So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Sturdy design, good quality phone, easy to use, excellent battery life
- Low resolution camera, no wireless connectivity.
The v1050 is a great phone for the style conscious while also catering to people know need something durable. It performs well and has quite a few great features but a low mega-pixel camera and a lack of wireless features hamper its brilliance.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Shielded in matte black rubber and oozing manly confidence, the Motorola v1050 is a phone for the hip bloke - just a stones throw from metro-sexuality but with a hardcore hoodlum edge. The latest flip phone offered by Vodafone as part of their 3G network, the v1050 is equipped with 2 cameras, a big full colour screen and a well designed button configuration.
The model we reviewed had unrestricted access to the 3G network and allowed us to fiddle, play, download and abuse everything the network has to offer, whether it be good, bad, essential or pointless. We gave the v1050 a thorough workout and are happy to report it did rather well. The battery life was acceptable, with about 4 days standby time but needed to be charged after only one day with moderate to heavy use.
The v1050 isn't too big as far as 3G phones go, but it isn't the smallest we've seen either. We personally found the v1050 to be just the right size as it fitted comfortably into a pocket, although a few people who saw this phone felt it was just a tad too large. Whether this difference of opinion is a product of their own obsessions with miniaturisation or of my rebellion against "toy" phones is unclear but either way, the attractive nature of the phone easily negates any size criticisms. The phone is tough, sturdy and the rubber finish all over makes it harder to destroy - it's refreshing to see a phone that has taken durability to an acceptable level.
The buttons on the v1050 are very simple to understand and are separated into a metallic number pad and glossy black plastic function keys. All the keys are backlit with a neon blue glow which makes them easy to see in the dark. Menus and the online features are navigated using the central circular directional switch with a button in the middle which handles most affirmative options. Overall, the phone cannot be faulted for its controls.
The menus are also rather intuitive with colourful, bright and nicely animated menu icons which flow on rather logically. Some of the grittier system options were a little hard to find without consulting the manual, and being male, consulting the manual is much like admitting defeat.
The Motorola v1050 sports all the standard clock and calculator features but since it is connected to the 3G network, the java applications available for the phone are endless. It supports every ring tone format and can play MP3s via the ultra small transflash memory card which can also be upgraded for more storage.
The v1050 also supports SMS, MMS, and video calls. Video calls are the same pixelated frame lagged mess that most 3G phones have to endure but compared to other phones, it does video calls well enough. The games installed are reasonable but with 3G there are a multitude of games to download. However, the size of the keypad makes it a little hard to play more complicated games, with any real skill.
The v1050 has two 1.3 megapixel cameras facing away from and toward the user that can be easily switched, even during a video call. However, at only 1.3MP the quality leaves a lot to be desired. At night the photos are overrun by bright blue digital artifacts and even the built in light doesn't seem to help since it is so weak that it only lights objects within a 50-60cm radius. We would have liked a better quality camera, especially since it is one of the phone's biggest features.
Just as there are 2 cameras there are also 2 screens. The main screen is large and bright and of a high quality but there is also a small screen on the outside of the camera which displays the time and your desktop image when the camera is closed.
Unfortunately, the v1050 has no wireless options and the lack of Bluetooth or IR connections Is a significant barrier to purchasing this unit. It soon became a hassle trying to transfer pictures to a friend's phone without using MMS or the 3G network and users are forced to pay to use a feature which other phones can use for free. By the same measure, transferring pictures to our PC was also problematic since the required USB cable was not provided in the box.
The v1050 doesn't do anything new or amazing but at the same time, it does what it does very well. The design and the durability of the phone makes it a contender for style conscious conversationalists while also being a great phone for tradespeople and users that are looking for something that can take a beating and walk away still working.
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