The "1-Minute" Review
The LG TM250 has on the market for several months and is currently Bell Mobility's most inexpensive model.
This handset is a dual band, single mode phone (800/1900 MHz 1X CDMA, no AMPS or analog service), which may be an issue if you live in or pass through an analog-only service area on a frequent basis. Analog-only areas are not very common these days with the expansion of the Bell Mobility 1X network throughout Canada. This model was sold as the LG VX3100 on the American Verizon network, but at the time of writing, this model has been discontinued on their network.
Dimensions & Design
The LG TM250 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 10x4x2.3cm or 4x1.5x0.75in. The LG TM250 weighs in at only 89g or 2.86oz.
The outside of the phone is sleek and simple. A chrome strip around the top of the phone reads "LG" along with their logo, and another "LG" along with their logo at the bottom of the phone. There are no other marks or writing on the outside of the phone, other than the small "Qualcomm 3G CDMA2000" sticker located near the antenna, as it is on all of Bell's 1X phones. Unlike most CDMA phones, the antenna is fixed, and does not extend. There is no external display.
When I opened the clamshell, the phone felt sturdy, and well built. The black and white screen was easy to read, and had very good contrast. One of the best black and white screens I've seen on a phone. The keypad was logically arranged, and the buttons had a nice feel to them. The along with the numbers, the keypad has a four way navigation key used for scrolling through the menus and navigating in games. 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 running on ("D" for Digital CDMA; "1X" for 1X CDMA), A roaming icon, to show when you're roaming ("R"), and the battery icon, with three bars, showing how much of the battery power is left. Below, is the time and date, automatically set from the network.
The screen has a green backlight which makes the screen easy to see, in day and night.
Coverage, Sound Quality & Reception Quality
This is a dual band, single mode phone (800/1900 MHz 1X CDMA), that will work in North American digital service areas, as well as Hong Kong, New Zealand, China, Mexico, and other countries that support CDMA. This phone will not work in Europe or Africa. Note again that there is no analog fallback on this handset, so make sure to check Bell's maps to ensure that you won't need to use analog mode (generally not a problem if you stick to urban areas).
In my 4 months with this phone, and comparing it to other Bell phones, including the Sanyo 8100, Samsung A660, and Kyocera SE47 Slider, I found that the sound quality and the ability to find reception, were excellent on this phone and far exceeded the higher end Samsung A660. In my opinion, this is Bell Mobility's best phone offering in terms of sound quality and reception, that I have ever used, even though it is the least expensive model of their product lineup.
1XRTT Wireless Data & Web Browser
The LG TM250 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 Bell Mobility phones, when a 1X network is available, 1X is displayed on the screen, next to the signal strength indicator.
The web browser is one of the oldest versions of the OpenWave browser, used on many LG, Kyocera, and on the older Motorola phones and as such, the web browser is outdated and slow. 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 handset doesn't seem to heat up to the same degree 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). Talk time was not tested.
As a phone, this phone performed exceptionally well. I highly recommend this phone to anyone who wants a basic and easy to use phone. I do not recommend this phone to people who want to play games or use the phone to surf the web due to the outdated web browser.
Review by Eric Johannsen
Prices (Where to Buy)
LG released the TM250 on November 6, 2004.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the LG TM250 user manual here.
LG backs up the TM250 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your TM250 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact LG support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find LG's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.