The LG125 is available for purchase on the Telus network in Canada and various US providers.
The LG125 is a dual-band, tri-mode phone meaning it will work on all frequencies that Telus operates (800/1900 MHz CDMA1X plus 800MHz AMPS analog). This review was based on the performance of the handset running on the Telus' CDMA 1900 MHz network in Southern Ontario (firmware version CX12TE08).
Review written by Qrystal.
Original publication date: 1 March 2006.
Specs: (From LG's website) Dimensions:90 x 47 x 24mm (3.5 x 1.9 x 0.9 inches) Weight: 88 grams (3.1 oz)
Battery Life: Talk Time: Up to 3 hours Standby Time: Up to 150 hours
Battery Life My Own Battery Experience:
There is one major quirk that will negatively affect battery life, and I haven't quite tracked down exactly how to reliably reproduce the problem. What happens is the LCD screens and/or the keypad may remain lighted indefinitely, until the power is shut down on the phone. This causes the handset not only to waste battery power, but it also gets quite warm if left in this state for a half hour or more. The screen backlighting also often remains on during charging, which to me seems pointless, but LG's response to this was that it is meant to indicate to the user that charging is in process. (I think they thought I was talking about the LED.) I've tried toggling the settings to trick the phone into turning off the backlighting, but upon closing the flip the backlighting turned back on and stayed on. This happens even when the backlight settings are set to "always off" (the keypad one was the first I noticed, because I have it set to always off to conserve battery life because I generally only use it in the daytime). The one thing that has sometimes worked, when it is just the screen backlight and not the keypad light that refuses to turn off, is to leave the flip open until the power saving feature is activated, and then close the flip. This issue has come up on several occasions: sometimes on a missed incoming call, sometimes when the scheduler is alerting me, sometimes just randomly when the sound is turned to silent mode.
Look and Feel
The first thing that stands out about the look is the colour. The green/white version looks a little more "lime" coloured than the photos seemed, and it was not to my taste; I opted for the white/silver version, which I found to be pleasantly different from many of the other phones out there. I like the way the phone feels in my hands, with its rounded edges and just enough weight to feel its presence. It will probably feel a little small to people with larger hands, as it seems to be just about perfect for my lady fingers. The flip mechanism is smooth and sturdy, has no side-to-side wobble, and gives the impression that it will last a long time. The buttons have a very satisfying "click" feeling when they're pressed (which is probably the biggest selling point for me, as all the other phones seemed to lack the tactile confirmation that the button was pressed), and the keypad buttons are slightly soft for easy typing.
Sound Quality Earpiece:
Due to a lack of comparison, I can only say the earpiece sound is adequate for my purposes. I find that I use all of the volume settings except the lowest, depending on the sound level of the other caller and of my environment. I haven't tested the limits by attempting to talk in terribly noisy environments. I don't generally use the speakerphone, although the one time that I did, I found myself raising my voice when I wanted to interrupt the other party; this may be something to be expected with speakerphones, or it may be the fault of the party with whom I was speaking. Analog mode is, as expected, a bit crackly, but at least the phone handles those times where only analog is available.
People have said it doesn't sound like I'm on a cell phone, which bodes well for the microphone quality.
There are 30 built-in ringers: 6 "Ring" sounds, 6 "Alert" sounds, and the rest are the usual array of digital song type ringtones. Downloads are available, and the phone is truetone capable. One truetone I downloaded was far too quiet, however, but that might've been just the recording level, not the fault of the phone itself.
I find the main screen so bright and clear, that I don't ever use the extra backlight feature, and I keep the contrast at 50%. I have no comparison to make to other phones, since I chose this one for the feel of it in my hands, but I couldn't imagine how any other screen with similar size/resolution/colour depth could possibly look any better. The phone does not support video downloads apparently, but the one still image I downloaded of the Horsehead Nebula looked lovely. There is an option to have a customizable "banner" (I label mine with my email address, in case I lose my phone), and the time and date can be either off, analog (with the date displayed below), or digital (with a single line of text at the top or bottom of the screen).
The exterior display is simple but effective, dark text on backlit white background, with options to display the time and date or just the time. The light turns on when a call or other alert is coming in. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to turn the light on to check the time without opening the flip.
I have no complaints about the menu system; it seems to do everything it should. It even occasionally has a few ways to do the same thing. I also like that there is a bit of customizability, in that there are two "shortcut" buttons that can be assigned to things like the scheduler and calculator (my two choices), but there are other options (some of the other tools, for example, as well as some other choices that would be silly because there already exist single-press methods of accessing them).
Tools: Voice Memo:
This one isn't listed under the Tools menu, but is instead accessed through the Sounds menu, or through holding down the "Voice Services Key" next to the volume controls. There really is nothing like having Voice Memo available that quickly; what makes it even more incredible is the ability to set the title of the memos so it's easy to tell what the memos were for when reviewing them later. The phone can store a total of 3 minutes of memos. The only downside: you can't switch to speakerphone mode to capture sounds from the room very well. A potential upside: you can record parts of a phone conversation.
I love the calculator, especially because of the following features: it allows entry of brackets and can handle order of operations; it has the ability to raise to a power, even a fractional one, allowing for square roots to be calculated (raise to the power of 0.5). This finally makes it so I don't need to bring a calculator with me (unless I need scientific functions).
I really like this feature, and there are a few great aspects of it that I would like to rave about. (1) There is a "quick alarm" feature, which can be set to alert you in 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 3 hours. This is great when you don't care to enter in the exact time the alarm should go off. (2) The regular alarms are just like a regular alarm clock in that it will go off at the time you specify, and it can even be set to repeat: daily, mon-fri, or weekends. I generally use the next feature more than the Alarm, however...
I have to admit, my memory is terrible, and I love the notion of having a scheduler that can help me keep track of what I need to do and when, and which can remind me when I should be getting ready to go somewhere, and where I'm going! This really was one of the main features I was looking for in a phone, which makes it extremely disappointing to discover that this one occasionally "forgets" to remind me. In fact, it's starting to forget more often than it remembers. I've just tested it again, and it failed, and I'm saddened. *sigh*
150 character max for notes. These are handy when you're collecting info on something (e.g. price comparisons) because you can see the whole note at once, and because you can add more info to it later (which you can't do with a voice memo).
Ez Tip Calc:
Clean interface allows entry of the bill amount, the desired percentage for the tip (dollar value is calculated and displayed immediately), and the number of people to split between. Simple and useful, a good addition to any phone. (Note: the default tip percentage is 15%, and I think these days tipping below 20% is considered "cheap".)
A world map or city list allows you to select one of about 60 cities to view the local time. No user-defined cities.
I haven't had any coverage problems, except in the basement of an all-cement building, which is to be expected. I haven't gone too far out of my way to test this, but I do know that I get solid digital service along Highway 401, which is something my old dual-mode phone didn't have, and this is all I wanted to be sure about. Along the Detroit River in Windsor, I occasionally pick up the U.S. Roaming signal, but that is easily remedied by keeping myself in Home Only mode while I'm in the area.
Accessories I Have
Small Hydrofoam Carry Pouch with belt clip
"WriteRight Micro-Thin Screen Protectors" which I cut to fit the two screens to protect them from scratches (I would recommend doing something like this no matter what phone you have!)
Other Things That Bugged Me Capitalization Modes:
I am absolutely annoyed with the multi-tap text input capitalization modes. I wish switching to Abc mode would capitalize the first letter, then change to abc mode; switching mode again should put it in Abc mode to capitalize one letter, then switch to abc. Instead, Abc means the first letter is capitalized, the rest aren't, and if you switch mode it goes to ABC then abc. I know a few people whose last name starts with McK... and there's so many extra keypresses than what I'm used to from the more intuitive Abc mode I was used to on my old Sanyo, it was almost silly. One press should be like "shift", two successive presses should be like "caps lock", and then you ALWAYS know what mode you're in, rather than this silly switching between three modes. To make matters worse, the indicator for the mode seems to have disappeared on my phone .. there used to be a little thing in the corner saying either Abc, abc, or ABC, and it's simply gone now. I'm a little flustered with this, but I can get over it, because I still like this phone.
When travelling, pretty much everyone in my contact list has become a long-distance call, and so I turned on Auto-Prepend, expecting it to be able to add a 1 to the beginning of each number. I tested it out by trying to call someone on my speed dial -- and lo and behold, the darn Auto-Prepend added a 1 and made it impossible to call on speed dial! I thought the thing would be smarter than that, and that it would dial the number with a 1 added, not just place it in the input field as I'm typing. Grrr....
Saving Long Distance Phone Numbers in Contact Book:
In order for Call Display to work properly, the phone number can't be stored with the preceeding 1. In order to call Long Distance, the 1 is needed; however, from the Contact List, the only option is to "Call", not "Dial 1+Number". If the number is in the recently dialed or received calls, that option IS there. So, you can "Call" from the Contact List, hit "End", hit "Send" to bring up the recent calls list, select the most recently dialed number, scroll down to "Dial 1+Number", and you're in business. Or do what I did: save every number twice, once with the 1+ and once without, and use the 1+ numbers to the speed dial or voice dial. I found the whole situation to be slightly annoying, but now that I've solved it, I'm not bothered by it.
Contact Save Exception:
When modifying contact info, I usually get a "Contact Save Exception" error, which doesn't seem to actually mean anything. The info was saved just fine, but this error message came up. Strange but true. I've read about how to fix it, but I don't care to reset the phone and re-enter everyone, not with the stupid capitalization mode issue! :) I think I should get a USB connector and backup the info, just in case this error is indicating some actual instability...
I would have rated this handset a 10, except for the flaws which can probably be fixed with a firmware upgrade (which I have been assured is in the works, but that was five months ago; I wanted to wait for the upgrade before submitting this review, but they're taking too long, so the world must know about their flaws!!) IF they fix it all, they can easily get a 10, because this phone still impresses me despite the problems. This is a great "bang for the buck".
Reasons for each point deduction:
I have to deduct a point for the backlighting problems, because that's a major annoyance.
I have also deducted a point for the Scheduler reminders not working, because that has made me late for things before I realized I can't trust it. Lumped with this was the fact that I remember the Snooze feature sometimes didn't re-alert me -- or perhaps it was if I ignored the alerts, or quieted the sound without saying whether I wanted to Snooze or Dismiss it, the reminder didn't come up again (which should be the default behaviour, I would think).
I have deducted another point for "the other things that bugged me".