The LG 3200 has on the market for a few weeks and is currently one of Telus Mobility's cheaper models and one of the current two Pay & Talk handsets available today.
This handset is a dual band, dual mode phone (800/1900 MHz 1X CDMA & 800 AMPS (analog)), which is good if you're in a remote or fringe area. This model is sold as the LG VX3200 on the American Verizon network.
A lot of this review was borrowed from the LG TM250 / VX3100, this model's predecessor.
Dimensions and Design
The LG 3200 is both lighter and thinner than most clamshells on today's market and this handset fits nicely into even the smallest pockets. The overall dimensions are 10 x 4.0 x 2.3cm or 4 x 1.5 x 0.75 in. The LG 3200 weighs in at only 89g or 2.86oz approximately.
The outside of the phone is sleek and simple. The front and back are a nice gun-metal gray with a LG logo on either side, a TELUS logo on the front, and 3 slots on the front for the speakerphone. There is no external display.
When I opened the clamshell, the phone felt sturdy and well built. The colour screen was vivid, bright, easy to read, and had very good contrast. It is the best colour screen I've ever seen on a phone, despite its size. The keypad was logically arranged, and the buttons had a nice rubbery feel to them. The along with the numbers, the keypad has a four way navigation key used for scrolling through the menus. On the side of the phone are buttons to control the ring volume (in standby) and the earpiece volume (during a call). The TALK and END keys are in the overseas standard position; TALK on the left, and END on the right.
The screen layout is quite standard for today's CDMA phones. At the top of the screen is your signal level, which type of network you're accessing ("D" for Digital CDMA; "1X" for 1X CDMA, and AMPS), and the battery icon, with four bars, showing how much of the battery power is left. Below, is the time and date, automatically set from the network. The banner is customizable, so you can change it to what ever you want. Both the screen's brightness, its and contrast can be adjusted in the menu.
The keypad has a nice blue backlight, that makes the keypad very easy to read.
Coverage, Sound Quality and Reception Quality
This is a dual band, single mode phone (800/1900 MHz 1X CDMA, AMPS), that will work in North American digital service areas, including Mexico. This phone will not work in Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, the Middle East, or Africa.
I've never tested or owned a Telus handset before, so I cannot comment on the handset compared to other Telus models. However, I find that this handset has extraordinary incoming and outgoing sound. It sounds just like a landline on both ends, something I've never seen with a CDMA handset before.
1XRTT Wireless Data and Web Browser
The LG 3200 is equipped with 1X network access. 1X is the CDMA-based wireless data network that will compete with the GPRS network that is available on GSM networks. 1X promises data speeds of up to 144 Kbps with 'always on' service. Similar to GPRS, 1X is always enabled and you are charged for the amount of data transferred, instead of the airtime to connect. As with most newer Telus Mobility phones, when a 1X network is available, 1X is displayed on the screen, next to the signal strength indicator.
The web browser has a quite old version of the OpenWave browser, version 4.1, used on many LG, Kyocera, and on the older Motorola phones and as such, the web browser is a bit outdated, but it seems to work well. Note: it only supports pages up to 2kb, so if you're trying to view bigger pages, it won't work. You'll be fine if you stick to the supported Telus partner sites. The phone has a tendency to heat up, to a point where it is uncomfortable to hold the phone when using the web browser or 1X data. The reason for this is the keypad backlight. If you turn the backlight to 'Always Off' it solves the problem. However, this means that you'll have to switch it back on if you want to dial in the dark. Usually I don't have any problem dialing in the dark, even with the backlight off, because the screen is bright enough to light up the keys. The handset doesn't heat up at all during normal voice calls.
In my tests, the battery lasts a good 6 days on standby in an area with average urban signal (-80 dbm), with no use. Talk time was not tested.
As a phone, this phone performed exceptionally well. I highly recommend this phone to anyone who wants an easy to use phone, wants SOME features, but doesn't want to pay a lot.
Review by Eric Johannsen