With all the hype over Motorola's Razr, it's easy to forget the company still produces handsets that aren't all about style. Take T-Mobile's Motorola V195 for instance. Designed with simplicity in mind, it makes no effort to chase the thin-phone phenomenon. Yet for what it lacks in design and wow factor, it makes up for in features. Armed with a speakerphone, world phone support, and Motorola's new Screen3 technology, the V195 makes a respectable showing. And not only that, we're always glad to see a phone that has Bluetooth without the bother of a digital camera. Calls could have static at times, but overall, the V195 is a good basic phone. T-Mobile charges a reasonable $129 if you pay full price, but service rebates will lower the cost to as low as $39.
Make no mistake, the V195 isn't aiming to win a fashion show. Rather it bears a minimalist flip phone form factor in the tradition of models such as the Motorola V325 and V557. However, that's not to say it's unattractive. We like the clean lines, rounded edges, and the lack of an external antenna. T-Mobile sells the version with the smooth silver finish, but the phone is also available with a more colorful blue face.
Measuring 3.6 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches, the V195 isn't the most compact flip phone out there, but at 3.6 ounces, it won't weigh you down. What's more, it enjoys a solid construction and feels comfortable in the hand. Like many Motorolas of its class, the V195 has a rectangular external display. It's monochrome, of course, and relatively small (96x32 pixels), but it shows the time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID. Though you can't adjust the backlight time, you can switch it on with a flick of the volume rocker on the left spine. Below the display is a dim light behind the Motorola logo that flashes for incoming calls.
The phone's internal display also holds no surprises. With support for 65,000 colors, it's not the most vibrant cell phone display we've seen, but at 1.75 inches diagonal (128x160 pixels) it's well proportioned for the phone's size. The two available menu styles are generic Motorola, which can be a bit confusing to first-time Moto users. You can change the backlight time, the brightness, and the contrast, but you can't alter the font size.