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Motorola V3i review

Motorola V3i review
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Retail Price: RM 425
AP Price: N/A
The RAZR V3i has an updated and streamlined design, offering consumers a large internal color screen, quad-band technology and Bluetooth?wireless technology. This sleek handset comes with 1.23 megapixel digital camera with a full screen view-finder, zoom, and video capture and playback.
Review On : Motorola V3i
By" target="v3i">Brian Wong
Well, to start off this review, Iíd like to talk about why I decided to sell my razr v3 black away to get this beautiful v3i. The black razr was good looking, sure, but its looks just didnít match its functionality. I was looking for a Multimedia phone at first- but the looks of the razr v3 black clouded my judgment. After a few months of using it, (approximately 3 months), I decided to sell it off (at virtually the same price I bought it for, take care of your electronics, people), and bought a razr v3i.

Now there are various blatant advantages that the v3i has over the v3, on paper. First, the v3i has a 1.23 camera, over the v3ís VGA camera (which is about 1/5 of the v3iís resolution I believe), the v3i has expandable memory up to 512mb with transflash (those cards are TINY by the way), and the v3i has itunes. Now to expand on that last point- I was lucky to buy an import from europe that had itunes on the phone- many people who had bought off of ebay were tricked into believing that all the v3iís had itunes- but they donít. There are 2 versions of the phone- so ask before you buy. Make sure the auction description and the title says so, because If the buyer does trick you out, you can report him/her and get your money back (hopefully). In this review I will be discussing all the pros and cons that I label out for this phone.

Pros : Good looking
More plastic on body (iíll explain later)
Camera is great
Screen is vivid and colourful
expandable memory (meaning extended video playback and crazy huge files)
removable disk
voice dialing
battery life and speaker volume
Cons: Bluetooth works very weirdly
Slow transfer speeds
Motorolaís UI
smudgeable screen, keypad marks
external screen functions

Good looking
Yes, this phone is sexy. Very sexy. In fact, many of you who may be considering this phone may be turned off by its seemingly purple color. This color is very, very tricky- it is different in different shades of light. In very bright light, you can see the purple coming out- in normal light, it is gray, dark gray, shiny, and very flashy. The color coordination is quite bad but I personally think that it looked great in the end- the shiny front cover steals all the attention, and the keypadís color mixes well with the purple. All in all, the phone looks very futuristic (blue glowing moto logo), and performs futuristically.

Built : More plastic on body
Another small change that not many have talked about is the fact that motorola got rid of those vents on the side of the screen below the volume and smart keys. The metal from the v3 one would scratch the skin off on your fingers if you ever flipped with two fingers- and was very annoying. There are no openings in the body of the new v3i- build quality= excellent, yet again.
This 1.23 megapixel camera is sharp, but the colors still seem slightly washed out compared to my digital camera and everything. But it is expected. This camera is used for everything- photos, self portraits, videos- motorola really made use of it. The reason why I dontí talk too much about video in this review because its not really a Feature- its more like a menu item. It does what it says it does but its not good enough to be worthy of any mention. Below is a picture taken with the camera, unedited (just click on the thumbnail to see the larger version)
Yes, almost every single review of the RAZR has taken note of its gorgeous screen. I give motorola huge props for actually making use of the wide top to fill it all up with a juicy colourful screen. The screenís space isntí wasted either. The only drawbacks with the screen is that your face can smudge it when you talk into the phone- but that can be easily cleaned. If you want to read more about the screen, go to any razr v3 review, becasue it is basically the same screen on this beast.
The keypad looks great, like the previous razr models. There are many noticeable and palpable differences on the new v3i keypad however. The first is that the old keypad had a lot more lines, and I personally think looked very messy. The new one is a bit cleaned up, and the only raised bars are the neon blue bars that are separating the rows of numbers. Another difference is the 5 way toggle key- the arrows are now raised (thank you motorola). Another big difference is the itunes key. When you press it, it brings you directly to itunes. I will discuss itunes in further detail next.

Music : itune
Let me say this first: if youíre expecting an ipod on this, thing, dontí buy it, because it isnít. The firmware is crap compared to the ipod- the font is different, the transitions are sluggish, and its missing 70% of the settings and functions of the normal ipod. The only thing that this version of itunes does is play music, shuffles it, and organizes it. You can also view album art. I call it a pro because Iím absolutely thrilled about it being on this phone- it feels like a big plus feature. Did I also mention that the music can play through the speakers- and is very loud and clear? The headphones (OEM) that came with the phone are also super loud, in fact I dontí think I will be using them purely because they are too loud.
The usb headphones that came with the phone are very loud and clear- quality isnít that great, but good for casual listening. The thing I find so good about it is that it also doubles as a handsfree. The bulge at the bottom of the wire is attractive yet also acts as a handsfree. The only thing I donít like about it is the thicker wire on the right earphone (to acommodate the handsfree microphone). It looks uneven.

Expandable memory
managed to put a dltv vid podcast (converted to 3gpp, which isnít that bad btw), and a simpsonís episode (also converted) onto the memory card, including my 40 mb of songs onto my included 256mb transflash card without trouble. Basically you can put loads of data on this thing and not worry any more (and laugh at all those pitiful v3 owners with 7 mb of memory). The v3i has 12 mb Internal memory btw, good enough for storing a few contacts and appointments. haha.
Removable disk
Motorola does not tout this feature as one of its best, but I personally think that this is extremely useful. The usb cable bundled with the v3i is short and seems fit for mobility- and making it so that the phone can just connect to any computer and act as a removable disk is awesome. You can transfer videos, pictures, and audio files to and from the phone through my computer. However, as I forgot to mention, you can only transfer songs through itunes. Motorolaís license with apple isnít that friendly, jobs put many limits on it, including the song limit, the fact that you canít listen to music through bluetooth headsets, and that you can only transfer via usb cable (no bluetooth) through itunes.
Voice dialing
I just tried the voice dialing feature (speaker independant, according to motorola), and I must say, Iím impressed. It was able to pick up my commands with ease and had the proper verifications and such. I was able to dial a number within seconds without even touching the phone. This is definitely a plus for me. The british woman talking to me is also a big plus.
Battery life and speaker volume
Many razr users have complained about the lack of volume in the speaker. I may be a guy that likes quiet, but I must say, the volume has been improved significantly. The speaker is clearer (to accomodate the playing of tunes from itunes), and it does not distort the sound that much. Overall, it is good for watching videos and for general sound but not good enough for stereo listening. Thatís reserved for the headset.
For battery life, many have stated it as a con, because it is below average compared to many phones. However, just simply using this phone for everyday use, with a bit of music listening and video playback has caused no battery life issues with me. What I like about the phone is that it charges quite fast through a usb cable, so when youíre transferring songs or videos (which I do frequently), the phone gets charged. Otherwise, the standby time for me is about 4-5 days, and talk time is, well, I havenít tested that yet lol.
Now for the cons:
There arenít many, because this phone, I think, is perfect for me and will be perfect for many normal cellphone users.
If you can snag it for a good price off of ebay it is worth it, but if you buy it msrp from motorola unlocked for 500 plus, thatís just ridiculous (just buy a freaking ipod with that money).
This may be a firmware thing, or something wrong with my pocket pc, but I tried to transfer photos from my v3i to my pocket pc via bluetooth (which I had previously successfully done with my v3), and it simply wouldnít work. My v3i would say (on screen), that the connection was interrupted or something along the lines of that, and the transfer would just simple stop right there. If anyone has a solution to this, please feel free to email me or post in the comments.
Slow transfer speeds
It took me almost 5 minutes to transfer all my songs, and 4 times that to transfer my videos. Thats all I have to say. Thereís something about the phone itself- maybe that its own usb is actually 1.1 and not 2.0 usb, so it naturally transfers slowly. Its the slow transfers that makes this phone feel somewhat- old.
Motorola User Interface
Almost everyone bitches about this, so Iím going to add more to the bitchingfest. The font is just horrible. It looks like windows 1.0 or something like that. it feels like im working around a skinned form of notepad. The ui just has to change- and the logic around it. The soft keys and menu items donít make sense, and motorola decided to hide the camera and video camera features in the ďextrasĒ menu, when before it had its own menu item of ďmultimediaĒ. Motorola just doesnít make any sense in that field. Iíve seen that theyíve revamped their UI a bit for the camera feature (full screen now instead of half screen, as shown below), and that theyíve completely changed their ui for the new v3x and other moto phones. Which is good, but motorola should release some sort of firmware update that fixes the font. Seriously. It shouldnít be too hard, and flashers and flexers can do it already, and I just donít want to dive into that field because it makes me nervous.
Smudgeable screen
Shows many smudges that are hard to clean, but does not obstruct the screen. Just a little complaint of mine. Desipte the raised rubber pads (larger than the original razr) on the top of the screen, the rubber from the keypad still makes hardly noticeable ďimprintsĒ. This issue has been addressed by many reviews so I wonít go into much detail with it. Regardless, the screen is still sexy.
External screen
Serves little purpose except for showing the time. The colors are washed out and the resolution is not that great. I would have liked motorola to integrate itunes into the external screen more- like being able to switch songs without opening the clam shell. The only functions you have when the shell is closed and when youíre listening to music is to pause or play.
Buy this phone, if youíre an average phone user or even a business user that wants a flashy phone that has functions that would be fun and great to have. Moto tries hard to put everything in the phone and somewhat succeeds at it, except for the cons iíve mentioned above. Do not buy this phone, if youíre an avid user of cellphones and require one that gives you much more than a phone and an mp3 player (with some plus features). Remember, this is not a 3G phone so donít expect it to do everything. If you want that, youíre better off with the v3x, which is larger and bulkier.

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