This post is Part 2 of my LG 620g phone review. For Part 1, click here.
To buy this phone from Straight Talk, click here.
Here are my most recent findings on this device:
General Phone Function
I have been VERY impressed with the signal reception on this model. I spent Labor Day weekend in an area with a very weak GSM signal. Previously, the only phone on which I’ve been consistently able to receive a signal in that area was the Motorola w376g. However, the LG 620g performed as well as the w376g in this weak-signal area.
Call quality is also very good, though not quite as good as the w376g, which I consider to be the benchmark for both reception and audio quality among TracFone, Net10, and Straight Talk handsets. I had no trouble hearing or being heard using the 620, although there did seem to be a very slight hissing sound in the background when I listened to the other party on voice calls. This hissing didn’t really limit my ability to clearly understand the other person. In fact, I didn’t even notice it until I sat down to write this review and made some test calls, specifically listening for anything less than perfection. But it is an imperfection.
Call volume is very good, both on regular handset mode and in speaker phone. I found the volume to be adequate even in a car at highway speed. In a normal, relatively quiet environment, the volume is actually too loud for me on the highest two or three levels.
The biggest complaint I have about volume is that there is no volume rocker switch on the side of the phone, so adjusting the audio volume during a call requires that you pull the phone away from your head and use the up and down arrows on the directional keypad. I also have to point out here that when I did adjust the volume during a call, the other party complained of a very loud clicking noise on their end, so it was quite annoying.
Similarly, the ringtones available can be heard as easily as, or perhaps even more easily than, on any other handset I’ve reviewed on this blog. On the highest volume settings, even the default tones produce ear-splitting sound. You can also add your own mp3 ringtones to your heart’s content, which is nice, especially since it’s easy to add ringtones via the microSD card slot. This is also true of message alert tones.
Again, though, I have a complaint in this department. To adjust the ringtone or message alert volume is more complex than on other models. Due to the aforementioned lack of external volume buttons, you cannot easily adjust the ringtone volume without entering the menus. It is possible to toggle between “silent mode” and the current sound profile by pressing and holding the # key for several seconds. To actually adjust the ringtone volume to a higher or lower setting, however, you’ll need to go to Menu>Settings>Sound Profiles>Options>Edit>Ring Volume. As you can see, this is more cumbersome than simply pressing a volume up or down key on the side of the phone, which is how it works on most current models.
On the positive side, you can assign ringtones, including your own mp3 ringtones, to specific contacts or groups of contacts. Unfortunately, like we’ve seen with most previous Straight Talk, Net10, and TracFone models, it is impossible to assign specific message alert tones, which is important to some people.
Another cool thing with ringtones is a ringtone creator application, where you can load a standard mp3 file and cut it down to save only the portion of the song you want to play as a ringtone. This works only for mp3’s already in the “sounds” folder, but it’s a cool feature to be able to do this right on the phone, with no need for extra computer software or file transferring.
One thing that has been a definite positive has been the battery life. Soon after I activated my new LG 620g, I fully charged the battery and then left the phone on, without charging, until it died completely. During this time I talked nearly 100 minutes, received around two hundred text messages, did some minor web browsing, and also spent nearly 48 hours in a weak signal area, which can often be hard on battery life. Further, I spent time exploring the menus and features on this phone and took a dozen pictures and a few short videos. Despite this fairly heavy use, I was able to go 6 days without plugging in the phone! I thought this was incredible for what I put it through. I definitely give it two thumbs up for battery life.
The display is large, measuring 2.2 inches diagonally. The extra screen real estate is obviously beneficial for web browsing and viewing pictures. The display is also crisp and bright. I found this phone very easy to work with in direct, bright sunlight.
As I’ve previously stated, I generally like the layout of LG’s menus, as I find them intuitive to navigate. This phone continues that trend. However, similar to what I reported with the LG 420g a few weeks ago, I had a problem with the slow navigation through the menus. It’s not a huge problem, but there’s sometimes a lag between when the navigation keys are pressed and when the scrolling actually happens on the screen. I think this device is perhaps a little faster than the 420g, but still I had a few instances where I navigated to the wrong menu item because my keystrokes got ahead of the system.
Fortunately, this lag isn’t present in text message entry mode. There, the both the T9 and the standard multi-tap entry modes were very responsive. The 620g also works for me in terms of how easy it is to handle. I’ve found it to be well-balanced, making for easy one-handed use.
I’ve had no complaints with the main keyboard. A little “click” provides some tactile feedback when each key is pressed. However, just like on the 420g flip phone, I don’t really care for the directional pad on this model. It is large enough, but I really don’t like the fact that it is flat. This makes it hard to tell where ends of the keys are, and also makes it difficult to feel the separation between the directional keys and the center “ok” key. I feel that both the LG 290c and the LG 600g have better directional keypads as a result of raised arrow keys, and I’m curious as to why LG decided to use this flat style on this newer handset.
Another thing I don’t like is that the shortcut keys – left, right, up and down on the directional pad, as well as the right soft key – cannot be customized. They are hard-coded, as follows:
- Up: Compose new text message
- Down: Contact list
- Left: Camera
- Right: Music Player
- Right soft: Browser
The browser cannot be locked as far as I can tell. However, this isn’t so much of a problem with Straight Talk phones as with other repaid services, since the Straight Talk plans offer web browsing as a part of the package and it won’t cost you extra money if you accidentally activate the browser.
The “settings” menu actually has a place to set user-defined shortcuts. This menu offers 10 programmable memory slots, but I can’t figure out how to use these shortcuts without navigating to menu>settings>phone settings>set shortcuts. Maybe there is a way that I haven’t figured out yet, but unless you can figure out how to activate the shortcuts through a couple of quick keystrokes, these programmable shortcuts are useless.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now – I’ll be back soon with the next installment of the LG 620g review, where I’ll discuss the web browser and bluetooth, camera, and mp3 player.
To buy this phone from Straight Talk, click here.