Motorola PEBL

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Motorola PEBL
  • Motorola PEBL
  • Motorola PEBL
  • Motorola PEBL
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent design, High quality screen, Top notch sound and pick up.

Cons

  • Buttons a little inaccurate, Annoying game demos, No recurring alarm, Spring mechanism a little too hardcore.

Bottom Line

The Motorola PEBL is a very attractive phone and will add an air of sophistication to any user. However, there are some issues that need to be considered before making a purchase.

Would you buy this?

Floating through space, a meteorite collides with the atmosphere of a young Earth before the ravages of time. In a streak of fire it slams into the ground, the newly formed crater its nest of safety. Wind, time and rain erode the rock and as the ice age melts away it slinks into a newly formed river. Over the millennia the rock, now burnished, floats along the seabed until finally washing up on pristine beach in the form of the Motorola PEBL. What does a mobile phone have to do with all this? Not much really, but when David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) directs a TV commercial, it is art to be appreciated.

The PEBL is Motorola's move toward natural environment design, with gorgeous curves intended to look like a stone (or pebble) from a river. It certainly achieves this end with flush buttons and a smooth exterior. We received the black rubberized version for review but the PEBL also comes in various other finishes including a rather sexy mirrored number.

The flip mechanism of the PEBL is rather unique, but despite it being pretty innovative, it also makes the phone difficult to use. The main problem is that it needs to be slid toward the user and then released, at which time the phone pops open. Make no mistake; this looks great but the force with which it opens is a little excessive.

Once opened however, the interior design is captivating. From an artistic design standpoint, it is very attractive with a flat mirrored panel intersected with waves to separate the numbers on the keypad. Form and functionality don't quite meet here though. A result of this configuration is that it's little too hard to accurately press the buttons on the phone including the menu and select buttons which are too close to the spring hinge.

The screen is bright and high quality but has an extremely poor vertical and horizontal viewing angle. Colour shift begins only a few degrees off centre, with complete illegibility occurring at about 45 degrees. The exterior screen isn't particularly noteworthy but displays the time, battery life and signal strength, as well as message inbox status.

The menu system is the same old Motorola menu, but it seems to run a little faster than other Motorola phones we've reviewed. We were a little disappointed by the lack of a recurring alarm and found that the "demo" of bejeweled was an insult with only about 20 seconds of game play before it ends, prompting you to "BUY ME". I'm not buying you Bejeweled; I barely got to play you. The configuration options were also a little difficult to comprehend. Trying to do something simple like change the system clock took far too long and was placed in an odd position in the menus.

The sound on the PEBL was quite good. Both the speaker and microphone are positioned well, resulting in good pickup and we found the VGA camera takes fairly reasonable pictures. Unfortunately the image quality isn't the most amazing we have seen, but it is certainly good enough for most users, especially for a phone at this price point.

The connectivity options include Bluetooth, which worked very well with a very simple set up. The PEBL also supports instant messaging via ICQ, Yahoo Messenger and AIM as well as T-Mobile downloadable content and services. The T-mobile service includes a photo album, journal, email and also has games, ring tones and wallpapers available to download.

There is also a button on the right side of the phone that lets you dial numbers via voice recognition. You can apply voice tags to your phonebook or also say the number and have the phone recognize it. Unfortunately, this feature was extremely poor. Most of the time it didn't recognize very many of the numbers we said and offered us fantastic creations that were nothing like the number we had spoken. This feature definitely needs some work, but then again so do most voice recognition software applications.

The Motorola PEBL isn't a terrible phone; in fact we quite enjoyed reviewing it. It is extremely attractive and classy but anyone that is looking to buy one should keep in mind that it is has a few useability issues that need to be considered.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?