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Review Motorola C33x

Name of this review is not usual. Earlier we spoke about one model, today we are going to describe 4 models at once: C331, C332, C333 and C336. The point is that Motorola produced 4 phones which have no differences except design features. All phones have the same software. An advantage of such decision is that phones aimed to different markets could be named differently. Distributors and operators can select the phone design and not think about phone functionality. For example, in Russia among all modifications only Motorola C336 will be sold. But the user will be able to choose that design which he likes and replace phone covers. It will cost 7-10 USD and it is really worth to do. The phone will look absolutely different. The process of covers replacement is not difficult and the user can change it himself/herself. I am sure that soon we'll see many phone covers of bright colours with graphics.

Phone weight and dimensions differ not greatly. For example, C336 measures 101х42х19mm and weighs 72 g. The phone is handy, it can be easily worn in the pocket of shirt or trousers. The phone is available in several colours. You can choose that colour which you prefer. But the phone rim is in any case will be silver with engraved name of the phone company.

The peculiarity of the phone is that it has a built-in battery. It is impossible to remove it. I don't know is it good or bad. An example of Ericsson T65 shows that users don't have many questions concerning the phone construction. The main shortcoming is that the user can't put an extended battery.

The phone has a display with a pastel blue backlighting. The resolution of the screen is of 96х64 pixels. 4-level grayscale screen can contain up to 3 text lines, tips to the soft keys use and one service line. The display has a good contrast. The picture is visible in all lighting conditions and eyes are not tied from it.

A 4-directional navigation key with a Menu key inside is positioned under the screen. Soft keys, send and reject keys are near it, on each side. The keypad is made of plastic. Keys are of optimal size but they are too closely spaced and you can touch other keys while typing, but, nevertheless, you can't press them. The keypad backlighting is also of blue colour. As characters are too small you don't always see them clearly, especially in artificial lighting conditions.

On the rear part of the phone one can find a loudspeaker for polyphonic ringing tones. The phone has a 16-tones polyphony. All ringing tones are not loud but very pleasant.

If you look at the bottom of the phone you will be surprised because for the first time Motorola applied mini-USB connector to the phone. It means that data adapter for PC synchronization is connected to USB port. Wonderful decision, isn't it? There is also a battery charging connector and a portable handsfree connector on the bottom of the phone. Time of full re-charging is about 2 hours, though the battery is similar to one, which is used in C300. Our tests showed that C336 worked about 3 days in case of 20 minutes of talking (Beeline Network) and 15 minutes using of other applications. If to compare these results with С300 autonomy, we'll see that С33x works a little bit longer (half a day longer). Sorry, I forgot to say that the battery capacity is 650 mAh (Li-Ion).


Phone menu is typical to all phones from Motorola as it worked by Motorola itself. Menu interface resembles one of C300 but there is no shortcuts number navigation here. Main menu can be characterized as a carousel menu, menu items are circled. You see a menu item title on the right and an animated icon on the left. MyMenu personalizable shortcuts menu can be used as a substitution of the shortcuts navigation. You can create a shortcut for any item, then you need only two clicks to enter it.

Phonebook. Several phone numbers can be added to one contact, but the total quantity of phone numbers can't be more than 100. Phone numbers from both SIM-card and phone memory are displayed in the list. All names, which have several records, are displayed several times and an icon of the phone number type is displayed near each number. You can also add e-mail addresses to your phonebook and divide all records to the caller groups. Besides you can associate a special ringing tone and icon, which is displayed while incoming call, to each name. Also it's possible to add up to 25 voice tags to phone numbers. I didn't have any problems with this function.

Messages. Up to 20 SMS-messages can be stored in the phone memory. SMS chat feature is available. You can also create templates. The phone supports EMS, so, there are pictures and melodies which can be used while creating SMS message.

Media Library. You should use this item to preview images, animated pictures and melodies. MotoMixer- a musical composer, is also located here. It helps to compose own ringing tones. Totally there are 35 pre-installed melodies and space to 32 other melodies. Many pictures and melodies can be downloaded from CD, which can be additionally purchased (CD cost about 20 Euro).

Call records. All settings, connected with calls are collected here, nothing else.

Calculator. The phone has rather nice calculator with built-in currency converter (for 1 currency).

Phone settings. As always you can find security settings and wap-browser here. Besides you can select a menu language and a backlighting duration, change a wallpaper (animated or static). You can also set time, which shows in how many minutes selected wallpaper will be displayed.

Ring Styles. One can select ringing tone and type of calling alert (vibrating alert and melody, just melody) here. It is possible to setup user's profiles too. Volume of polyphonic melodies is not always sufficient. You can also select one of 5 SMS tones.

Datebook. Up to 500 records can be kept in the phone memory. Organizer notes can be used instead alarm-clocks as there are no separate ones in the phone. Such features as autodeletion of old notes and setting of recurrent events are available. You can also set a reminder to each event. Calendar itself is absent, only one week is displayed on the screen.

Games. There are three Java-games in the phone: MotoGP (the same as in T720), which is rather pleasant though the screen is worse here, Astrosmash - space arcade and Snood21 (cards).


Quality connection is high. Ring volume is not sufficient because of the polyphony. Here you can listen to some of the ringing tones (mp3, 650 Kb). Vibrating alert is also not very strong. Phone virtues are exchangeable covers, which can considerable change the phone design, and a nice screen but with low resolution. If you remember that it is a middle class phone and it costs only 130 USD than you won't be too surprised to know about all these shortcomings. For the first time mini-USB connector is used and the phone can be connected to USB port. New model provides reasonable combination of price and features. The phone has based functions, besides it looks nice. New phone line (С33х) won't be too popular but, of course, it finds its users. These phones are usually purchased by impulsive people who don't delve into every detail. Others can be not satisfied by some features realization. On the other hand, small dimensions and polyphonic ringing tones make it very attractive on the market. We think that the phone will be sold well when the price will be reduced to 95-100 USD in case that there will be no alternatives.

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

Published — 1 November 2002

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



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