MWC 2008: Motorola

Motorola has been going through some tough times recently, so we couldn’t have been more curious about what they’re up to. Their booth at the MWC 2008 in Barcelona needed to provide answers to some serious questions.
 
From a high enough authority, the company is still committed to its mobile division and upping sticks is out of the question for now.

We saw a few handsets on the Motorola stand in the MWC, including three that were fresh announcements at the congress itself. Now, a warning is probably due for those of you that are after top-of-the-shelf gadgets. Sadly, you won’t be too impressed.

Motorola Z6w was just announced yesterday and is basically a Wi-Fi-enabled version of the Motorola Z6. It comes in the slider form factor and has support for all the four GSM bands. The 2" 262K-color display sports QVGA resolution, the straightforward midrange choice.

The Z6w has a 2 megapixel camera and microSD card slot for extending the built-in memory. We did manage to see that it also has a new menu view mode and a few user interface advantages over Motorola Z6.

The Motorola handset to see the most of the GSMArena team appreciation was the bar shaped phone ROKR E8. Announced last September, the quad-band device almost passes for a true novelty, thanks to the new and unique user interface. The haptic-enabled touch-sensitive keypad offers commendable feedback. Vibrations tend to be shorter than what the LG Viewty offers for example, and we happen to like it better this way.

The best part about the phone is the keypad, having no actual etched labels on the keys. Instead the virtual keys change depending on context. In the music player for example, the music controls appear, while letters surface in texting mode. The touch-sensitive semi-circle of a D-pad also helps a lot here, as it makes forwarding and rewinding real smooth.

Motorola E8 is equipped with a 2" 262K-color QVGA display, which had very good picture quality. This may not hold true in brightly sunlight but it was good enough for us indoors.

We also got a glimpse of the Motorola U9 – the new PEBL phone that was recently introduced by Moto. The phone has a 1.45" 128 x 160-pixel 65K-color OLED display on the outside, which goes completely invisible when not used. There are also touch sensitive buttons on it to allow easier control of the music player even with the clamshell closed. The internal display is 2" QVGA, capable of showing up to 262K colors.

The comparatively low-end model has dropped the opening mechanism used in the original PEBL – the Motorola U6 – and has switched to a more traditional flip. Simplicity and friendly handling are emphasized in this very compact and easy on the user phone.

A feature that grabbed our attention, the animated external screen savers looked very well on the OLED display. Otherwise, the phone is pretty modest in terms of functionality. At least it does sport a 2 megapixel camera and microSD memory expansion.

Motorola Z10 is the company’s multimedia flagship, sporting a 2.2" 262K-color display with QVGA resolution and the kick-slider design we have come to know from Motorola Z8. The smartphone runs on Symbian OS with UIQ interface.

Motorola Z10 is a quad-band device with 3G capabilities and HSDPA-support. Add EDGE, which can come in handy outside 3G networks, and there you go with a nice set of connectivity options. As for the other means of data transfer, the Z10 has USB and Bluetooth (both v2.0), but unluckily no Wi-Fi.

The entry level Motorola W181 is about as basic as a handset can get. Aimed at the emerging markets, it features a 65K-color CSTN display and FM radio, and this is probably about right for its expected price.

Now, finally, check out what we ran into at that Motorola booth. Has anyone ever doubted it will all go without a RAZR? What better morale booster than the golden RAZR2 V8 Luxury Edition. And for those tempted to revisit the glory days, our RAZR2 V8 review.

 
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