The Motorola V325's menu navigation is not intuitive or well designed. We were forced to use different buttons to control the same navigation command in several situations. For example, sometimes we had to push the Clear button to go backward, and other times, this navigation command was controlled by one of the soft keys, so going back two steps usually involved pushing two different buttons.The Motorola V325 has a phone-book capacity of 500 contacts, with an impressive flash memory of 64MB for all applications. Each contact stores four phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, a fax number, and a ring tone. The handset has three predefined caller groups, but we also successfully set and named our own groups. You can pair contacts with a photo for picture caller ID, but the image shows up only on the internal display. The V325 includes an impressive 50 ring tones. We were able to record our own tones, and the handset supports MP3 tones as well. Unfortunately, the vibrate mode cannot be combined with a ring tone--it is one or the other.
Organizer features include a calendar; an alarm clock with three settings; a world clock; a notepad; and a calculator. Other offerings include voice dialing and commands; text and multimedia messaging; voice memos; PC syncing, a speakerphone that can be activated before you make a call; and a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. On the downside, there's no wireless connectivity. Bluetooth or even an infrared port would have been a nice addition to the handset.
The highlight of the Motorola V325 is the GPS system, which allows users to take advantage of Location Based Services, such as obtaining maps, as well as written or spoken turn-by-turn directions for walking or driving to their destination. This is the first Motorola handset to take advantage of Verizon's new VZ Navigator application. At $9.99 per month or $2.99 per day (plus airtime), the service lets you choose directions by the fastest, shortest, or simplest route, and it will adjust automatically if you go off route. Maps can be zoomed or panned, and you can place and receive calls when using the application. You can also do a local search of 14 million points of interest, as well as save preferred locations to the phone's memory.
The Motorola V325's VGA camera has a 4X zoom and three resolutions (640x480, 240x320, and 120x160). The camera also features a 5- or 10-second self-timer; adjustable brightness; white-balance effects; three file-quality settings; three shutter sounds (there's also a silent option); four color effects; and 10 fun frames. We were a bit disappointed with the picture quality, as it was nearly impossible to take a picture that was not blurry. Plus, it was quite hard to keep our fingers out of the way, due to poor lens placement. Once you take a photo, you can crop the image size and rotate or flip the orientation. We were able to remove the red-eye, as well as add color effects and elements such as fun frames, text, and clip art. The neatest feature on the camera, however, is the ability to warp the picture into new shapes. You also have the option to send or save the picture.
Multimedia options are limited on the Motorola V325. Motorola did not include a video camera, nor the ability to stream media or play downloaded video. No games are included with the handset, but you can download BREW-enabled titles and ring tones through Verizon's Get It Now service. Other personalization options include several included wallpaper patterns, three themes, and a customized greeting.We tested the dual-band, dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) Motorola V325 in San Francisco on the Verizon network. Call quality was quite good, with clear conversations and loud volume. Callers could tell we were using a cell phone; however, they didn't report any significant drawbacks. The phone does pick up some wind noise, though we could hear well when using it on a crowded street. Speakerphone quality was diminished somewhat, but it was fine overall.
The Motorola V325 has a rated talk time of 3.3 hours and a promised standby time of 8.3 days. In our tests, we got 4 hours of talk time, and though we fell short of the promised standby time by 3 days, we were satisfied with its performance. According to FCC radiation tests, the V325 has a digital SAR rating of 1.14 watts per kilogram.