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Review GSM phone Motorola C139


  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Manual

Always being indifferent to low-end solutions, the company of Motorola has become one of the strongest players in this field. Great success of Motorola C350 gave birth to a real wave of copies even inside the company. The company of Compal became the main partner in producing low-end models. And a number of models close to the C350 belong to this maker. So, the C139 is among them.

The solution is positioned as a colour screen model for less than 100 USD, however lacking any connectivity means (no cable, no wap). The reason is the maker's attempt to make the terminal very cheap, but its plastic expensive. This solution will suit people who talk much, but really require only the most necessary things from the phone.

The front panel consists of two zones - the dark lacquer edging around the screen and a keypad area. The rubber keys are large and you will surely find them comfortable to work with. Number keys have terrace-like disposition and appear quite elastic at pressure. The blue keypad backlighting is seen well in various conditions.

Rubber insertions feature the sides; as a result the handset will never slide in your hands, which is a great advantage. By the way, this device is comfortable to hold due to the body volume. The dimensions form 98x45x21 mm and the weight is 90 grams.

The TFT screen of the model has an unordinary appearance. Its resolution is 96x65 pixels (29x19 mm). At the same time STN screens are typical of this class, and there are few TFT screens with such resolution on the market. The screen obviously surpasses any player of the same class in brightness and colour saturation. It behaves better in the sun, however low resolution crosses out these advantages. Judge yourself - only three text lines are held and a status bar, while many titles can't fit the screen. Models shipped into English speaking countries are equipped with a Zoom function, which increases font-size (however it is not small by default). Russian versions have this option off, even for English, Russian font is large enough.

A charger connecter can found on the bottom and a headphone slot is on the left facet. A strap hole features the top of the phone.

The back cover, which hides the battery compartment, has no backlash, though can be easily removed. A 920 mAh Li-Ion battery is applied. The maker claims it is capable of about 450 hours of standby time and about 11 hours of talks. In Moscow we had the device working for averagely 5-6 days in case of two hours of talks and minimal use of other functions. Full recharging takes approximately 2 hours. Battery life is rather untypical for this class and makes a good advantage of the phone.


By pressing the central button inscribed into the navi key, you get into the main menu. All items are placed in a circle, and you just scroll them in order. Number navigation is not supported and this big menu makes some troubles. On the other hand, this menu is convenient for you can place and item where you like. Also you can reassign functions to the two soft-keys.

Phonebook. Minimum of capabilities. Only one number for a name, there is search by several letters. Up to 100 names can be saved in the phone's memory, and SIM one is also available.

Messages. Unfortunately, the phone can't keep messages internally; they all are stored on the SIM. Templates are easy to create, and the device supports Nokia Smart Messaging, which is the only way to receive melodies and pictures.

Alarm clock. You can set an alarm clock, set the time. Several alarm clocks can be set simultaneously.

Parameters. Security settings, menu language and backlighting period are traditionally gathered here. You can find preinstalled screen savers - either usual or animated images. By the way, it is possible to set time period after which the screen saver starts working (from 1 to 5 minutes). When the screen saver starts working, the screen backlighting turns on automatically for you to make out this screen saver. A Lamp is an interesting function - then the screen background gets white, which works in complete darkness.

Ring Styles. A user may find all call settings here. Nothing special.

Recent Calls. This very item is backlit when entering the menu, you can view a list of ten last outgoing, 20 incoming and missed calls from here. An interesting peculiarity is when you press the Call button in standby mode, only a list of last outgoing calls is shown. And to see missed calls you will have to enter the menu (and that is three pressures or two if you added the item to MyMenu). A disadvantage is missed calls are specified as missed ones only until you check them, after that they look like incoming.

Extra holds a lain calculator, a stopwatch with intermediate values (up to 9).

Diary represents a usual organizer, which allows entering own notes, and the phone will warn you about them. It is hard to consider how demanded the function is in a budgetary phone.

Games. There are three games in the phone. They are Soccer, Archanoid, and Labyrinth. Bear in mind that you can't download new games.


The handset rouses no cavils as for connection quality. It seems quite reliable. Also voice transmission is good, and sound is pure in the loudspeaker. Its monophonic call alert is loud and heard well in any condition. Though vibra is weaker than average and can be missed.

The segment of from 80 to 90 USD represents very many models with colour screens and their quality means not much when selecting such a device. Probably, the absent wap is not a disadvantage of the handset, as this status better corresponds with a lacking polyphony. Long battery life and appeared automatic key lock are obvious advantages. And still the model is one of those low-end phones, which bring nothing special.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Maria Mitina (maria.mitina@mobile-review.com)

Published — 31 January 2006

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



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