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Syncing Contacts into an LG GS390 Phone

I recently picked up a new phone, the LG GS390 (or LG Prime). I use it with my AT&T GoPhone plan, which is less expensive than other options since I don’t use the phone much. It has a touchscreen interface, and a bunch of nice features like a small still/video camera, sound recorded, timers, FM radio and so on. I used to use a Samsung SGH-A137 phone, but it had terrible call quality.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about how to transfer my existing contacts onto the phone. The LG and AT&T web sites both neglect to describe how to import your contacts into the phone. I have a lot of contacts in my gmail account, and I definitely didn’t want to copy them all over one-by-one using the phone interface. After spending some time searching the web, I didn’t find anything relevant on copying contacts to the phone. But- I did figure it out.

You don't need a special cable, or any other hardware or software tools to do this- and it’s free. You also don’t need to unlock your phone.

I haven’t found any documentation on this process, but it works really well (or at least it did for me, with about 900 contacts). It turns out that all you need to do is export your contacts to the Apple .vcf format (you can export to .vcf from gmail and several other email clients), and then that contacts file can be imported directly to the GS390. This is definitely an easy way to sync your contacts to the LG Prime, I don’t know why it’s not listed in the manual or on the LG web site.

Here’s what I did:
  1. From Gmail contacts select “export”, then for ‘Who do you want to export?’, select ‘Everyone (All Contacts)’. Under ‘Which export format?’, select ‘vCard format (for importing into Apple Address Book or other application)’. When you click the ‘export’ button, it will save a file ‘contacts.vcf’ onto your computer. Google's description of this process is pretty clear, so if you need more information, you should read the google help page. Google help also has a list of how to export your contacts from other email clients.
  2. Copy the contacts.vcf file from your computer onto the microSD card that you use with your phone (you should definitely get a microSD card if you don’t have one- they can be also be used to store photos, videos, and music on your phone). I bought an 8GB SDHC card for my phone, and it works well.
  3. Plug the microSD card into your phone, and open the ‘My Stuff’ folder in the phone menu, then select the ‘Memory Card’. This will allow you to see what files are on the microSD card. If anyone is interested, email me and I will post photos of the phone menus (since they're hard to describe).
  4. You should see ‘contacts.vfc’ listed towards the bottom of the file list. If you click on it, the screen will display “contacts.vcf. This is contacts backup file. Please choose restore to see the contacts.” There should also be a button labelled “restore” at the bottom of the screen.
  5. When you click the restore button, the phone will read all the contacts from the backup file and copy them into the contacts manager.
Voila, you’re done.