Aesthetics notwithstanding, it's the J132's cheap-looking keypad with its raised rather than recessed buttons - as the LG has - that proves the easiest and most pleasant to use, making it the device of choice among the two handsets for SMS junkies. The Sony Ericsson's navpad is also the easier of the two to use due to its more pronounced rim.
When it comes to voice call quality, though, it's the LG that claims the honours, both incoming and outgoing calls sounding clearer, louder and more natural in tone than they do on the Sony Ericsson, which sounded a little muted on incoming calls and was prone to break-up on outgoing ones.
Neither handset has a screen that you'll want to look at for any length of time if you value your eyesight, and both phones will only let you choose between a limited selection of garish wallpapers – why you can't select plain white or black is anyone's guess.
Of the two, the J132's UI is the better simply because its home screen text is both larger and rendered in white rather than black-with-a-white-surround, making it easier on the eye.
The Sony also has the bigger - and better - battery gauge, the LG showing only three charge gradations to the Sony's ten.
Thinner and lighter than the J132
The only significant functional difference between the two handsets is the presence of a rather excellent RDS FM radio in the J132. A handy side-effect of this is that the Sony also comes supplied with a hands-free headset. The cheapest LG compatible headset we could find was a couple of quid more than the cost of the phone itself.
Both handsets come with the usual raft of tools including a calculator, calender, stopwatch and alarm clock, though only the LG has a repeating alarm - the J132's alarm needs to be re-set after every use.
We're ranging both these handsets in our stores at the moment (T-Mobile) and the SE J132 is miles ahead of the LG when it comes to setting up phones for the older customer. Much easier navigation, and a battery life that is truly amazing considering the price makes it the hands down winner.
I got a J132 a few weeks ago
I went on holiday to a place where the only network available is Orange so I shopped about a bit and got myself a J132. I must say that I was really impressed with it for the price I paid (£14-something with £10 talk time).
The most impressive thing for me what the immortal battery - it never seems to die! Despite the girlfriend texting on it every 5 minutes, the battery lasted a week with no recharge. When we got back, I left it on and 1½ weeks later it still showed half battery.
the 'torch' is a mildly amusing feature. It shows a blank white screen. Very creative...!
It's now tucked away waiting for the next time we go away or need cheap cinema tickets.