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MOTOJEWEL mini-review and unboxing

This phone is in fact a special edition of the good old U9, sporting a slightly refined design, a couple of new feats, plus the unit I got my hands came in boxed in the Party Pack, which appeared to be a girlish variant of the phones sales package.

Lets start with the phones front as you can see above, its turned from nice and smooth into a sharp-edged facet-ridden surface, which seems to have an extremely strong resemblance to Nokias Prism design. I think its very hard to deny this fact and as far as I recall its the first time when Motorolas designers have adopted someone elses ideas. The only excuse I could find for them is that its only the front fascia that is decked out in these tiny prisms. Plus I wouldnt say that its such a blatant copycat the JEWEL still bears some of Motorolas trademark touches and a very distinctive style. Other than that, while the old U9 has finally gotten glammed up and it doesnt seem like its designed exclusively for girls, despite what its package might suggest. I, for one, find it very attractive and the most interesting thing about the JEWEL in my books is that they have literally cut it out of the original U9. As far as other bits and pieces go, they have also tacked a new logo onto it now the M found at the bottom of the front side seems much more in tune with the phones chubby forms, compared to that flat logo plate utilized in the U9.

Now lets turn the handset over and see whats happened to the U9s underside. Thats right it now sports a distinctive pattern of diamonds that somewhat resemble the phones prismatic front fascia design. On the utilitarian side, though, the back covers plastic feels as if its rubberized, so it doesnt slip out of the hand, especially compared to the slippery feeling the U9 had to it. The controls layout hasnt changed a bit, so instead of going through it all over again, lets flip the phone open and see what they have done with its interior.

It might sound strange, but being a former user of the U9, I cant overlook a very peculiar fact all these adornments aside, Motorola have also boosted the JEWELs ergonomics and usability big time. For example, the U9 used to have a somewhat fiddly keypad that was inspired by the now-obsolete RAZR and to tell the truth that probably wasnt the best decision. Luckily, the MOTOJEWEL enjoys a refined numberpad with all buttons standing a hair above the surface and styled after with the phones angular design. Also the pick up and hang up keys are different, which is another welcome change. But more importantly, I wasnt the only one who noticed these improvements a friend of mine who used to have the U9 was pleased to see better ergonomics of the JEWEL too. Curiously, both the keypad and display are finished in violet plastic, which doesnt seem to be out of place in this particular design (the MOTOJEWELs original color theme is called Midnight Quartz, although in truth, its simply black).

Thats pretty much all we can tell you about the MOTOJEWELs refined looks the rest is all in the photos. Inside, Motorola have also added a couple of touches, such as new themes (Radian and Fashion) that change not only the menus design but also the image shown on the external screen. Moving around the menu is quite entertaining as well with all the new effects; plus they have thrown Motorola TEXT and Motorola SETUP into the Applications section (the latter allows setting up MMS service, and the former app is used for saving your messages). The effects utilized on the external display are eye-candy with pale smoke coming out of nowhere and disappearing shortly after, making for a very classy animation. Regrettably, though, neither ring tones nor other parts of the phone have changed since the original U9.

Now lets move on to its package and all the things that it includes. Like I said, I managed to get my hands on so-called Party Pack and its very name says it all. Inside are the handset itself, charger, USB data cable, a pair of earphones and, the centerpiece of the package, a special carrying case thats black on the outside, but is padded with pink; furthermore, its got a sizable mirror on the flap and a special holder for lipstick and whatnot. Embossed on the case is the M logo, also, around back there is a small belt loop.

This phone is available at Carphone Warehouse (a retail network in the UK) and can be ordered right from their website (basically, it was designed as an exclusive offering for this retailer).

Seeing how much of an improvement over the original U9 their new MOTOJEWEL is, its easy to start believing that Motorola just might decide to release a remake of some other phone, such as the RAZR2, but with more memory onboard, black color scheme and a decent headset in the box. But will they?

Related links

Review of GSM/UMTS-handset Motorola MOTO U9

 

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Oleg Kononosov (oleg.kononosov@mobile-review.com)

Published — 14 January 2008

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com

 

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