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LG 1200 - blue (Sprint) review: LG 1200 - blue (Sprint)

LG 1200 - blue (Sprint)

Roger Hibbert
3 min read
If simplicity is an ideal, the LG 1200 is an idealist. This inexpensive step-up model to the TP1010 lacks the latest features--and even some older ones--but it's still a solid starter phone with its easily navigable menu system, strong signal, and loud, clear call quality.

Pretty pocketable: The LG is small, but it's not the smallest of cells.
The LG 1200 is an attractive flip phone that bears a striking resemblance to the earlier LG TP1010, and it comes in either blue or silver. It's actually slightly larger than its predecessor at 3.4 by 1.9 by 0.9 inches and 3.2 ounces, but it still fits easily in just about any shirt or pants pocket. However, it's not very scratch resistant; our phone quickly picked up a couple of battle scars after spending some time with a set of keys in a pocket.
The phone offers a decent, seven-line display with an extra line for icons. The menu system is always present, offering quick access to call history, the phone book, messages, and voicemail submenus. Perhaps because it's so simple, the menu system is easily navigable via the four-way rocker key. We also liked the one-line external display that shows info on battery level, signal strength, and caller ID (as available) when the phone is closed.
The rubberized number keys and function buttons are well spaced and easy to hit with a thumb or an index finger. However, they're somewhat slick and don't offer much traction. One gripe: Though the handset's greenish backlight illuminates the display adequately, it's too dim to light outer keys, making dialing difficult in low-light environments.

Menu, please: You won't get lost in the LG's simple menu system.
As noted, the 1200's feature set is pretty limited; extras such as "high speed" wireless Web access and the ability to download ring tones and games to the phone are absent. That said, all standard phone features are onboard, including a 199-name phone book, a calculator, a calendar and event planner, three screensavers and power on/off images, and 13 ring tones, as well as a vibrate mode. You'll also find a couple of built-in games: Black Jack 2 for the compulsive gambler and Mobile Hawk, a helicopter game for warmonger types. Advanced features such as voice dialing, call forwarding, and access to Voice Web for limited info such as news and sports scores are available through Sprint PCS for an extra fee.
This is a single-band mobile, which means it works on only Sprint's PCS network and won't roam to analog networks out in the boonies. It should be noted, however, that Sprint's "roaming partners" effectively extend the range of its network, so the lack of analog roaming isn't a major downside, especially if you're concerned about having to pay high roaming fees.

The 1200 uses a good, old-fashioned charger, rather than LG's irritating desktop-base charger.
Like the TP1010 before it, the 1200 is a single-mode phone (CDMA 1900) that works on Sprint's 1xRTT voice networks but not its high-speed data network. Overall coverage was good in our tests in San Francisco, and driving up to Lake Tahoe, we didn't encounter any gap in coverage. Reception on both ends was clear--and loud. The phone's small earpiece speaker has a big sound that's likely to make your head ring if you hold it too close. We're not complaining; too loud is better than not loud enough.
Though the 1200 doesn't boast stellar battery life, it's adequate. Testing yielded 2 hours, 37 minutes of talk time--7 minutes more than LG's estimate. And the phone also lived up to its rated six days of standby time with a few hours to spare.

LG 1200 - blue (Sprint)

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 6Performance 6
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