This is a small phone at 114mm tall, 47mm wide and 9mm thick, and it is extremely light at just 68g. It manages to achieve this remarkable lightness partly because of it almost total lack of internal features, and also because of the display.
It looks like the kind of LCD you find on digital watches or old calculators, but in fact the technical term is electrophoretic and Motorola calls it ClearVision. It is a technology used in e-paper and likely to be a pretty big thing over the coming years. One of its greatest benefits is that it has extremely low power consumption. The downside is that all you get is a two-tone display, which provides white text on a black background when the standby clock is on show and reverses this when you use the phone.
The display is as easy see outdoors as inside, and text it displays is very large which means it could appeal to anyone who has trouble viewing the sometimes very small characters on mobile phone screens.
Above the display there are two windows each capable of showing up to five bars of data. One displays signal strength, the other battery life.
As I’ve mentioned battery life let’s look at that next. Motorola quotes 500 minutes of talk time and 300 hours of standby. I charged the battery fully and I am more than a week into usage on that single charge. This remarkable battery life is due the fact that there is not much to eat away at it here. No web browser, no music player, no backlit display, no Bluetooth, no camera. The fact that the screen only takes power when it needs to change the display also helps extend battery life.
The dual-band capability won’t let you travel very far, and I have no idea how much built in memory there is, but I doubt there is a lot. Contacts are stored on your SIM not the internal memory – and no, you can’t expand on it with flash memory cards.
There is a lot that impresses about this phone, but now I come to the big disappointments –the deal-breakers as far as I am concerned.