Ericsson R290Type: R290 Sat
WOW Factor: The most compact satellite phone
Evaluation in my collection: New – 10/10
Life timer: N/A | Boxed: YES – SWAP
Release Year: 1999 | Release Price: N/A
About: The Ericsson R290 is a combined GSM and satellite phone using the Globalstar satellite network. The R290 was introduced in June 1999 and manufactured in the United Kingdom by Ericsson Mobile Communications.
The Globalstar uses a foldable antenna that is the same length as the body of the telephone. The R290 comes in a blue and black case in a style similar to other Ericsson phones of its period. The case incorporates some Gore-Tex weatherproofing, similar to that used in the Ericsson R310s, although less extensive.
The R290 also has a built-in modem for data and fax communication at 9.6 kbit/s in GSM mode and 7.2 kbit/s in satellite mode.
Ericsson R290 Satellite 002.jpg
The R290 is somewhat larger than typical, pure GSM phones, measuring 162 mm (6.4 in) x 62 mm (2.4 in) x 39 mm (1.5 in) and weighing 350 g (12 oz) (with slim battery). The R290 has relatively brief battery life compared with typical, pure GSM phones of its generation.
Because it uses a non-standard battery voltage, its charging connector is not one of the types commonly seen on other Ericsson handsets. The device was capable of detecting over-voltage from inappropriate charging equipment, and warning the user to disconnect the charger.
The R290 spanned the corporate change from Ericsson to Sony Ericsson (when many of Ericsson’s other phones were redesigned), being the only combined GSM and satellite phone in their range; it was not rebranded, however.
Reviews when released: Ericssoners