Sony Ericsson J132 vs LG KP100
Ultra-budget handset head-to-head
LG also gives you rather handy world clock and unit convertor applications, which Sony Ericsson counters with a torch function. What this actually means is that when activated the screen lights up at its maximum, pure white, brightness. In actual usage, the 'torch' throws out only a little more illumination than you get simply bringing the phone off standby, so it's arguably no more a feature than the screen on any other phone is.
The J132 uses standard USB and 3.5mm-audio ports
Both handsets come with T9 predictive text but only the LG allows you to add new words to its dictionary. Though the J132's “writing tips” say you can do this too, the “spell” function was simply missing from the relevant menu on our handset.
Sony Ericsson claims 450 hours on stand-by and up to nine hours of talk time, while LG's equivalent quoted numbers are 420 hours and 6.5. hours, respectively. The bottom line is that both handsets will go a full week between charges unless heavily used and abused - handy for a holiday phone for which you may want to leave your charger at home.
Should you use the handset frequently, the presence of a USB charge socket on the J132 means you can charge your phone from a computer as well as the mains adaptor, which is a feature not to be sniffed at. On the other hand, when you remove the battery from the LG to swap SIM cards it remembers the time and date - unlike the Sony, which does a Pol Pot and reverts to Year Zero.
Cheap as chips
At the time of writing, both the J132 and KP100 are available as PAYG handsets - both locked, alas - from T-Mobile, for instance, for the princely sum of £9.78, and that includes post and packaging.
Frankly, any phone that comes with change from a Charles Darwin and actually works is a good deal. Of the two handsets, the LG was the better looking, smaller and lighter, though the Sony proved to be the easier to use and live with, and comes with a radio and hands-free headset. On balance we will go for the LG because of the superior call quality. ®