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Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone - Motorola MC55
In terms of connectivity, the device is a bit of a mixed bag. You do get Wi-Fi (B and G) and Bluetooth V2.0 with EDR, and the Wi-Fi aerial seems exceptionally sensitive. When used on a street in London it picked up a total of 12 different Wi-Fi routers. By comparison the iPhone and HTC Diamond2 picked up just three. However, on the phone side of the device things aren't as hot. Although the handset is quad-band, it doesn't support 3G data speeds so you're limited to a slower Edge connection where available.
Another annoyance with the device is its fiddly power connector. The power adapter is very large (about the size of one shipped with ultraportable laptops) and attaches to a separate cable that houses a large power connector which clips onto the base of the device. At first, actually getting the power connector to attach to the device was a bit of struggle. No matter what we tried, and even though the connector seemed to be attached properly, it wasn't connecting to the power pins on the MC55 so no juice was reaching the battery.
However, it turns out that the trick is to hold the connector hard against the phone before you lock the two side clips into place. Even with this trick mastered, there were still times when it lost the connection with the phone's power pins and stopped charging. We're not sure if this was a problem solely with our review device, but it does seem to indicate that the whole connector needs a bit of a redesign.
Nevertheless, battery life isn't too bad. Motorola says it's good for around six hours of talk time and will keep ticking over for around 100 hours in standby. We got around a day and a half out of it with medium usage of the MC55's core features. That sad, this is the type of device that's likely to be placed in the charger at the end of each working day, so mammoth battery life probably isn't a priority. However, if you do need longer battery life there is a high capacity 3600mAh battery available as an option (the standard battery is a 2400mAh power pack).
The MC55 is designed as a mid-range enterprise device and as such it fits its niche quite nicely. It's fast, has a good range of features and is tough enough to stand up to even the most demanding environments. We're not overly keen on the fiddly power connector and think it could have done with a bit more memory and support for 3G. However, if you really need 3G support then you can always opt for a model from Motorola's higher-end (and even more expensive) MC75 range.
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