An Auto Answer feature answers incoming calls in car-kit/headset mode--a nice tool to use while driving. A feature called Abbreviated Dialing automatically calls a contact after you've entered the last four digits of that number. You set up Abbreviated Dialing by entering the area code and first three digits of a number. It's a solid feature for business users, since you can simply dial a four-digit extension to reach colleagues who share the same prefix.
The LG PM-225 is a camera phone, but the camera is only VGA quality, with resolutions of 640x480, 320x280, or 160x120. You also get a 5- and 10-second self-timer, four color tones, brightness and white-balance controls, three quality settings (Fine, Normal, and Economy), and a 4X zoom that varies by resolution. There's also a choice of three shutter sounds, or you can create your own or turn it off completely. Picture quality is about what you'd expect--not good--but the integration with Sprint's Picture Mail service is outstanding, and you can easily e-mail photos to contacts saved in your address book. Of course, you can set up photo caller ID with pictures saved in the phone's memory, though disappointingly, the picture appears only on the main screen during calls, not on the external LCD. When taking photos, however, a convenient meter keeps track of how much memory is left.
You can personalize the LG PM-225 with a variety of screensavers and themed skins, as well as personalize a greeting. Strangely, the phone doesn't include any games, although you can download games and other applications from Sprint's PCS Vision service via the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser.We tested the dual-band/trimode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) LG PM-225 in the Chicago area on the Sprint PCS network. Call quality was generally good. Callers said we sounded clear, but they could tell we were using a cell phone. They didn't complain when we talked over the integrated speakerphone; one caller even said we sounded better than in Normal mode.
Battery life was similarly impressive. We reached 4.25 hours of talk time from the lithium-ion battery, easily beating the rated 3.25 hours. Our standby time was a solid five days. According to FCC radiation tests, the LG PM-225 has a digital SAR rating of 0.9 watts per kilogram and an analog SAR rating of 1.0 watts per kilogram.