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Review GSM-phones Motorola v300, v500, v600

Part 1. Construction, screen, keys, battery life>>>

Part 2. Menu, phone book, messages, other functions>>>

Camera. The display will act as the viewfinder. When you’re moving the phone frequently the viewfinder will still act normally, the picture changes in real time. This is an astonishing and nice news to hear. The ideal distance for taking quality pictures of people faces is 30-50 centimeters. The camera has VGA resolution; this allows taking pictures 640x480 pixels. But that’s not all, you can also choose MMS resolution (160x120); Average (320x240). The menu lacks an option to choose the resolution during the shooting, on the other hand it simplifies the picture taking, and limits user’s freedom and doesn’t leave an alternative. Shuttle’s sound can be disabled.

The endurance can be adjusted (from -2 to +2), as well as the lighting conditions (automatic detect is set by default). There are five different presets for lighting conditions, and they really affect the picture quality.

Image display quality is very high, one of the main reasons for that is the display’s quality. Meanwhile the pictures look alike ordinary pictures taken by the mobile phones on PC. They are neither better nor worse. Here we’d like to show you some pictures made as an example. They were made with v500 in various lighting conditions.

The pictures can be transferred to PC or any other phone with the help of Bluetooth, just select the pictures from the list (press “0” button to select more than one picture at once) by choosing the “Send” option. Bluetooth will get activated automatically and the phone will start to look for any decent device instantly..

All photos and their description – here >>>

Bluetooth. V500 and v600 are the first mobile phones from Motorola that are widely available and have Bluetooth on board. The previous models that had Bluetooth were the 3G ones. No changes were made since then, Bluetooth works stable and reliable. These phones feature good compatibility with various accessories, including the non-original ones. We had a month to test v500 with various handsfree accessories, they all worked perfectly. The connection quality was reliable, and the only disconnects we had occurred because I was accidentally leaving the room and went to another (there is 7m wall between them). No problems were encountered with synchronizing data with PCMCIA-card on the PC. I managed to transfer data from the phone to PC, including pictures and ring tones.

However a special Bluetooth icon in the serice text line is missing and that seems rather strange. I mean even Java has an icon, so why not to make one for Bluetooth? The only way to check out if Bluetooth is activated – wait for the stand by mode to turn on. This isn’t comfortable since there are times when you don’t want to quit one of the menus to check if it’s on.

The power consumption with the activated Bluetooth increases. The battery’s capacity will decrease by about 35-40 percent if you are one of those who like making phone calls. So instead of three days you will get one or two, however this is okay and comparable with the other phone manufacturer’s models. I shall make a reservation that I was talking about constantly connected headset.

Another interesting detail is that Motorola v600 is shipped packed with the headset to some markets, and without one to the others. The price of the headset that comes in the package is less by 30-35 dollars.

Settings. Here you can setup all Display settings including the color schemes.

Ring tone type and notification mode (mixed mode, when the vibrating alert works at the same time with the ring tone is present) is here as well.

I don’t think there is any need to describe the network and security settings since they’re all similar to any other phone.

Phone’s memory is 6mb big, and 5+ mb are available for user’s needs right from the start. This quantity will be enough for most applications, photos and ring tones.


The network quality is fine for all v-series models. They provide network connection everywhere where it’s possible. The loudspeaker is loud enough, sometimes even too loud. The sound is synthesized into soft tones and is nice to hear. Your interlocutor hears you clearly, no problems were encounter during the conversation while I was on the street (I mean the problems caused by the phone’s construction; it’s clearly understandable that the noise affected the talk, but it was still okay). The ring tone’s volume is above the average level, polyphonic ring tones sound pleasantly. This phone can be compared with the other European models, it’s not as loud as the Korean phones, and however it does sound more musical. Once again it’s a matter of preferences, some people like softer melodies that are slightly quitter, and the others prefer louder melodies that sound more roughly.

If we talk about the older models – then it’s obvious that these phones are well-made, however Motorola delayed them and it will certainly affect the sales. But they will still be popular even if they are released in February or March. Considering the dynamics of reduction prices for the phones from Motorola it is possible to predict that the company will jerk on the average and high price segments and conquer a part of the market.

Under the cumulative characteristics devices from Motorola surpass their competitors (Sony Ericsson Z600’s only advantage over Motorola is the presence of IrDA, there are more disadvantages). The only real competition for Motorola v500, v600 will be Panasonic X70. If we speak about the users who don’t have any certain prefers for the manufactures, then Motorola will be competing with the Korean mobile phones. It’s not yet clear who will be the winner; however I believe that Motorola has the guts to win. It’s not a mass production phone, more like an image one and is targeted on a small target group.

Motorola v500 will cost about 350-370 US dollars in February; this means that the price will start decreasing after this term. Motorola v600 will be available for 420-450 dollars. The elder model, v300 will cost 280-300 dollars.

I’d like to sum up all mentioned above and make a final statement. Motorola managed to produce rather nice models. Their only disadvantage is the size and weight, however there will still be those who will love this size and weight. Let’s just hope that Motorola will manage to release them in the near future, otherwise it will be the T280 story again. The phone was technically ahead of the current models, however it got delayed by 8 months. A new generation of mobile phones came out by that time, and this model became a flop. It’s been almost a year since Motorola v600 was introduced. It’s now or never, if it is released somewhere in near future – it will remain actual by the end of September.

Motorola R880 will be released by that term, a new image phone targeted partly to the same category of people as v600. Other v-series models will get their replacement as well; most likely they will be announced at CeBIT 2004.

Samples of ring tones (mp3, 410 Kb)

Part 1. Construction, screen, keys, battery life>>>

Part 2. Menu, phone book, messages, other functions>>>

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Alexander "Lexx" Zavoloka(Lexx@i-5.delfi.lv)
Published — 02 February 2004

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



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