The LG GS170 is a red prepaid flip phone from T-Mobile that is almost identical to the LG 420g from Tracfone. It is a well-designed basic phone with a small but surprisingly detailed display. The phone has a VGA camera, Bluetooth and mobile web access.
The GS170 is a GSM phone, and if you’re already using another T-Mobile prepaid phone like, say, the Samsung T139, you can probably just pop the SIM card out and stick it in the GS 170, and you’ll be good to go. If not, not to worry, your GS 170 will come with everything you need to activate it on T-Mobile’s network.
For a basic phone, the LG GS170 has a small but surprisingly bright and detailed display. I mention this only because I’ve tested a couple of flip phone like the Samsung T245g which had displays that looked much worse than the display on this phone. So even though the screen is small, all the menu items are clear and easy to read, and the screen is quick to respond.
The LG GS170 has a VGA-resolution camera that’s good enough for a few simple snapshots but doesn’t come close to replacing a digital camera. Still you can take pictures and send them to your friends quickly via picture message or transfer them to your computer via Bluetooth. You can also set the pictures you take as your wallpaper.
You can assign pictures to your contacts so you see the picture when the person is calling. This is nice. You do want to take such pictures on a bright day as the pictures look quite grainy regular indoor lighting. You can adjust the the color balance for incandescent or fluorescent light to improve the image
You can pair the phone with a Bluetooth headset or hands-free device to make your life easier. You can also use it to transfer your photos and sounds. The only thing I haven’t been able to do via bluetooth is transfer contacts, however, you can send your business card or vcard.
There is a mobile web browser on this phone. However, when tried to open a random url, I got a message that data services had not been enabled for this phone. However, when I went back through the mobile web menu, I found you could actually access the web through the home page set up by T-Mobile. There you can still buy ringtones, games and graphics from the T-Mobile mall from your cell phone and also check out weather, news etc. This does cost you airtime.
There is no link to the web browser directly from the keypad or on the soft menu on the home screen of the phone. This means that most likely you won’t accidentally launch the web browser by pressing the wrong button and use up valuable airtime.
You can also still send picture messages in addition to text messages. VGA resolution works really well for sending picture messages because the phone doesn’t have to reduce the image in order to send them.
You can store up to 1000 contacts (though one of those contacts may be your own business card). Basic contact info contains first name, last name and mobile number. You can add details including things like email address and even associate a picture as long as you store your contacts in the phones internal memory (the default setting) rather than on the SIM card.
You can store up to 500 messages and 100 Calender events and tasks.
The LG GS170 battery life is listed as 7.5 hours talk time and up to 23 days standby. Though we probably know that you probably won’t actually get 7.5 hours talk time if you really try, it helps if you’re in a good signal area.
The standby time of 23 days may be possible if you don’t flip it open or fiddle around with it at all during that time. Still, these figures are an indication of good battery life which may be a result of the simplicity of the phone.
This is a great simple flip phone and worth checking out. You can get the LG GS170 with free shipping direct from T-Mobile.