Motorola SLVR L7

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Motorola SLVR L7
  • Motorola SLVR L7
  • Motorola SLVR L7
  • Motorola SLVR L7
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Slim form factor, Well built, Memory card slot, MP3 Player, Included Bluetooth headset

Cons

  • Menu system, Keypad design, Heavy, Paltry VGA camera, no iTunes support in Australia, Average battery life

Bottom Line

The SLVR L7 is an admirable effort by Motorola to provide the same wow factor of the RAZR in a candybar format. A better quality camera and a long awaited update to the user interface and Motorola could well be onto something very special here.

Would you buy this?

The current trend when it comes to mobile phones is an extremely thin form factor. Motorola kicked things off with the launch of the famous RAZR V3and they have continued to develop this with the new SLVR L7; but have they sacrificed usability for the sake of style?

Basically, the SLVR L7 is an improved version of the original RAZR, but in a candy bar form factor instead of the famous flip design. Measuring a remarkable 114mm x 49mm x 11.5 mm in size (which is narrower than a credit card) the SLVR L7 is even slimmer than the RAZR, and retains the similar chrome keypad of its predecessor. Add a fairly commendable display, a TransFlash memory card slot and the L7 starts to look like a very tasty option indeed.

Due to the thin chassis, Motorola has decided against the common all-plastic casing and instead opted for a metal finish, which gives the L7 a real quality feel about it. Unlike many other handsets these days, the L7 looks as if it could withstand some harsh treatment; we dropped it a couple of times and can pleasingly report that it does hold up very well indeed. The downside to this is that it is quite heavy to hold and does weigh down your pocket somewhat, but we'd take durability over featherweight in a heartbeat!

To retain this slim line design, Motorola were forced to use a flat style keypad and while this passes with flying colours in the looks department, we feel that it isn't very user friendly. We found ourselves having to press fairly hard on the keys for them to respond during SMS's and overall, messaging was slower than we are normally able to achieve on other handsets. Those with large fingers will be frustrated by the size; you'll definitely find yourself pressing the wrong keys more than once. We must say though, the blue backlit keypad looks glorious, especially if you're using the phone at night.

The L7 also turns heads with a 262K-color LCD screen which sports a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels. While it isn't the best display we've seen on a mobile phone, it is more than admirable; we just wish Motorola would use its full potential with a crisper menu system! Thankfully, they've kept it simple with the controls - a 5-way navigational keypad is surrounded by two soft keys, Menu and Answer and End Call keys.

Our main criticism of Motorola handsets is the user interface, which seems not to have been upgraded for a couple of years. Unfortunately it's still exactly the same on the L7, but the speed has improved. One of the major problems with the RAZR, was the speed of the interface, especially for SMS messaging, so we were pleased to see this has been improved. Still, the menu itself is screaming out for an upgrade; pixilated icons and text don't make for a pretty sight at all. The colour schemes can be changed to combat this problem, but this fix isn't an ideal solution.

Unfortunately, the L7 is let down by sporting a paltry 0.3 megapixel VGA camera. With an influx of multimedia features, including the Transflash slot, we can't understand the reason why Motorola have opted for such a poor quality camera. Perhaps it is due to the slim size of the unit, but in saying this, we expected at least a 1.3 megapixel camera. Still, the VGA does boast a 4x digital zoom, although you'll struggle to take a half decent snap whilst utlising this feature, so it's fairly useless in this sense.

Despite allowing the L7 to be used with iTunes (like the ROKR E1,) in the US, this hasn't been made available in Australia. Don't stress though; the iTunes/Motorola software wasn't what it was hyped up to be anyway, so you won't be missing out on much. To combat this problem, Motorola has pre-installed two music applications on the L7 so that we Aussies are also able to use the phone as an MP3 player. This is accessed by pressing up on the navigational pad and conveniently, you can browse through other sections of the phone while music is playing, a feature that Samsung has neglected to offer on their previous models. Overall though, the software isn't good enough to replace a dedicated MP3 player and you'll have to use the stock earbuds as well. Considering the included headset looks good but is uncomfortable and delivers poor audio quality, we feel that the MP3 player functionality could have been much improved.

Other features include support for SMS, MMS and email messaging with iTap input process, Quad-band and Bluetooth connectivity, a 128MB Transflash card and a H500 Bluetooth headset - all included in the package. Battery life is slightly below average with figures of 400 minutes talktime and 350 hours of standby time. With a fairly heavy use of Bluetooth and the music player, we found ourselves having to charge the L7 every second night. Unfortunately, the inaccurate battery life indicator doesn't help in this instance either.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

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?