Motorola V66

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Pros

  • Compact, stylish design.

Cons

  • 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.

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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.

Specifications

Phone Features
Ring Tones 64
Short Messaging Service (SMS) Yes
Voice Dialing Yes
Volume Control Yes
Phone Functions Voice control, call timer, conference call, voice dialing, vibrating alert
Additional Features Intelligent typing (iTAP)
Details
Antenna external
Integrated Components Voice recorder
Cellular
Technology GSM
Application Software TrueSync
Installed Games Black Jack, Mindblaster, Paddleball
Installed Game Qty 3
Type cellular phone
Integrated Components voice recorder
Band GSM 900/1800/1900 (Tri-Band)
Phone Form Factor folder (flip)
Service Provider T-Mobile
Messaging & Internet
Cellular Messaging Services SMS
WAP Protocol Supported WAP 1.1
Messaging & Data Features Text messages
Messaging Services AOL Instant Messenger Service (AIM), SMS
Communications
Communication Features Internet browser, mobile Email client
Data Transmission GPRS
Display (2nd)
Display Illumination Color White
Display
Line Qty 3
Multi-language Menu Yes
Display Indicators Voice message waiting, Text message waiting
Display Illumination Color white
Display Resolution 96 x 64 pixels
Color Support monochrome
Display Languages English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Features backlit
Manufacturer Warranty
Service & Support Limited warranty - 1 year
Organizer
Personal Information Management alarm clock, calculator, calendar, currency conversion, reminder
Alarm Clock Yes
SIM Card Based Directory 250 names & numbers
Phone Book Entries Qty 500
Security Features
Phone Lock Yes
SIM Card Lock Yes
Restrict Access to Phone Book Yes
Battery
Installed Qty 1
Standby Time Up to 120 h
Technology Lithium ion
Talk Time Up to 200 min
Run Time Details Talk: up to 180 min
Standby: up to 120 hrs
Rechargeable Battery Rechargeable
Required Qty 1
Header
Brand Motorola
Product Line Motorola
Model V66
Packaged Quantity 1
Features
Phone Functions call timer, conference call, vibrating alert, voice control, voice dialing
Additional Features intelligent typing (iTAP)
Power Adapter
Type power adapter
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Full Contract Period 1 year
Service & Support
Type 1 year warranty

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