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Review Motorola E365
Motorola often uses ODM-models for its product line, choosing the best that is on the market. As you may or may not know, ODM-models are developed and released by third party companies. Using such a production model quality control is a major priority, as well as making the final product suitable for market demand. This means changing the menu until it becomes old-fashioned and familiar, just like the ones used in Motorola series phones. Probably the Motorola E365 will be the greatest example of an ODM-model. Motorola managed to solve all problems with development and production. In the end we got ourselves a well-balanced phone which can take first place in its class (Alcatel 735, Siemens MC60, Siemens ST55).
The casing will be released in one color type only – silver, and a dark-grey frame around the screen. For some countries is available X-terra color (soft gold). At the battery section on the back of the phone the plastic is coloured in silver, and the cover is black. The design can be described as retro-industrial. From one side we see some oval shapes, which makes the phone look similar to new phones from other producers. On the other hand, the upper part doesn’t have these shapes, it’s somewhat blocky which can also be mentioned about the surroundings of the screen. This interesting combination makes the phone look unique. The model is suitable for both youths and grown-ups. It looks good and appropriate whether you’re a business-man or a teenager. Sony Ericsson uses the same style for its models as well, like the T310 or T610.
Please allow me to go a little off topic: According to my observations, a lot of managers prefer to use middle-class phones for daily use - about a year ago the Nokia 3310 was the leader in this segment. Same thing happened with the Motorola C350, and it was extremely popular for those who were in search of a phone that would match their appearance, both in a suit or casual clothes. Right now more products with the ability to match in mind increasingly continue to appear, and in my opinion – that’s great! At the same time, the E365 fits perfectly into the segment of business users who are using their phone only for calls, without the use for IrDA nor Bluetooth.
The size is fine, (107 x 45 x 19.5 mm), you can carry it however you like. It’s weight is 93 g.
The screen occupies almost half of the casing and has a 128õ160 pixel resolution (28õ36 mm), can display up to 65000 colours and it uses TFT-technology. It doesn’t have any competitors in its segment due to the screen. The colours turn pale when the phone is exposed to sunlight, but the picture remains clear.
Up to five text lines can be displayed at once, plus a line for service needs, another one for header and the last one used for icons. The font size (Russian and English) is big enough to let the user read the text comfortably.
The keyboard is made of plastic and has a navigation key which is 4-dimensional. The buttons are placed in horizontal rows and its backlight is blue. The font used for buttons is seen clearly in all conditions. The keys themselves are convenient to use, even though it would have been wrong to expect something else due to their size. I rate the keyboard above average.
Seeing the light indicator on the bottom of the phone’s front side is rather unexpected but it turn on key light in the dark (novice feature among all models). The microphone is located near the indicator and since it’s buried deeply into the casing external noises get cut out really efficiently. A talk on a crowdy street will work out just fine for both you and the person in the other end.
A dedicated camera button is located on the left, and on the opposite side you can see a handsfree-port. A phone strap port is located on top, while an interface port is located on the bottom. Sadly you can’t use data cables from previous Motorola models for this phone, it has it’s own, unique port.
You can see a dynamics inlet on the back and its volume is pretty high. The camera is located here as well. When you’re not using it it’s covered with a movable mirror. Honestly, I don’t know if that kind of protection is really needed, however, no other camera-enhanced phone has that protection, and it could serve as a welcome addition. At least you won’t scratch the lens.
A Li-Ion 700 mAh battery is used for this phone. Motorola claims that it can work up to 150 hours in standby mode, and three hours during actual conversation. While testing the phone in Moscow it worked for two days, with 25 minutes used for talking and up to 30 minutes used for other functions (mainly games) daily. It takes 1 hour 45 minutes to recharge the phone.
In order to access main menu – simply press the button built in the navigation key. The main menu is presented with 9 icons situated in three rows. You can use fast-navigation in menu with the help of key sequences; plus you can set up to nine shortcuts for quick access. It takes about a week to get used to this phone, but the menu doesn’t look tangled. After spending 10 minutes setting up your phone you’ll realize that you don’t need much brain power to work it. Almost every frequently used feature of the menu can be accessed with one or two key pressings.
You can bind any icon of the menu to any direction of the navigational key (available not for all version of firmware). They’re not shown in the standby mode, so you’ll have to press the navigation key once, and they’ll appear instantly.
Phone book. You can store up to 300 entries with one number per contact in the phone book. Both the numbers from the phonebook and the SIM-card are displayed simultaneously. All entries can be divided into 15 groups. A special icon can be designated for each group, and the icons are all rather interesting. Photos can be set up for single contacts and will be shown when they call you. An E-Mail address can be specified as well, which is also a function within the phonebook. Although you can also use search, it only works with up to the three first letters. The entry list scrolls rapidly and there’s no lagging at all.
Messages. 10 templates are stored in the phone’s memory, but you can also create new ones. The handset supports predictive text input, T9. Joined messages, EMS and MMS are supported as well. You can use a set of pre-installed images for EMS (colourful but not very big). The pictures are drawn nicely and are rather funny as well. The biggest disadvantage is that you can’t actually preview the picture before inserting it to your message.
MMS’s are standard, you can add your photos and break the message into several slides. You can also send a voice note. All messages are stored in the same folder, except for MMS-templates. This means that in the Inbox folder you will see both your MMS and SMS messages.
The phone has 2MB memory which is used dynamically between various applications and features.
Profiles. The phone has five different profiles, and each of them can be personalized including the alarm, sounds, vibrating alert and themes. You can also set up how you prefer to answer a call (ordinary button, any button and auto answer).
Alarm Clock. The alarm clock can be set up to ring once or daily. No other settings can be changed.
Shortcuts. Here you can set up to nine shortcuts for any handset function or feature.
Chat. Ordinary chat, I don’t think that this function is used by many.
Tools. The organizer allows entering all kinds of appointments and to set up a timer. You can also view the calendar, which can be displayed in weekly mode with hour graphic. The time in which the day starts for you can be set up as well.
The calculator is nice, and comes with a unit converter.
Settings. Choose one of five preset backgrounds, they all are MTV related. The screensavers are animated, plus you can download new ones.
The language and the phone’s automatic turn on/turn off feature can be set up here as well. Another interesting function can be accessed - Energy Saving mode, if you turn it on it will immerse up to 20-25% of your battery life.
Games. The E365 supports Java, and there are five pre-installed games. Bowling – a typical bowling game. Although it’s a bit hard to play, it’s also what captures your interest for a long time.
Magic II – a great mix of Tetris and Lines.
Bubble Tea – Tetris.
Big 2 Garden – Card game, not everyone will become a great fan of this game.
Pacific Storm – simple air-sim, just fly and crash everything you see beyond.
Vibration and sound can be set up for all games at once. The games are really nice.
Extra. Other phone functions are stored here. Including Records (incoming, missed or dialed numbers) and a counter for all and the last made calls.
Media Album. All pictures, icons and photos taken with the built-in camera are stored here. While previewing them you’ll see a list with small thumbnails and file names. You can also create your own albums, actual folders to keep your photos in. Picture preferences can be checked as well.
Ringtone style. Choose type of incoming call warning (ringtone, vibrating alert, both or only backlight) and melody. The set of preinstalled melodies is rather nice and some nice examples can be found.
The browser is accessible from the same menu, v2.0 GPRS-enabled (4+1). Special wap-link shortcuts can also be bound.
Voice memo. The voice notes have a maximum length of 10 seconds and are limited only by the amount of memory available. The dictaphone can’t record during a conversation.
Camera. The E365 has a VGA camera, and the pictures can be taken in lower resolutions as well (320õ240, 160õ120 pixels) and it also supports night-shot mode. Unfortunately, they are the only possible settings for the camera, so you can’t play around with effects and frames etc. The pictures look appealing on screen, mainly because of the screen quality. Here are some examples of pictures taken with the internal camera, similar to other VGA cameras used in the same kind of phones. Nothing better, nothing worse.
The pictures can be transferred to a PC as MMS messages. Neither a data cable nor a software CD comes with the E365 - you’ll have to buy them separately. They will be widely available during the launch at a price about $30.
No problems with the quality of signal from the network were encountered. The 16-tone ringtones sound really loud. For example, one of the C350’s main lacks was the volume of the ring which has been fixed in this new model. The phone almost screams, so it’s impossible to miss a call even in noisy places. MIDI files are supported, so it’s possible to download new ringtones. The vibrating alert is average.
The features are great overall, and if you look at its price – the conclusion will be simple - the best phone you can get for $230, which is probably the cheapest you’re going to get buying this kind of phone. Giving value for your money seems to become a Motorola tradition.
The Motorola E365 can be compared to Siemens ST55 but is a lot cheaper, even cheaper than Siemens MC60. And the last touch is a wide variation of available games. The only disadvantage would be the long wait for it to start up, getting a reaction from the screen after a second or two. A possible reason could be that during standby mode the phone usually turns off almost all processes in a hibernating state. However, I don’t think that this will (nor should) stop you from buying this phone. Currently it’s the best phone for your money’s worth.
Published 02 December 2003
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