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LG DM-L200 review: LG DM-L200

The LG DM-L200 is a great phone for families. Parents will appreciate the family locator and alert services, and kids will love the sleek design and fancy features of the phone.

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee
4 min read
Here comes the happiest cell phone carrier on Earth. Disney Mobile is the latest MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) to hit the scene, and while it rides on Sprint's network, it offers several unique features that are geared specifically toward families. Not only can you get Disney-themed wallpaper and ring tones, several family-themed options in the phone will help parents keep track of their kids and monitor their phone usage. The handsets themselves aren't too remarkable, but we were impressed that Disney Mobile was selling full-featured phones (with a built-in camera and Bluetooth) to kids as well as adults, as part of their phones-for-all-ages philosophy. One of the company's first phones is the LG DM-L200, which is basically a rebranded version of the LG LX350. The price is $109 with a two-year contract.


LG DM-L200

The Good

The LG DM-L200 has a sleek design, user-friendly controls, and a feature set that includes a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, a speakerphone, and a GPS location service geared specifically for families. It also comes with exclusive Disney Mobile content, such as ring tones and wallpaper.

The Bad

The LG DM-L200 has choppy sound quality, and its Bluetooth does not allow for file transfers.

The Bottom Line

The LG DM-L200 is a great phone for families. Parents will appreciate the family locator and alert services, and kids will love the sleek design and fancy features of the phone.

The LG DM-L200 sports a luscious red coating.

The only real difference between the LG DM-L200 and the LG LX350 is in the surface design. The Disney Mobile version sports a luscious red coating and a Disney Mobile logo, as well as a revamped user interface with animated menu icons. For information about the rest of the phone's design, please read our review of the LG LX350.

Much like the LG LX350, the LG DM-L200 also has a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a full-duplex speakerphone. The address book stores 500 contacts, with room in each entry for four phone numbers, an e-mail address, a Web address, and notes. You can assign your friends to caller groups or pair them with a picture or one of six polyphonic ring tones. Basic offerings include a vibrate mode, an alarm clock, a voice memo recorder, voice commands and dialing, text and multimedia messaging, a calculator, a world clock, support for e-mail and instant messaging, a notepad, and LG's handy tip calculator. The carrier also offers a roadside assistance service for stranded motorists.

The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in only three resolutions--960x1,280, 480x640, and 240x320--but you get a fair number of editing options, including three quality settings; four shutter sounds, plus a silent option; adjustable brightness and white-balance settings; four color tones; a 5- or 10-second self-timer; a 15X digital zoom; and a flash. The camcorder records clips in 176x144 resolution with sound. Editing options are similar to the still camera's. For saving your work, the LG DM-L200 comes with a healthy 30MB of shared memory. At the most, it will hold 40 photos at the highest resolution. Photo quality is quite good, with vivid colors and sharp object outlines.

The LG DM-L200 takes quality pictures.

Like the other Disney Mobile phone, the Pantech DM-P100, the star attraction of the LG DM-L200 lies in its Disney content. The Entertainment portion especially features access to Disney (and non-Disney) ring tones, images, wallpapers, color themes, and applications. You also get access to Disney Zone, a Web portal with access to Disney Radio and other applications such as Disney Trivial Pursuit. A couple of games are also included (EA Hockey and Narnia Chess), though you can download more.

Parents will find the phone's Family Center service incredibly useful in keeping track of their kids and monitoring their calls. They can control their children's phones by limiting their minutes, messaging options, and downloads and even receive an alert when boundaries are met. They can prohibit outgoing calls to certain numbers and schedule time limits on the child's phone. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Family Center service is the Family Locator that utilizes GPS technology to keep track of the kids. Parents can even use a Family Alert that will send a message to one or all family members simultaneously. These additional services vary in cost, so check out our review of the Pantech DM-P100 for the full scoop on Disney Mobile's pricing scales.

We tested the dual-band dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) LG DM-L200 on Sprint's network in San Francisco. Call quality was good overall, though there were occasions where it sounded scratchy and a little tinny. Most callers could tell we were on a cell phone. As for the speakerphone quality, it was about the same, and the volume was fine. We tried out Disney Mobile's GPS tracking service with another LG DM-L200 and found it worked quite easily. We could simply select the child's phone and choose to track it, and an interactive map would show up with the location as well as the street's address and any noticeable landmarks. The child's phone would then receive a text message that it's being tracked by the parent's phone.

The LG DM-L200 has a rated talk time of four hours, which we met in our tests. It has a promised standby time of 14 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the LG-DM L200 has a digital SAR rating of 0.75 watt per kilogram and an analog SAR rating of 1.12 watts per kilogram.


LG DM-L200

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7