Following is part two of a three-part LG 231c review. To view other parts of the review, check out the LG 231c review index.
General Phone Function
In 2-3 weeks of testing this phone I’ve very rarely had less than 5 bars on the signal strength indicator. I would rate reception as good to excellent, on a par with the LG 290c or 220c. Call quality to both other cell phones and landlines has been really excellent and I have no complaints here at all.
volume rocker buttons
In-call volume has been very good and is easily adjusted with the side buttons. I’ve noted very little difficulty using it outdoors even in moderately noisy situations.
The ringtones seem adequate at level 3 and are quite loud to my hearing at levels 4 or 5, and can be heard anywhere in my home. The speakerphone functions very well; as a matter of fact, it sounds clearer than the cordless landline house phone we usually use. The speakerphone button is just below the left soft key and functions well.
Just to touch on the external display for a moment, it shows the usual information: signal strength; 1X (for CDMA technology); type of ringer notification in use, and battery meter, then there’s the date and time. If different features are employed, such as ‘vibrate only’, etc., these will also be displayed.
One last point regarding phone function – specific ringtones can be assigned to each contact, or to groups of contacts.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but as for this display, if you liked it on the LG220c, you’ll like it here. I can discern no differences at all.
- LG 231c
On any phone I’ve used that has a camera, one of the first things I do is take a photo of a black object in a darkened area, and use that for my wallpaper. This gives a high contrast black background on the view screen. I find this makes viewing it in sunlight much easier than a lighter colored background.
The menu is fairly intuitive and if you’ve ever worked with any of the LG handsets, this should work well for you. I really don’t text very much or often, but I would have to say that texting on this phone seems to work well for me. Some might find it a bit off-balance, being a flip phone design, but when keeping an index finger behind the hinge area and using a thumb, you can move right along, and it doesn’t seem to have any lag time at all, which should be good news for the quicker texters among us. Also, I must say that after using the LG290c as my primary phone for the past 6 months or so, I found the lightweight and small size quite nice for a change.
The keypad has individual keys that are slightly raised at the bottom of each, making for a very positive click with each button press – (once again, if you liked the 220c, you’re going to love the 231c!) The center, directional keypad shortcut keys cannot be customized on the LG231c.
This is where some of the disappointment I mentioned earlier comes from. As far as I can tell, there is no way to connect this handset to your pc, either via a cable or bluetooth. Why does Tracfone disable these functions when the manufacturer obviously intended them to be used? Simply put, it’s good for business.
The only way to send photos taken with the camera is through MMS messages, which will cost you from 1.5 to 2 units per photo. This phone no more has ‘bluetooth connectivity’ than the Motorola w376 ever did. You can pair it with a bluetooth headset for hands free use, period. Although I’m unable to test trying to connect to a vehicle bluetooth system or a stand-alone gps bluetooth device, I’m pretty certain that it just won’t work.
There is an interesting point, for those who follow the Howard Forum Tracfone discussions on line. One or two of the more tech savvy folks who write there have come up with a way to access the hidden services menu on the 231c, (as well as the LG 100, 220 and 290). But as yet, I’ve seen no mention of a work around to get the bluetooth or usb functions to work on this phone. So, like many other TracFone handsets, the only way get pictures off this phone is via mms.
That’s all for part two of this review – tomorrow I’ll be back with the third and final installment, covering the LG 231c’s “extras” and recapping it all with my final conclusion.
For now, you can check out the LG 231c on any of the three America Movil brands: