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NEC E228

 NEC E228 Discontinued
24th July 2004

The confusingly named NEC E228 is actually the replacement for the NEC E313, a popular phone on the Hutchison 3 3G network in Europe and beyond. The NEC E228 is a little bit of a surprise as the E313 is quite a recent phone and is still a strong seller.

Compared to the E313, the NEC E228 is a more compact phone with more stylish looks and a better battery life. This is still a large, heavy and power-hungry phone compared to 2G phones, but it's certainly one of the most compact 3G phones out there.

Bearing in mind that the E228 is an entry-level 3G handset, the specifications are impressive even if very similar to the older E313. There's a 176x220 pixel display in 65,000 colours, dual cameras (640x480 pixels for stills, 144x176 pixels for video), 19Mb of internal memory expandable through Memory Stick Duo cards (up to 128Mb), 136 minutes of talktime, five and a half days talktime, all wrapped up in a handset measuring 129x53x22mm and weighing 125 grams. It comes in three different colours too: blue, white and silver.

 NEC E228 front, back and different colours Of course, hardware is only half the story with a 3G phone and what you are really getting are the advanced 3G services. Unlike some other 3G phones available (i.e. the Nokia 7600, Nokia 6630), the NEC E228 features full video calling capabilities. There's impressive multimedia support too, as the NEC E228 can play back MP3s, movie clips and other media, although the limitation of just 128Mb of expandable memory is a drawback here. You can also download streaming media content over the 3G network, depending on your call plan.

The NEC E228 also comes with a built-in XHTML 1.1 web browser and support for email via POP3 or IMAP4. As you might expect, the E228 also supports Java for games and other applications, SMS and MMS messaging and can synchronise with a PC via a USB cable. Sadly, there's no Bluetooth support on the E228, but don't forget that this is really just an entry-level phone so this can be forgiven.

Download speeds on the E228 are up to 384kbps when running on the UMTS 3G data network. When outside a 3G coverage area, the E228 will roam onto a GSM network, and supports dual-band GSM 900/1800 and GPRS data for this purpose. A major complaint with 3's network implementation is that calls tend to drop when switching between the 3G network and 2G (GSM) network, primarily because 3 do not tend to operate 2G networks in parallel to their 3G networks - however, as 3's network coverage expands, the need to roam onto a 2G network when out of range will become less.

Overall, the NEC E228 is a pretty good phone, and it shows NEC's commitment to the 3G rollout in Europe and elsewhere. Of course, NEC doesn't have too much competition - only Motorola are selling 3G phones in any quantity, and also NEC aren't big players in the global 2G market either, so it makes sense to forge ahead with this new market sector. Hutchison 3's offerings as a service provider are looking impressive too, so the NEC E228 is attractive from both a value-for-money perspective and a network services point of view.

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NEC E228 at a glance


Now / Q2 / Q3 depending on country


3G UMTS + dual-band GSM




176x220 pixels, 65,000 colours


Twin 640x480 pixel cameras


Large candy-bar
129x53x22mm / 125 grams









Battery life:

2.25 hours talk / 3 days standby


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