The Motorola V360 evokes little emotion. Of course, except for models such as the Razr V3, Motorola tends to be low on visual appeal and high on function. A less-patient person may disregard this phone because of its looks, but we stand by the old mantra of "Don't judge a book by its cover." T-Mobile's V360 is a solidly constructed, feature-rich handset that makes a quantum leap from the , the previous model in the product line. This lightweight handset is perfect for the consumer who is on the verge of discovering that cell phones are so much more than just a phone. We may be a bit nitpicky, but the design of the Motorola V360 falls short of the vision seen in Motorola's more fashionable cell phones, such as the Razr. The handset is a two-tone blue and silver with a matte finish. The front flip is mostly blue with a silver border around the LCD and a silver U-shaped design element on the outer edge. The U-shaped design continues inverted, in the interior of the phone, and even though we think we understand what Motorola was trying to accomplish, we just don't like it.
With nearly the same dimensions as the last-generation V330, the Motorola V360 measures 3.5 by 1.9 by 0.9 and weighs only 3.9 ounces, lighter than the V330's 4.2 ounces. We applaud Motorola for doing away with the external antenna, which helped the V360 fit nicely in our pocket. We also like how it felt in our hand when closed, but in the open position, it felt too flat against our ear. We applaud Motorola for increasing the size of the external display, but a grayscale screen is hardly an upgrade from the V330's two-tone blue. The backlight setting is not adjustable, and we weren't able to display pictures or wallpaper. We do like the addition of the date, which is added to the time, as well as the battery-life and reception bars, but we still don't get photo caller ID.
Motorola has added an expandable TransFlash memory-card slot at the top of the phone. Disappointingly, you have to take the battery cover off to access it, but we like having the extra memory. The side buttons on the Motorola V360 are the same as on the V330. There's a volume rocker and a button for changing ringer options on the left spine. When open, the latter key also controls the digital audio player, though not with much success. The side button on the right controls the voice-activation menu, which was rather difficult to use successfully. The camera lens is on the upper-left corner of the front flap, and the speaker has moved to the bottom of the back of the handset. The V360 also has a mini-USB port and a headset jack.
The Motorola V360's 176x220-pixel, 262,000-color internal TFT display measures 1.8 inches diagonally. It's vivid and clear, and it's even better than the V330's already attractive 65,000-color screen. It is easy to view images in the light or dark, indoors or outdoors. You can adjust the brightness and the backlighting time, and neither the contrast nor the font size can be adjusted.
Motorola has not changed the navigation buttons either. There are still dedicated buttons for the camera, as well as T-mobile's T-zones Internet service. You'll also find a five-way navigation toggle and two programmable soft keys. We love how easy it is to program the toggle as a shortcut, then use the phone while minimizing dedicated buttons to features we don't use. Kudos to Motorola for not being pressured into multiple permanent buttons that lead to purchased services. We are surprised by the changes in the keypad, which is now blue backlit instead of white. The change makes it harder to read in the dark, although the navigation keys show up much better. Compared with the V330, the keypad buttons are much flatter and don't have spaces in between keys. As a result, it's harder to dial by feel.The 1,000-contact phone book on the Motorola V360 seems large, but the 5MB of integrated memory is shared with all applications and data on the handset. Each contact stores up to six separate phone numbers; a home address; an e-mail address; a picture ID, which is visible only on the internal display; and a ringer ID--you get a generous 50 polyphonic (24-chord) ring tones. Plus, you can set your own caller groups. The V360 features a vibrate mode, a voice recorder, a memo pad, a calculator, a date book, and an alarm clock with multiple settings. The phone also features full Bluetooth; PC syncing for contacts; text, enhanced, and multimedia messaging; AOL and Yahoo instant messaging; POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP e-mail; and a speakerphone. The V360 is equipped for push-to-talk networks and technology, but T-Mobile supports neither feature. Also, be aware that the interface can be sluggish at times.