LG A290 Tri-sim showed up in the webs on the last week of January with info that it was gonna launch first in Russia. The need to experience what more than one mobile carriers prompted mobile phone vendors to create dual-sim phones. And thus the Chinese factories errupted with hordes of dual-sim phones to feed the emerging markets where users would want to have many options and utilise offers from various mobile carriers. There is a real market for that with many companies sustained by that model.
LG then decided to venture beyond. There has been quad-sim phones and tri sim phones before, but LG A290 was the first tri-sim phone in their portfolio, aimed at those who want more than two options. Countries definately have more than two telcos each, so why not.
Let me go through the usuals:
Tri sim factor
The phone has three sim cards working simultaneously, asin they are all online at the same time. You can choose which sim card to call from via a button on the lower left of the phone, and can recieve calls on any of the lines in the phone. As for browsing, you can choose which one of the sim settings to use for any session, so this gives options. At the back when you remove the battery there is the tri-sim slots arranged as sim 2 and 3 side by side then sim one below them.
Its important that I discuss the highlights of the phone first, battery life is one of the high points. You would expect that with three sim cards to support, battery life would be the first casualty, but nay. This phone has a 1500mAh Lithium ion battery, quite sufficient for the feature phone, can give you several days of charge on optimal use. 1500 is what you would find on the average power guzzling android phone, and considering this power on a feature phone with low graphics and computing, this would be quite the value.
Form factor, weight..
The phone’s design looks nice and easy on the hand, and at 96 grams its quite light. Dimensions are 113.5 x 51 x 13 mm and a 2.2 inch display to boot. Keypad has rubbery feel and the scroll buttons are metallic. The back cover is plastic though it gives the impression of brushed metal, the camera pushed somewhere in at the back, slightly below the surface. It has the usual 3.5mm jack at the top next to the flashlight, on the left there is the sim switch button, the top right has the micro-USB port and at the bottom there is the place where you open the back cover(what do you call that?).
The phone has a wap browser and the experience is GSM so nit much can be expected of it on this front.
Camera and images
The 1.3 megapixels is just basic, you wont be buying this phone for its awesome camera, no. The images and videos coming off it are pixelated, but in good light you can get some images and videos, the best you can get off a 1.3mp camera. Plus there is zoom functionality. It also has an image editor, so you can play around with the shot images.
This phone has an 18mb internal storage, so you can atleast download some mp3 and other media from waptrick for play. And sorry, no games here! There is a microSD slot at the back which supports upto 4gb, 2GB included in package. You can also connect to your computer via a micro USB.. There is also support for bluetooth, so file transfer is standard.
My two cents
If you are someone who would gain from a feature phone that gives you the option to have upto three sim cards, need good battery life, sleek design and a nice silvery feel, this is your gadget. You can play mp3 music, fm radio as long as you have the ear phones connected, and loudspeaker is also present. But as to whether there are many people who would find the real need, we will have to wait to see if there are many who actually use that many sim cards. You can still use two or one anyway, but beats the purpose of having the phone in the first place.