A closer look at the Moto Tundra and Renew

CNET gets a hands-on with two of Motorola's new phones from CES.

The Moto Renew in its eco-friendly box. Motorola

Motorola's new Tundra VA76r and Renew W233 were built with the Earth in mind. But while one was designed to save the outdoors, the other was just built to be used outdoors.

The Renew, of course, is the new T-Mobile handset that is made from recycled materials. Up close we found that it has a light--dare we say wispy--feeling in the hand. The green color is unique, not to mention very appropriate, but there's not much else to say about its candy-bar design. The 65,000 color display is about what you'd expect--it's small, and the graphics aren't terribly sharp.

You can tell instantly that the Renew's brown packaging is made from recycled materials. It's smaller than your average cell phone box and it is devoid of any fancy graphics. It's nothing more than a "feel-good"measure, but it's nice touch just the same. Just remember to go full circle and recycle your box.

The Moto Tundra is tough. Kent German/CBS Interactive

AT&T's Tundra, on the other hand, is wrapped in packaging. Rubber sidings give it a sturdy and durable feel in the hand. Indeed, it felt like many a Nextel phone. We wanted to throw it against a wall to see if it would washstand the blow (we're sure that it could), but the walls of trade show booths are pretty flimsy. Like its Nextel cousins, the Tundra is certified to military specifications for moisture, shock, vibration and the like. We're glad to see a true rugged phone land at AT&T.

The Tundra's keys and controls are covered in the rubbery material as well. Though that makes them a bit stiff, they're spacious and tactile. The 262,000-color display is bright and vibrant and it supports 262,000 colors. On the whole, it's a workhorse rather than a showpiece. And there's nothing wrong with that.

 

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