Samsung's R225 is light on its feet

Samsung's R225 weighs surprisingly little for its size'3.4 ounces'and the blacklit blue LCD is sharp.

Henrik G. DeGyor

Samsung's R225 dual-band wireless phone measures 1.8 by 4.3 by 0.9 inches, so it's not the tiniest on the market. But its low, 3.4-ounce weight is surprising and welcome.

Like the reliable Nokia 8000 series that earned wireless phones a good reputation in the late 1990s, the R225's features are up-to-date. It has two-way text messaging, downloadable rings and games, a vibrating alert and multiparty capability for up to three users at once. Claimed battery life is 250 minutes' talk time and 120 hours of standby.

The 128- by 64-pixel, backlit blue LCD illuminated text and numbers more clearly than on any other phone I've seen.

The antenna performed above par in the Washington area. Outside the city where calls are often dropped, the phone kept a weak signal while maintaining a clear connection.

Only once in testing did I lose the signal, in a five-mile zone off Interstate 95 in North Carolina. It happened in both directions but did not affect a test Motorola V70 phone with a similar T-Mobile USA Inc. service plan.

I didn't travel outside the United States, but Samsung representatives said the R225 can communicate in many other countries that follow the Global System for Mobile communications standard, with minor alterations. It operates in the 900-MHz and 1,900-MHz frequency bands.

Interestingly, the R225 has color indicators as well as rings for certain callers. If you're in a meeting and waiting for an important call from someone, you can assign that person's number one of five colors and silence the ring.

Perhaps the R225's best feature is its price'$80 to $100. Like the Nokia phones of old, it's also given away with some service plans.

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