There’s a gaming, business or lifestyle device to suit everybody
Motorola MOTOSURF A3100 mobile phone
The TelstraOne Experience interface makes Motorola's MOTOSURF A3100 one of the more pleasant Windows Mobile smartphones to use
- Curved design, trackball, TelstraOne Experience interface, responsive touch screen, 3.5mm headphone jack, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, GPS
- Mediocre screen resolution, text input is frustrating
Motorola's MOTOSURF A3100 is one of the most pleasant to use Windows Mobile devices we've tested. The screen is mediocre when compared to other phones and text entry will frustrate, but the TelstraOne Experience and Moto Homescreen skins make this smartphone intuitive to use.
Price$ 849.00 (AUD)
Exclusively available on Telstra's Next G network, Motorola's MOTOSURF A3100 is a competent touch-screen smartphone that features the new TelstraOne Experience interface. TelstraOne Experience aims to simplify access to the most popular applications and services and it makes the Windows Mobile operating system less painful to use.
We love the way the Motorola MOTOSURF A3100 fits into the palm of your hand. It has a similar shape to the iPhone, but the edges are much more curved. The phone is finished in a combination of brushed metal and plastic, with the gloss black plastic that surrounds the display and the silver edging looking distinctly iPhone-like.
The Motorola MOTOSURF A3100 has a resistive 2.8in touch screen and includes a stylus for input, along with a trackball that looks very similar to the one found on the BlackBerry Pearl. The screen is responsive and most actions can be performed without the stylus or the trackball, but it has a low resolution and possesses poor viewing angles. When compared to most current phones, it comes off looking decidedly second-rate.
The MOTOSURF A3100 runs the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system, so it includes productivity features such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint document viewers, a PDF reader and Microsoft ActiveSync.
TelstraOne Experience features a range of commonly accessed applications on the interactive home screen, including quick shortcuts to contacts, call history, Web browser, e-mail, messaging, Telstra services and a shortcut menu. Most Windows Mobile interfaces simply feel like a layer over the top of the frustrating operating system, but the TelstraOne Experience completely transforms the usability of the MOTOSURF A3100 and means you will rarely need to use the Start menu.
The transitions between the screens are smooth and responsive. Users can swipe through applets, scroll through lists and drag and drop icons in certain shortcut menus. You can also customise what applets, applications and services are accessible. If you choose not to use TelstraOne Experience, the Moto Homescreen is also a great option. The default home screen offers access to calls, settings, messages, e-mails and appointments. There are icon carousels at the bottom of the screen that can be flicked through to access contacts, Internet shortcuts, weather, pictures and videos, favourites and Telstra's My Place.
Unfortunately, messaging on the MOTOSURF A3100 is mediocre. Motorola has included an on-screen keyboard that is much larger than the default Windows Mobile keyboard, but despite the predictive text feature we found typing messages with any sort of accuracy to be a frustrating experience. For effective text messaging or e-mailing you'll need to use the stylus.
The MOTOSURF A3100 is a capable multimedia phone, though the poor resolution of the display detracts from its use as a video player. Despite this, streaming mobile Foxtel through the Telstra portal was surprisingly effective. The phone has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a 3-megapixel camera with flash that captures reasonable photos. The MOTOSURF A3100 also includes a front-mounted VGA camera for video calling and has the A2DP Bluetooth profile (so you can listen to music with wireless headphones, for example).
Mobile Internet browsing is efficient, largely thanks to the inclusion of Opera Mobile. Though not as intuitive as Safari on the iPhone, the browser is quick and responsive and it is a huge improvement over the standard Internet Explorer Mobile. Opera automatically displays full-screen Web pages and renders pages well, including images. Speeds when using the Next G network were impressive. The MOTOSURF A3100 is an HSDPA 7.2Mbps mobile, and it also includes Wi-Fi and GPS.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo Find X3 Pro review: An all around performer with a touch of class
- 2 MSI GS66 Stealth (2021) review: A gaming powerhouse with 300Hz display
- 3 Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station review: Good for venturing off the grid
- 4 Dynabook Portégé X30W-J – a very good all-rounder
- 5 Realme 7 Pro review: Further progress
Latest News Articles
- If this is really the next iPad mini, it canâ€™t get here fast enough
- How many monitors can I plug into my Mac, anyway?
- The 12 best iOS 15 features Apple didn’t mention during the keynote
- Apple isn’t dropping support for barely any old hardware this year
- Apple is finally taking Siri offline
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- MSI Summit E15 (2021) review: A productivity workhorse with a gaming pedigree
- Every TV in Samsung's 2021 TV line-up explained: Neo QLED vs Crystal UHD vs QLED
- Best Australian EOFY 2021 Laptop Deals
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?