes with a charger and hands-free stereo headset, the latter needed on the 271 to listen to the FM radio.
LG quotes 120 hours' stand-by time and four hours' talk time from a full charge, not a claim we have any reason to query. Charge up time from flat is around the three-hour mark. The FM radio on the 271 is a more than acceptable bit of kit, auto-tuning the ten pre-set stations in a matter of seconds and providing decent enough playback through the supplied headset.
LG's KG275: 'I've been stolen!' messaging built in
Both models come with something called Lost Mobile Track which seems to be some sort of doodad that sends an SMS to a pre-selected number in case of loss or unauthorised usage. If that sounds a bit vague and missing such vital info as how or why, it's because the manual to our 271 is all in Thai, it being purchased in Bangkok after one of our more adventurous hacks lost his Sony Ericsson K610i under as yet unexplained circumstances... You just can't get the staff these days. Still, all in all it sounds a useful feature, if only we could get it to work...
Not a luddite...
...but I will probably get a phone like one of these soon.
At work, I often select and setup phones (for other peopl) to use GPRS/UMTS for email retrieval and the like. The latest gag is setting up Nokia phones to use VOIP via WLAN when the user is in the office.
However, for myself, I just want a phone to be phone, make and receive calls and send the odd SMS. I don't want it making data connections if I accidentally hit the cunningly preprogrammed button. I don't want a digital camera with a crappy lens - I have a real camera for taking photos. If I want to run some application, I like a screen bigger than a postage stamp.
A phone which is just a phone and will fit in my shirt pocket would be ideal.
Martin, to find your own number go to Menu - Contacts - 7 Information - 2 Own Numbers. Should show as Line 1 with the number at the bottom of the screen.
KG 275 in UK for £9.99
Just bought one of the machines as described above from my local Sainsbury's -- on special half-price offer, hence the £9.99 price tag.
Seems absolutely OK to me (BTW: I've *never* used a mobile phone in my life before; so absolutely everything about it was NEW knowledge to me.)
1) They could really do with some instructions on how to insert a sim card -- like a picture telling you to slide it UNDER the metal holder-bar across the depression under the battery that takes the sim.
(Took me an hour to work that one out. It's neither obvious; nor easy to insert the card.)
2) WTF is my own phone number? How do I find out?
(I wasn't given one when the card was activated over the freephone number by a guy who obviously learned his English from the manic camp DJ in 'The Fifth Element'.)
Otherwise -- a doddle. For a pensioner with a PhD, but NIL knowledge of what a mobile phone is.
mwheeler at startext dot co dot uk
"In advocating more features and bemoaning the lack of them the author misses the point entirely."
I rather think the author is making exactly the opposite point; that the lack of features is to be welcomed.
simple phones for simple people
in advocating more features and bemoaning the lack of them the author misses the point entirely. there are people like me who, though old, pre-tech and cast aside as worthless by the tech loving class, still may want to make a call away from home. they, we, just want to making a bloody call. don't care if the phone is a media/entertainment source. don't do messaging preferring to simply call the freaking person. don't particularly want a gps unit in a phone. don't want to see or hear ads from the phone. just a phone to be a phone. with a key pad made for someone with human fingertips and normal to subnormal vision.