Jeff Sexton

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Phone Review

I just replaced my phone with one of the most popular phones around; the
Motorola 3xx. My old phone was an obscure NEC model that I've had for at
least two years. I bought the NEC because of it's advanced features at
the time. It was rough around the edges, not well documented, and hard to
set up, but it was an early phone to include a usable camera, a java VM,
and internet capabilities like web browsing and real SMTP email via POP.


* It's nice and loud and clear. It's easy to hear, and other hear me well
when I use it.

* It uses G3 networks and gets great reception everywhere I need it to, so

* The display is remarkably bright and sharp.

* Sending an SMS email from the phone is remarkably fast compared to my
old phone. I assume this is because of the G3 network.

* Speaker mode. My old phone didn't have that and I frequently wished it

* 1.3 mp camera.

* The new phone has a mini USB port and will charge itself from any USB

* An SD card installed in the phone can be used as general removable media
via USB. This can used to move MP3 files, phones and other files to and
from the phone.

* Google's java applications work fine. I can access gmail for example
even though the phone doesn't offer that built in.

* The voice dialing interface on this phone is interesting. You don't
have to pre-record yourself saying a voice command. It actually dialed a
person that I had in the phone book simply by "reading" their name. I only
tried this a couple of times, and I had to say the name 3 or 4 times, but
it worked.


* The menu system is a mixed bag when compared to my old phone. For
example, one of the things I didn't like about the old one is that is that
it took too many key clicks to change the ring mode. On the Motorola,
that's much easier. On the the other hand, on the Motorola, it takes too
many clicks to activate the camera. On the old one it took just button.

* This new phone can not act as a POP client. It's locked down to
read email only from AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and a couple others, none of
which do I use. With the old phone I could access any email system via
a plain old POP server.

* The much hyped media capabilities of the phone are no so great (shocking
I know). Crippled, as usual, the device and service channel the user into
a restricted set of locked down providers, like AT&T Music Service (ya,
I'll get right on that...). The phone will play general MP3 files
however, if one buys an extra SD card for the phone.

* MP3 files have to be less then 128 bit sampled.

* There's no audio jack on the phone. To play an MP3 file, you need some
Blue Tooth enabled headphones.

* The camera takes remarkably color-poor photos. It's become increasing
obvious that phone cameras skimp on things, like the lens, in order to
increase the mega-pixel number, at a fixed cost.

* Minor point - the camera lens is at the bottom (hinge end) for the phone
lid. There's a tendency to cover the lens with one's fingers while taking
a photo.

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