Monday, August 06, 2007

Motorola c168i (AT&T)

Well, here's the review of the Motorola c168i...thanks to The_Sweeper for loaning me his phone!

First off, since the phone is locked to AT&T\Cingular, I had to have a friend use her contract paln SIM with the phone for awhile. But that was fine...she came to the conclusion (as did I) that the phone was good for the prepaid audience...not a lot of features, but a pretty good phone anyway. Then again, her main phone is the Motorola Rokr...

Anyway, as to the things that count, reception seemed okay, though I couldn't really test apples to apples because I didn't have two people's Cingular phones (this one eing one of them) side by side to tell. From what I heard though, voice calls sounded very good on this phone, which is great for such a cheap device.

In the build quality arena this phone ain't bad at all. Everything feels solid, though the buttons are a tad small for my tastes. Then again, the phone is pretty thin and small in general, while sporting a decently-sized screen, so I really can't complain about button size. Heck, the phone even looks pretty cool, though the absence of a camera renders this phone decidedly basic. Oh, and it looks to be the first prepaid phone to bear the AT&T logo, which in my opinion i way cool compared with Cingular's jack guy...but all the logo animations in the world won't make me switch carriers :).

For battery life, this phone wasn't the shining star that some phones are, but it survived a respectable five and a half days on a full charge with maybe 40 minutes of talking and some usage of other funnctions, including plying through all of the phone's many polyphonic ringers, which I'll talk about in a minute. But as far as battery life goes, this phone, while not too amazing, is no slouch, especially for a thin phone.

Getting into the less pivotal features for a phone (in my opinion), this Moto is pretty much like the Motorola w370, except without the external display and with the UI tailored for the smaller, square-format screen. It still is definately Compal\Motorola, but there are some hints of phones like the v180 mixed in, which lends a decent quality to the UI. Though I'm not a fan of the way Motorola does their interface...nobody is.

One flaw I noticed, which also affected the w370, is that text messaging is not too easy to do on the phone's keypad, which is rather rigid, especially since the iTAP predictive text can't keep up with you if you're even a moderately fast texter. But maybe you can handle that...

Lastly, this phone has a speakerphone, which is nice and loud for ringers and such, but tends to be prety muddy and clips the audio a bit even at lower volumes. Wierd, but at least it's loud, and at least you have a large amount of ringtones to choose from.

Well, that's about it. I have no problem with this phone, other than the texting slowness and (for me) lack of features, but there are some people to which these problems don't matter. If these people also use an AT&T\Cingular-based service, whether GoPhone or otherwise (especially otherwise, since those carriers only need voice and text anyway), this phone may well be a great fit for them, and on top of that it looks good!


Chris said...

You say nobody is fond of Motorola's UI, but I love it. Yeah, I know Nokia has a rock solid UI, and Samsung isn't bad. LG, in my opinion is horrible. It may have been the phone I tried it on, but I didn't like it.

Using iTap for texting on the W370 is fine, so I'd assume the following statement is true for both. It will catch up so you can type as fast as you want.

Anonymous said...

I haven't found the speakerphone option yet and is not mentioned in the handbook

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just way too fast for it but I noticed the same thing with the iTAP. That was my main motivation for getting a razr v3. It can't keep up (neither can the razr v3), but at least the v3 doesn't drop characters; that's what REALLY annoyed me. Eventually I just switched to one handed texting but it didn't take too long to learn to go faster than it even one handed... If you don't need texting or can live with this though I think it's a pretty good basic or backup phone.