Motorola Australia MOTOFONE F3

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Motorola Australia MOTOFONE F3
  • Motorola Australia MOTOFONE F3
  • Motorola Australia MOTOFONE F3
  • Motorola Australia MOTOFONE F3

Pros

  • Value for money, voice prompt assistance, very easy to use, hands-free speakerphone, new display technology

Cons

  • Only two lines of display, no predictive text input

Bottom Line

The MOTOFONE is a breakthrough product in the mobile phone market, and is an excellent option for anyone looking for a handset to simply do the basics. At this price, it's a clear winner.

Would you buy this?

The Motorola MOTOFONE F3 is a budget phone that simply makes calls and sends SMS messages. There is no music playback, no camera and no Bluetooth. This back to basics handset has been designed with simplicity in mind, and is clearly ideal for users wanting a second phone, those who have never used a mobile phone before and elderly people, who are still coming to grips with using the latest technology.

The key feature of the MOTOFONE is ease of use. The menu system is simple, with a single button to access it, and an icon denoting each menu item. The MOTOFONE also includes what Motorola calls "voice prompt assistance". This is a voice which explains to the user what each feature of the phone does when you scroll through the menu. For example, when you hit the menu button and start scrolling through the icons, a voice is heard, saying "send a message", "read messages", "call history", "change ringtone", "set alarm" and "change time". The voice also plays when you enter each menu item as well, for example "write your message" or "enter time".

The MOTOFONE also includes another new feature, a display technology called EPD (Electronic Paper Display). This display possesses a paper-like high contrast appearance, consumes less power, and is both thin and light. The display doesn't include a backlight either, as this technology is enabled by electronic ink that carries a charge. Surprisingly, the MOTOFONE is clearly viewable in direct sunlight and also in the dark. Our only complaint with the display is the fact that it is only able to show two lines of text. Although the text is large and easy to read, typing messages does take a while to get used to, as only small words fit on the display. Furthermore, there is no predictive text input. Although this is understandable considering the simplicity of the MOTOFONE, heavy SMS users will not be pleased. Keep in mind though, that this is a phone designed for the simplest of needs.

The design of the MOTOFONE keeps in line with recent handsets from Motorola. Measuring just 114mm x 47mm x 9mm, and weighing just 70g, the MOTOFONE is one of the slimmest and lightest handsets on the market. Its keypad is completely flat, but the keys are fairly large and have a raised groove in between to distinguish them. The buttons are easy to press for both messaging and dialling phone numbers, so users shouldn't have too many problems in this regard.

The MOTOFONE consists of a fairly standard control layout. There is a four way navigational pad, dedicated menu and phonebook buttons and answer/end call keys. Above the screen are two indicator bars, for network signal strength and battery life respectively. Battery life is fairly good, rated at up to 450 minutes of talk time and up to 270 hours of standby time. Keep in mind that that the display doesn't use any power, so the MOTOFONE should last longer than a usual handset. On average, we charged the handset every three days.

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