The rear camera also has a built in photo light, similar to the light you get on a camcorder, since it’s a bright LED. However, there is no actual flash when you’re taking pictures in low light. The range of the LED isn’t very long either, but it will help to brighten up pictures taken in dark surroundings.
The top of the phone features a hole in which you can attach a neck strap, although I would say that at 138g, the E1000 is a little on the heavy side to be comfortably carried around your neck. Also, the dimensions don’t lend themselves to being necklace friendly at 113 x 54 x 20mm (HxWxD). Behind a flap on the right hand side is a 2.5mm socket for a hands free headset and at the bottom of the phone is a combined charger and data connector – you can purchase an optional USB data cable and the Motorola MobilePhone Tools software if you want to sync your phone with your PC.
That said, the E1000 features Bluetooth, so there is no real need for the USB cable, unless you’re planning on using it as your primary MP3 player. The E1000’s storage capacity can be expanded with TransFlash memory cards. These tiny memory cards are smaller than the SIM card and come in sizes up to 128MB at the time of writing, with 256MB and 512MB cards due early in 2005. Why Motorola went with TransFlash in this fairly chunky phone is anyone’s guess, as a more readily available memory format like Mini SD would have been cheaper.
So now we have three tiny memory formats for mobile phones and which will become standard, if any at all, is anyone’s guess. The reason why it makes sense to get the USB cable if you’re planning to transfer music onto the E1000 is because it will take a long time to copy large amounts of data via Bluetooth. But if mobile music isn’t on your agenda and you’re happy with the 16MB of integrated memory, Bluetooth transfer speeds will be fine.
Finally the E1000 also supports AGPS or Assisted GPS, which doesn’t wholly rely on satellite data, but rather takes advantage of the mobile phone masts to triangulate your position. The only problem here is that you have to pay 3 a fee every time you want to use the service and at 25p a go, it’s quite expensive. Of course, on those occasions when you’re completely lost and have no idea which direction to go, the 25p may seem like a real bargain.
There are a few other functions that are worthy of a mention. The E1000 is a tri-band phone apart from being a 3G UMTS handset, so you can use it if you travel across the Atlantic. Motorola has also fitted a very fancy speaker to the E1000, although it is not quite true stereo due to the narrow sound field, it is the closest you’ll get from a mobile phone and the sound is pretty good, all things considered.
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Another neat touch is that you can playback video content in full screen by flipping the video into a landscape format, which takes full advantage of the high resolution screen. This might make the idea of downloading video content even more appealing, although I’m still sceptical about downloading content from 3’s online portal, since the costs can mount up all too quickly. Also, 3 still doesn’t give you open Internet access, and you are completely limited to the content provided by the 3 portal.