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Review GSM/UMTS phone Motorola C975

Motorola C975. Live pictures


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Here is a low-end solution for 3G networks (UMTS) in the person of Motorola C975. The manufacturer eased the model to the maximum level, and thus we see it lacking functions necessary for even a budgetary phone. This is a candy bar phone with scaring size as compared with a usual GSM one. So, the dimensions are 114x53.2x24.2 mm and the weight forms 139 g.

Despite the size, it really lies well in your hand, though the weight is felt. And again, due to the size, the phone won't fit small pockets. The body of the C975 is made of a qualitative plastic, smooth by touch, the assembly rouses no cavils.

The right side features a camera button, as the same time below there is a headset connector closed with a rubber shutter. The left side holds a coupled volume button. A grooved inscription "Motorola" is placed on both sides to prevent the body from sliding. A strap hole is placed in the top center and an interface connector is on the bottom.

A loudspeaker gap is placed on the very top of the front panel, and a CIF camera objective for video calls is nearby. Below see a TFT display with the resolution of 176x220 pixels (30x37.5 mm) capable of 65K colours. The screen quality is middling and worse than in the V-series phones. The display fades in the sun, though still information can be made out.

The buttons are large, and that's why the keypad is comfortable. The navi block consists of six buttons - besides two functional keys and the menu button, a video call button and a browser one were added. The 5D joystick is comfortable in work, though a bit tough, but you'll soon get used to it.

The number keys are placed in terraces, close to each other. However they are comfortable to work with, due to the size. The phone is not shipped to Russia officially, and thus there are no Russian characters in the buttons. Only Latin ones are present. The white keypad backlighting is not brighter in the center and duller on sides; the characters are hard to read on the utmost buttons.

The microphone is placed not in the bottom of the device, but on the front panel to the right of the keypad. That is for more convenience while speaking during a video call.

A VGA-camera objective is on the back, with a powerful flash nearby. It's a pity you can't use the flash as a lantern, though, you can, but it's necessary to activate the camera first. A loudspeaker for playing a call melody is placed a little below. It's also used for a speakerphone conversation.

The rest of the back is taken by the battery cover. The fixing is not ideal, showing a big backlash. The battery integrated is 850 mAh Li-Ion. In average, the device worked for 2 days in case of 20 minutes of talks and up to 20 minutes of working with other functions a day. Using the device in 3G networks will decrease the battery life to 1 day. Full recharging takes about 2 hours.

Besides the internal memory for 4 MB the device allows using a TransFlash card, the slot is under the battery.


The main menu of the phone completely copies the same for other Motorola's products. It can be viewed either as three rows of icons with three in each or as a list. Submenus are lists and icons. N the standby mode the navi button deviations can call various actions. You can assign them by your wish. The preset actions for the functional keys can be changed as well. The menu by Motorola is rather flexible and easy to set up for your comfort.

The device supports predictive text input iTap. No support for Russian language, that is why entering messages is possible only in English, also contacts and messages in Russian are not shown.

Phonebook. Up to 1000 entries may be saved in the phone book; a name goes with several numbers (select a type), e-mail addresses and so on. Also you can assign a voice tag to a number correlated with the only one name, assign a call melody and a picture, photo. The minus is you can't erase all the numbers for a contact at the same time - do it one by one.

There are 4 preset groups and a possibility to create a personal one. You can set (change) a group name and bind a call melody. The general list can show only users' names or names with assigned pictures, sorting by name, fast dial number or a voice tag is possible. Contacts are searched either by the first letter of by the name.

Messages. The phone supports EMS, and thus a preset of small pictures, animation and sounds is provided. The number of the left characters is shown in the top right corner while entering a message (the max 450). There are templates and a capability of a group message.

MMS editor is plain and clear. You can create slides; the max size of the outgoing message can't exceed 300 KB. The message size is shown in the top right corner. You can use preset or create own templates.

The phone has POP3/IMAP4 e-mail client, it allows watching the headers of the incoming mail and download their body as well. Only graphical files that do not exceed a certain size limit can be sent. In case you want to store some of the e-mails, you will have to use the dynamically spread memory, just like in case with MMS.

Call log. Standard lists of incoming, outgoing and missed calls (up to 100 numbers). Calls from (to) the same numbers are not summed up and are shown one after one. Call counters are here also.

IM – Instant Messaging. That is some kind of a mobile ICQ.

Office applications. Here is a calculator with a currency converter.

Alarm clock. You can create up to 5 alarm clocks and choose a custom ring tone, volume, assign a text note for each of them.

Calendar. A view of either a whole month or the all event list is possible. An event has a name, activation and end time, duration, category (meeting, holiday, work, and so on), priority and status. Alert can be set in some time before the event.

WAP. Preinstalled WAP browser version 2.0.

Games and applications. The handset supports Java, which is the core technology of all the applications of the section. The number and titles of games depend on the market.

Multimedia. The phone supports themes, which include a set of screen savers, colour menu schemes, sounds and call melodies.

Sounds contain information about all the sound files on the device. Finally, you can listen to them - the player is plain and work in a background.

Video. All the video records are listed here. The video player is quite simple, you can view clips full-screen, then the image is turned for 90 degrees.

Pictures. All the images are gathered here. Possible views are list (file name, date of creation and a thumbnail), thumbnails (four pictures at the same time). Images can be sorted by categories, which eases future views. Any picture can serve as a wall-paper or a screen saver.

Camera. A VGA camera is integrated. The following resolutions are supported High (640x480), Medium (320x240), MMS (160x120). Three compression types are high, medium, low. Night mode is to point out as an extra setting. Digital zoom (up to x4) is present. The disadvantages include the fact you can't save photos automatically - you'll always have to confirm the action.

The photo quality is medium, but what more can we demand of VGA?

You can set three types of video compression (Good, Better, Best), clip duration is limited only by the free space. The video quality is quite middling.


The quality of connection is rather good. The device can "see" the network even in poor coverage zones. In any condition, you'll find the loudspeaker volume and microphone sensitivity enough. The speakerphone is good and comfortable to use due to an extra loudspeaker. And also due to this extra loudspeaker the call melodies sound very loud. You can set an MP3 composition as a call melody. Though, the vibra is not enough for such a massive device.

Both lacking Bluetooth and IrDA are minuses, as well as big body size and short battery life. The advantages include the comfortable keypad and navi joystick, memory card support (though, no hot change). Buying the C975 for only GSM networks seems senseless. Its average price forms 250 USD, and you'd better buy Motorola E398 for the same money.

Vladimir Fokin (vladimir.fokin@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Maria Mitina (maria.mitina@mobile-review.com)

Published — 5 September 2005

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