A fairly basic but well-designed phone
for those who want to add a personal touch to the task
of making calls.
In the past few
years, LG has had a serious makeover, transforming
itself from a cell phone nobody into a provider of
reliable and often stylish handsets. The LG PM-225 is
representative of many of the company's line for Sprint
PCS: attractive but not stunning, not overloaded with
features, yet with offerings that are well implemented.
We like the in-call options and some of the more
businesscentric features, but plenty of folks will be
drawn to the personalization options. For a limited
time, Sprint is offering this phone for $50 with a
two-year service agreement. Otherwise, it's a bit pricey
The LG PM-225's feature list won't knock
anyone's socks off, but what it does offer, it does
well. The phone book holds up to 500 contacts, each of
which can contain five phone numbers. You can also store
up to 500 e-mail and Web addresses. The selection of
in-call menu options is respectable: During a call, you
can send a text message, set up a three-way call, or
record up to 3 minutes of your conversation with the
Record Voice Memo option. As for other features, you get
a vibrate mode, 12 traditional and 18 polyphonic ring
tones, text and multimedia messaging, a notepad, a
calculator, an alarm clock, a scheduler, voice dialing,
a world clock, and a tip calculator. The speakerphone is
a great addition, but you can't turn it on before you
make a call.
An Auto Answer feature answers
incoming calls in car-kit/headset mode--a nice tool to
use while driving. A feature called Abbreviated Dialing
automatically calls a contact after you've entered the
last four digits of that number. You set up Abbreviated
Dialing by entering the area code and first three digits
of a number. It's a solid feature for business users,
since you can simply dial a four-digit extension to
reach colleagues who share the same prefix.
The LG PM-225 is a camera phone, but
the camera is only VGA quality, with resolutions of
640x480, 320x280, or 160x120. You also get a 5- and
10-second self-timer, four color tones, brightness and
white-balance controls, three quality settings (Fine,
Normal, and Economy), and a 4X zoom that varies by
resolution. There's also a choice of three shutter
sounds, or you can create your own or turn it off
completely. Picture quality is about what you'd
expect--not good--but the integration with Sprint's
Picture Mail service is outstanding, and you can easily
e-mail photos to contacts saved in your address book. Of
course, you can set up photo caller ID with pictures
saved in the phone's memory, though disappointingly, the
picture appears only on the main screen during calls,
not on the external LCD. When taking photos, however, a
convenient meter keeps track of how much memory is left.
We tested the dual-band/trimode (CDMA
800/1900; AMPS 800) LG PM-225 in the Chicago area on the
Sprint PCS network. Call quality was generally good.
Callers said we sounded clear, but they could tell we
were using a cell phone. They didn't complain when we
talked over the integrated speakerphone; one caller even
said we sounded better than in Normal mode.
Battery life was similarly impressive.
We reached 4.25 hours of talk time from the lithium-ion
battery, easily beating the rated 3.25 hours. Our
standby time was a solid five days. According to FCC
radiation tests, the LG PM-225 has a digital SAR rating
of 0.9 watts per kilogram and an analog SAR rating of
1.0 watts per kilogram.