The LG 290c is a another CDMA phone, but with a slide-out numeric keypad rather than the slab design of the 100c or the clamshell on the 220c. I’m using a Net10 version for this review, but 99% of the info I’m covering here will be the same regardless of which service it’s on. The 290c is available for TracFone at $49.99, Net10 at $59.99, and Straight Talk for $79.99.
The 290c is the heaviest of the three models, weighing in at 4.1 ounces. It’s also larger than the 100c and 220c, measuring 4.09″ x 1.94″ x 0.63.” However, the LG 290c is more compact than the Samsung r451c, yet offers a slightly larger screen.
The 290c also includes a camera, something the other two LG models do not. Other features include downloadable ringtones, voice recorder, voice dialing, hands-free speaker, web browser, standard organization tools, picture messaging, and bluetooth,
though the bluetooth does NOT work for the transfer of pictures or ringtones. [Edit: it DOES work, and I posted more about it on part 3 of my review, here.]
The most striking thing about the appearance of the LG 290c, in my opinion, is the large screen. It is larger than any other TracFone, Net10, or Straight Talk phone, with the exception of the new $329 Samsung r810c Finesse for Straight Talk. The screen is bright and sharp, and does not suffer from as much distortion as other models when viewed from the side. There is no carrier branding anywhere on the body of the phone, and the screen on my Net10 version also is completely free of any indication that it’s a prepaid phone. I’ve also noticed that this exact same model is being sold by Sprint, so I don’t think it will stick out as a “cheap prepaid” phone.
This is also consistent with my experience of the construction of the phone. It feels solid and durable, especially the slider mechanism. On the Motorola EM326g as well as the previous Samsung sliders, I noticed just a little “wiggle” when the sliders are extended. The LG 290c, on the other hand, feels very firm even when slid open. Further, the spring in the slider ensures that the device won’t accidentally come open or slide shut. I’m very happy with the build quality on this device.
Well, there’s a quick overview of the LG 290c – the next installment of this review will be a combined review of the LG 100c, 220c, and 290c. I’ll be joining the common elements of those three phones into a single review segment, and I’ll plan to get that posted before the end of the week.
The combined review will be the next article I publish, but I’m still planning on revising the bonus code list.
I also have an update on the Samsung r810c Finesse situation. After much deliberation, and with your input, I’ve decided to go ahead and purchase the phone for a review. However, I don’t be posting it on this blog, as I know that a $329 phone is not really consistent with the ideals of most readers here. Instead, I’m going to publish that review at a separate site, r810finesse.com. I’ll occasionally post an update here about the progress of that review. Also, when I have the review wrapped up and all your questions answered to the best of my ability, I’m going to auction off the r810 I’m using for the review. Stay tuned for more info on that…
Note: I have a material relationship with one or more of the brands mentioned in this post.