Too often in the world of cell phones, the need for a quality, basic handset gets lost in the shuffle of integrated cameras and other high-end features. The primary purpose of a phone is above all to make calls. If a mobile can't do that well, it's not worth much. Fortunately, there are devices like the Motorola V180. Wrapped in a compact package, this T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless handset offers solid call quality and basic yet functional features. While its design felt flimsy, its inclusion of a speakerphone and instant messaging was a welcome surprise. At $119, the V180's price is right, but you can find the phone for even less with a service agreement. With silver cell phones dominating the market, we always enjoy a handset that offers alternative styling. Colored in black with a silver trim, the Motorola V180 is a good-looking phone. Compact measurements (3.5 by 1.7 by 0.9 inches and 2.8 ounces) make for true portability, and the mobile feels comfortable while you're talking. A rectangular external screen shows the time, the battery life, and the caller ID (where available). Though the screen is monochrome, it's easy to see in all kinds of light. The only control on the exterior of the phone is a volume rocker on the left spine. The speakerphone is located on the rear face.
We were disappointed when we first opened the V180. While the front face of the handset is well constructed, a flimsy plastic material covers its inside and back face. The result was unimpressive; the V180 felt quite fragile. Like the display on the, the one on the V180 is rather small (1.5 inches diagonal) and is hard to see in direct sunlight. Also, while it supports 65,000 colors, it was far from vibrant and had an overall washed-out effect (you can adjust only the contrast). The mirrored frame is vulnerable to smudges as well. Users with visual impairments should be advised that the phone's small text size cannot be changed.