- Compact, stylish design.
- No infrared or Bluetooth connectivity
- complex user interface
- poor key layout.
Motorola's petite new tri-band GSM flip phone comes with GPRS and an organiser. However, its wealth of features sit somewhat uncomfortably in what's best regarded as a 'fashion' phone.
Motorola's T260 was the first commercially available GPRS phone in the UK and established the company at the forefront of this country's wireless packet-switched data roll-out. However, the T260 featured Motorola's notoriously awkward user interface and was little more than a re-sprayed Timeport. Even though GPRS is most likely to appeal to business users, to whom aesthetics are perhaps not paramount, Motorola has shoe-horned GPRS into the much more stylish V66 handset.
The company has attempted to dampen criticism by creating a new user interface on the V66, adding two soft-keys beneath the screen that change function depending on what you are doing. Unfortunately, although you can now customise the menus and create shortcuts, this merely serves to create a more complex user interface rather than a more intuitive one.
In use, the tiny soft-keys and menu button are too close to each other and the hinge of the flip for anything but the daintiest of hands. The innovative four-way navigation key arrangement would be great if only it was not so cramped. It is also under-utilised in most options and does nothing when the phone is in standby.
The screen is inadequate by modern standards for WAP viewing. Not only is it small -- which can be excused by the small size of the chassis -- but it is also difficult to see at the best of times. The backlight can be changed to orange or red, but this makes it even more difficult to see and is a lot uglier than the default green.
This phone would have been useful as a GPRS modem for a handheld or laptop, given its restricted screen. But since it features neither infrared nor Bluetooth, you will need to invest in a data cable if you want to do this -- network operators permitting.
The sheer complexity of the WAP setting entry and the clunky Openwave browser implementation would put off even the most determined user. Even sending SMS is more of a chore than on phones from Ericsson, Nokia or Siemens.
When using the GPRS there is no clear indication that you are online or even using GPRS instead of a circuit-switched connection -- a common failing in the first crop of GPRS handsets. Then you only have three lines of WAP page to view, with status information filling the lines above and below. On the plus side, the V66 was particularly quick to establish connections and process pages under GPRS.
The V66 is a very nice phone to look at and is remarkably small and thin, even by the standards of Motorola's seminal V50 flip phone. Nice touches include the replaceable arrow-shaped bezel on the front that covers the SIM holder. The battery and back cover is a neat one-piece affair, even if it is fiddly to remove.
People will certainly buy the V66 for its physical design, but is usability is heavily compromised by a poor key layout and unintuitive menu structure. The lack of infrared and Bluetooth connectivity should seal its fate for most serious business users.
There are currently no specifications for this product.
There are currently no prices available for this product.