The LG C1200 didn't strike us as a budget phone, but considering the multi-media heavy handsets surfing the crest of the 2.5G wave, we suppose it is. While bereft of camera and video capture, this lightweight flip is equipped with the standard 65k colour screen, java, MMS and polyphonic ringtones. While it won't generate its own media content, it will happily download, receive and forward it. Pictures support attached sound files too.

If you favour an easy to use, straightforward phone to call and text from, but with enough functionality to personalise and brighten up those dull moments, this could be just the ticket. This limited edition burgundy model is a treat for eyes and fingers alike. A traditional chrome housing is hidden within, comprising a tactile, well divided keypad.

In terms of size, this is an extremely well built piece of kit, especially when we consider the size. Thin clamshells have a reputation for being notoriously flimsy, but not so here. Durability is matched by weight. Even with the external aerial, its pocket friendly (82 x 44 x 23 mm) with a weight of 85g.

The saving in size by losing the camera is balanced by the saving on budget. Curiously, LG seem to have lost the front screen too. The vacant space on the front of the phone is filled with a mirror, containing a naff two-colour blinking service light. The same goes for the Orange LG C1100. While great for adjusting one's make-up, it looks a little odd. Not to be confused with big brother from LG, the G5400, which has a multi-colour screen in the space instead. Perhaps the C1200 is a budget phone after all.

Still, you get what you pay for and the C1200 can receive and forward pictures, as well as downloading them, and ring tones, should that be your cup of tea. Our model was kindly supplied by T-Mobile, with the obligatory host of downloads available from T-Zones. Service quality is, of course, dependent on service provider, but our unlocked model showed good results across the major networks in terms of connection speed, signal strength and a low drop out rate. The battery gives a good max 200 hours in standby and, due to the absence of camera, more than enough in the talk time stakes at up to 5hours Charge time is a little slow at 5 hours.

Verdict

This is a great phone for those of us with a priority on calls and SMS. You won't feel left out on the multi-media front, the GPRS allows MMS exchange, although the WAP was annoying to configure.

All in all, a good phone, it's just the mirrored front that remains a bit of a mystery. A pleasing sign of the times that even simple phones can work this well.

This unit was kindly loaned to us by T-Mobile


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