Motorola gives us the W161 and W181, we yawn

Motorola is not daring to impress this year at GSMA. The new Motorola W161 and W181 are just simple phones for making calls.

Motorola W161 Motorola

If you thought Motorola's first announcement at GSMA World Congress was boring, how little did you know. Perhaps it's because the company made such a bang at CES, but Motorola in Barcelona is proving to be a snoozer. Besides the Wi-Fi Motorola Z6w, Moto also unveiled two very basic phones: the W161 and W181. Sporting minimalist candy bar designs, the handsets are just for making calls. In fact, the W161 is so simple that it has a monochrome display. Surely, it's been years since we've seen one of those. Though I know there's always a place for cell phones that are just phones, Nokia and Sony Ericsson raised my expectations too high for this trip.

Motorola W181 Motorola

Accordingly, the feature set for both phones is equally basic. There's no Web browser or multimedia applications. Instead the phone's highlights are limited to text messaging, a 500-contact phone book, and a speakerphone. The W161 and W181 also offer Moto's CrystalTalk technology, but Moto is adding that feature to every new phone in its portfolio. On the other hand, the FM radio in both handsets is a plus. Since the W181 has a color display it's considered the higher-end option (if a higher-end options exists at this level). To justify its position, it offers raised keypad buttons and 50KB more of internal memory (70KB of storage compared with the W161's 20KB). Oh, in case you didn't get this already, the W161 and W181 are intended for emerging markets.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.

 

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