- Trimode technology
- Highly portable
- Well-organized menus and navigation
- SMS capable
- Up to 4 hours digital talk time and 135 hours digital standby time; includes NiMH battery and rapid charger
If portability and convenience are paramount interests, and you don't need a phone for Internet access, the Ericsson A1228LX is worth checking out. This dual-band, trimode TDMA phone may lack voice-activated dialing and other bells and whistles, but it's an attractive, well-designed phone with solid call-management features at a tempting price.
The A1228LX measures 5.1 by 2 by 1 inches and weighs 6.1 ounces, making it a manageable, highly portable phone. The backlit display shows three lines of text, bright well-organized menus and a full host of indicators to keep you in step with the phone's operation. The A1228LX features Ericsson's intuitive Yes/No button navigation with a rocker bar that lets you scroll through menu options and call logs.
Built-in call-management features include a 20-number incoming and 40-number outgoing call lists, 25 ringer options, 99 speed-dial locations, one-button dialing for up to nine phonebook numbers, two separate credit-card dialing locations, and a series of call timers. The phone lacks a scratch pad memory, so you can't store phone numbers while you are on a call.
The A1228LX does have Short Messaging Service (SMS) and fax capabilities, with one-button callback for numbers embedded in text messages. SMS is a handy feature; we used our sample phone (provisioned by AT&T Wireless), to make a movie date and tell friends we were running a bit late. While not as advanced as e-mail, SMS is just as useful in many situations. Provided your service plan supports it, A1228LX also offers caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, and other popular call-management services.
On the connectivity front, the A1228LX will sync with Ericsson's own phone-book manager accessory, as well as other PIMs. While the A1228LX isn't really designed to support high-end business use, it's a lot easier to manage your phone book and contact lists on the PC rather than trying to enter text on the phone.
The A1228LX is equipped with standard security features: a personal security code, keypad lock, and selectable outgoing- and incoming-call restrictions. It also includes voice encryption and authentication capability, which prevents airtime fraud.
Our sample's battery performance was admirable. The NiMH battery achieved four hours' digital talk time and 135 hours' digital standby time, which matched up with Ericsson's ratings.
While the A1228LX isn't the most advanced phone around, it's an attractive, straightforward unit with a price to match. If you simply want to manage personal voice calls and send text messages, the A1228LX can deftly handle both. --Thom Arno
- Excellent display and navigation
- Exceptional talk and standby times
- Not Web enabled
- No scratch pad
How We Tested Battery Talk/Standby Time
When reading our reviews, you should view the test results of mobile-phone battery talk time and standby time as relative information only. Many variables, including carrier signal strength at your location, signal consistency (including incoming and outgoing calls), display and ringer settings, and battery charging methods and history, will affect performance. When handset manufacturers and mobile phone carriers list talk-time and standby-time ratings, they usually include disclaimers about variable performance and often refer to the times they publish as maximum times. Some quote expected battery life ranges, and in this case you're probably safe to assume you'll experience at least the minimum rated range. Note that manufacturers of dual-mode digital and analog handsets publish battery-life rates for both digital and analog modes, as analog mode consumes much more power than digital mode.
Our Tests: We tested digital-mode talk and standby times with each phone. Prior to each test, we fully charged the phone's battery according to the manufacturer's directions. To test digital-phone talk time, we turned the phone on, established a digital carrier signal, dialed a number in our test lab, and, when the call rang through, took the receiving phone's handset off the hook. When all went well, we didn't do anything else except record the time when the phone died. In a couple of cases, the phones lost the signal and dropped the calls. If we were right there and could redial, we did so immediately and continued running the test. Otherwise, we halted the test, recharged the battery, and started the test over. Assuming consistent carrier-signal strength, this test should represent best-case talk time. And it's worth noting that several phones' talk-time performance significantly exceeded the manufacturers' ratings.
To test digital-phone standby time, we turned the phone on, established a carrier signal, and left the phone in standby mode. We checked the phone every few hours (for what was often days on end) until the phone finally cut out. Since no outgoing or incoming calls occurred during testing and because the phone was not moved, this method should represent best-case standby time, again assuming consistent carrier signal strength.