The Motorola V557 has an integrated VGA-quality digital camera. We were hoping to see a megapixel camera on this handset, but this will suffice. You can take pictures in three resolutions (640x480, 320x240, and 160x120), use the 4X zoom, and adjust the image brightness. Once you're done with your shots, you can send your pictures in a multimedia message, apply them as wallpaper or a screensaver, or save them to a phone-book entry. The handset also has adequate video capabilities, with a record time of 45 seconds a clip. Unfortunately, all applications share a paltry 5MB of memory.
Personalization settings on the Motorola V557 are plentiful. They include tweaking the animation speed and layout of the display; the font size; the order of the menu icons, which can also be displayed as a list; three skin settings; a greeting; the layout of the wallpaper; and the delay on the screensaver. The customization on the Media Net Live Ticker is the most interesting personalization feature on the V557. You can also download games (only two demo titles are included), polyphonic ring tones, and wallpaper at Cingular's Web site.We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; EDGE) Motorola V557 world phone on the Cingular network in San Francisco. Audio quality was spotty at times, which is typical with the Cingular network in San Francisco. We had several dropped calls, as well as calls that went in and out. When working correctly, the handset itself has solid sound quality, but callers did know we were on a cell phone. Compared with other phones we have tested, it was harder to hear on a busy street. The speakerphone quality is very good, but be advised that the speaker faces the rear of the phone. Also, while the phone doesn't heat up after extended use, we did get interference near computer and car speakers.
One glitch we came across had to do with the external LCD, which would turn on every few minutes when the Motorola V557 was on standby. We had to turn the phone off overnight, as the bright light kept us awake.
The Motorola V557 has a promised talk time of 3.75 hours and a rated standby time of 10.6 days. In our tests, we got a respectable 5 hours of talk time and 12 days of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the V557 has a digital SAR rating of 1.4 watts per kilogram.