Saturday, March 25, 2006

Motorola RAZR V3 Review (missing photos)

After the dramatic price drop at Rogers and Cingular, I decided to pick up a Rogers V3 to compliment my fat 6682. The firmware on it is R374_G_0E.41.C3R_B, GSMV3VCRGR01NA120. The box contains the phone, charger, L-shaped adapter, and carrying case.

Quick facts:
Name: Motorola RAZR V3
Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Weight: 97 g
Dimensions: 98 x 53 x 14 mm
Battery life (stand by): 250 hours
Battery life (talk): 6.67 minutes

My phone was manufactured in: (your phone's country of manufacture could vary) China

The V3 is a thin phone but pretty wide. We all talk about wanting high quality phones with lots of metal parts like the Nokia 8800/880 or the Nokia N91; well the V3 also has some metal pieces to help make it thin. Here are some of the external aluminum components: back battery cover, the flip component containing the screen, and finally the keypad insert. You can feel the cheap creaky plastic at the bottom of the phone where the microphone is located.



It's a sharp design that has won many people's heart. From a design standpoint, it has everything a typical flip phone should have these days like side volume control, dedicated camera button, external screen, large inner screen, and large buttons. The phone looks small closed but it looks pretty huge opened up, especially when you see someone holding it to their ear. The battery cover is thin and light but its aluminum construction makes it solid when in place. The flip mechanism is very smooth and snaps into open or closed positions. It feels very good.

The keypad light is very night and bright with the injected rubber

I don't like the SIM mechanism. The SIM connectors scrap against the gold part of the SIM as you put it in and when you take it out. If you're one to change phones a lot, this may be a concern as this will wear out your SIM card faster than other phones.

This is really nice and bright display. It's not as sharp as a Sony Ericsson S710a but it's almost as good as the Nokia 6682. With a 176 x 220 pixel 262K colour TFT screen, you won't be comparing it to any Nokia 6230 cuz this display blows that away. Although the screen is large and nice, the Motorola GUI doesn't take advantage of the large size so navigating into the phone will not display important phone information such as the battery life. The screen is bright enough to see under bright light.

The external screen is adequate but is very small. It has a slow refresh rate. It shows all information you may need like missing calls/messages, battery status, date, time, and reception. It even supports picture ID and using the camera from this screen. Comparing to the Nokia 6101, I would say I prefer the 6101 over this external screen.

This thin phone has a unique keypad made out of aluminum with rubber injection. The rubber injection helps you figure out which key you're pressing. The keypad produces good feedback when you press any button. If you have small hands, the wideness of the phone may make it feel a bit odd reaching for the most distant soft key. You will quickly get accustomed to the keypad. The amount of rubber varies in the keypad so you can feel your way to the number keys if you can't see the keypad.

How is the V3 keypad for gaming? Because the D-pad produces feedback and doesn't physically move, fast-pace action games will not feel natural compared to conventional game pads. The rubber inserts will slow your finger if you try to slide your finger from the different points of the D-pad. I didn't enjoy using this D-pad to game, even on the built in Gem Jam. From a phone perspective, you can easily use the V3 with one hand both flipping it open and using it.

Menu setup

Phonebook & scrolling speed
It's slow. It feels like the V3 is figuring out what the next contact should be as you scroll through it. Unlike the S710a, it will always scroll at a normal rate. The search function is very quick pulling up matching names instantaneously. I would highly suggest using the jump to feature as scrolling through the list is agonizingly slow. Too bad you can't search by entering more than one letter. It will only jump to the first letter.

People complain about the crappy Motorola phone book. I don't use it too much as I have it read directly from my SIM card so I expected the V3 not be able to group them together.

Ring Styles
The standard styles included: Vibrate and Ring, Vibrate then Ring, Silent, Loud, Soft, Vibrate.
For each Ring Style you can set Ring Volume, Ringing tone, Vibrating alert, Message alert tone, Instant message alert tone, Keypad volume, Warning tones.

call listings
Hitting the call button you have the option of looking at Dialed Calls. You need to access the Recent Call option to see Received Calls, Dialed Calls, and Call Times. Data and call counters are somewhere else. You can't access a log of all calls in one window.

File manager
You can browse the phone contents with My Pictures, Sounds, and Videos. No dedicated file browser to view all contents at the same time.

The V3 doesn't really have themes. They're called skins and it just changes the colour scheme of the phone.

Included Office tools
Standard tools are included.

Alarm clock - you can set a multiple time alarm or have it repeat.
Calendar - calendar to find out today's date
Calculator - just a basic calculator
IM - a chat program.
Notepad - I don't know why this is under Recent Calls

You can connect the V3 to your computer using Bluetooth or data cable. I don't have a data cable so I wasn't able to test that. You need Motorola Phone Tools to synchronize the V3 with your computer. Motorola Phone Tools doesn't come with the phone and is not free.

No issues sending files other phones or computer. Sending things to the V3 is more difficult as most devices will have a tricky time establishing a connection to the V3.


Good reception. I was able to talk on an elevator for a brief moment.

Sound Quality
The phone sounds good. I think it sounds loud but people tell me it's soft. It's a lot louder than the 6682. The sound quality is a bit scratchier than my 6230. In a really loud place, like a club, I can't hear the phone so it's not super loud.

The Speakerphone works well. It is too trebly. The speaker is behind the internal microphone is that is great.

Headset use
I haven't tested this.

Multimedia Features

The V3 VGA CMOS camera is terrible. Images look good on the phone's screen but look very blurry on the computer. It takes pictures very quickly and adjusts to lighting very quickly. There are no white balance, contrast, brightness, or color tone controls.

Nothing really special about this and there isn't many options. After taking a picture, you have a whole slew of options. You better remember to Save to Phone or you'll lose the image.

White Balance modes: Automatic, sunny, cloudy, indoor (Home), indoor (Office), Night

There are 3 pic sizes:
640 x 480
320 x 240
160 x 120

Normal mode
The camera takes really cloudy pictures and there is a small noticeable lag.


6230 (missing photo)

The V3 and 6230 have about the same colour saturation. The 6230 produces much sharper pictures.



The V3 handles darkness better than the 6230 in auto mode. Nokia should add an auto mode as most people will just be point and shoot operations

night mode
There's a night mode as well, it's better than the auto mode but not a whole lot better.

V3 (missing photo)


The 6230 night mode puts the V3 to a lot of shame.

Something I like about flip phones is that you can take self portraits by closing the phone in camera mode. It'll use the external display to show you what the camera sees.

The phone also does Video at Sub-QCIF 128 x 96 pixel sizing. You won't be doing much video shooting with 6MB of onboard memory.

The V3 processor is slow; don't expect too many intense highly graphical games to run smoothly on this phone.
The V3 does come with a demo game: Gem Jam.

I get three to four days with medium to light usage. It exceeds my 6682 by a little bit. Poor battery life is pretty sad as my 6682 does more.

The V3 is a good phone but don't expect it to be able to do anything else well.

Build quality...........7
Features for $...........9 only if thin is considered a feature :-)
Software.................3 doesn't even come with PC software
Camera...................2 a Nokia mid-range quality VGA CMOS
Battery life.............8


*very thin
*Beautiful screen
*quad band
*Great sound/clarity
*large keys
*Price. $100 CDN with 3 year contract

*the Motorola GUI is not easy to use. To send an image to a friend through BT, could you guess it's not Send but it's Copy?
*lack of memory card support
*1 second delay on pictures captured
*poor keypad for games
*flaky Bluetooth
*slow processor

Thanks to Treatz for lending me his stylz for this review

Saturday, March 18, 2006

New Transformers

If you're a guy and you were in elementary school during the 80's, you probably played with Transformers at some point in your life. There weren't video games so we played with real life toys in those days.
I was at a toy store recently and saw this:

It's an Acura RSX Transformer. If I had an RSX I would definitely pick up this toy. It's cool having a transformer of the car you drive. Some of the new transformers like Beast Wars and Cybertron have some ugly looking toys but this Transformer is part of the Alternator line that takes actual cars and transforms them into robots. Sound pretty familar to the original Transformers? It does but there's ONLY cars or trucks. No guns, planes, or cassette players. Just look at Shockwave.
Something else in the world of Transformers is the new line of Star Wars toys. Here's the best out of the three toys, Darth Vader:

Friday, March 03, 2006

1978 Voltswagen Van

We all see old cars on the roads and they're usually the slow drivers. But once in a while you see an old vintage that is just nice to look at.

This one I saw reminded me of our family's first car, an orange Voltswagen Rabbit we had when i was very young. This van you see if one I saw in a parking lot. I don't think I would want to travel in one of these. Sure it's nice, but I doubt its safety rating meets today's standards.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Blog - Third Strike

First it was my BlogSpot blog. Then I spawned my Flickr picture blog. Now it's time to start another, my Xanga blog.

Each blog tells you something different about my life adventures. This one talks about really stupid things that I just run across. My picture blog is just random nice pictures I take along the way in life. My Xanga is going to be more tuned to the food I eat. Now you can monitor my diet and hopefully it's a healthy one.