Motorola's new V330 may look like just another slick little consumer phone, but it packs a host of the latest features, including a serviceable VGA camera, built-in AOL messaging, and Bluetooth support. It is also one of the first T-Mobile phones to support EDGE, giving it a data-transfer rate of up to 384Kbps. Designwise, it's almost identical to the , but it comes with some style improvements. If you are in the market for a full-featured consumer phone, this is a great choice. It's also fairly priced at $199, but you can find it cheaper with service. It's obvious from the start that the Motorola V330 looks a lot like the Motorola V300. It has the same flip-phone form factor, the same rubberized shell, and an identical blue and silver color scheme. It measures a compact 3.5 by 1.9 by 1 inches and weighs 4.2 ounces, which is just a hair lighter than its predecessor. Overall, it isn't the smallest phone we've tested, but it still fits easily in the palm of your hand.
The Motorola V330 comes with a rectangular monochrome external display that shows the time, signal strength, battery life, and caller ID (where available). It does its job well, but we would have liked to see something bigger. Above the display is the camera lens and a self-portrait mirror, but there's no flash for dim environments. Along the left side of the phone are the volume controls and a button for changing the ringer option; on the right is a voice key, used to create recordings or issue voice commands. A short, 3/4-inch antenna stub extends from the top, next to the standard headset jack, while a USB-compatible data port is at the bottom. The speaker is located on the back of the mobile, so if you're using the speakerphone, be sure to place it where it won't be muffled. When opening the phone, you'll see some of the improvements Motorola has made upon the design of the V300. The bright, 1.8-inch-diagonal 65,000-color screen is a familiar, welcome sight, but the company has adjusted the keypad. We dinged the V300 for its supersmall, oddly shaped keys, but Motorola fixed them in the V330. The buttons are much larger, well spaced, and easy to navigate--similar to what you'd find on the Motorola V551. The navigation controls include a five-way keypad that can be programmed to act as a shortcut to four user-defined functions. You also get the normal Talk and End buttons, two soft keys, and dedicated controls for the Web browser and the camera.The Motorola V330 comes with calling and data features that will appeal to consumers and maybe even some business users. The robust 1,000-entry phone book, which has room for five numbers per contact, is certainly big enough for power users, plus you can store an additional 250 names on the SIM card. You can pair callers with any of 21 (24-chord) polyphonic ring tones or 4 MP3 tones and a picture for caller ID, though images do not appear on the external display. This handset also comes with a standard suite of applications, including a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a voice recorder, a calculator, and a date book. The speakerphone is great for users who want to disturb their neighbors, but you can turn it on only after you've made a call. On the upside, though, the Bluetooth support will attract users who want to make the jump to hands-free calling. Not only will the handset work with almost any Bluetooth headset, but if you buy a T-Mobile data plan, you can use the V330 as a wireless modem for laptops and PDAs.
The built-in VGA camera is about average for phone-based cameras. If the resolutions (640x480, 320x240, and 160x120) were better, it would be a real standout, but overall, it's fine for casual shots. The camera has no flash, but it does include a 4X digital zoom. Just keep in mind, this zooming won't improve the overall image quality and could hurt it. The controls aren't fancy, but you can choose among five lighting tones and five exposure settings. Photos can be sent via MMS or stored in the device's 5MB of shared memory. The camera can also capture 10-second video clips of MPEG-4 video with sound.