Motorola V710 (Alltel Wireless) review: Motorola V710 (Alltel Wireless)

If our disappointment with the V710's Bluetooth implementation wasn't enough, the MP3 player had problems as well. While you can play MP3s that are on a TransFlash card, at present, you can't download them to the handset itself. Verizon says it's working to fix the problem, but until then, you're out of luck. Also, you can't use MP3s as ring tones unless you download them from Get It Now to the handset. Be careful, though--the V710 has 10MB of memory. That's not a generous amount for a phone with so many features; if you plan on saving lots of data, you'll need to purchase a TransFlash memory card. They top out at 128MB though, and you'll likely need an adapter as the tiny SD cards will not fit in most devices.

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Large lens: The V710 camera's megalens sits just above the megadisplay.

The V710 does somewhat better with its integrated camera. Armed with a CMOS lens and 1.2 megapixels, it can take pictures in four resolutions: 1,280x960, 640x480, 320x240, and 160x120. The 4X zoom can be used at all resolutions, and you're also free to adjust the brightness setting. The phone also has a self-timer that can be set for 5 or 10 seconds. In addition, you get a choice of four color tones, six light settings, and five shutter sounds (there's also a silent option). As with the V600, a convenient meter helps keep track of how much photo-memory space is left. Photo quality, however, fell short of what we'd expect for a 1.2-megapixel camera. Colors were washed out and edges were fuzzy. Fortunately, video quality was a bit better. The recorder shoots 15-second video clips with sound and has adjustable lighting choices. When you're done, both photos and clips can be saved to the phone, stored as wallpaper, saved to contacts, or easily sent via a multimedia message. Alternatively, snaps can be send to Verizon's PixPlace online album for 25 cents each.

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Bad shot: Photo quality on the V710 was hardly better than that of a VGA phone.

You can personalize the V710 with a large variety of wallpaper, color schemes, and sounds. You can also pick a screensaver, though we couldn't get them to show properly. More selections are available for download from Get It Now (fees vary), where you can also get more ring tones and BREW 2.0-enabled games--no titles are included with the handset. Creative types will welcome the embedded MotoMixer application to mix their own ring tone melodies.

We tested the triband (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) Motorola V710 in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Calls were exceptionally clear on both the handset and the speakerphone, and callers said they could rarely tell we were using a cell phone. Volume on the mobile, however, was quite low, so those with hearing impairments should take note. In noisy situations, we were forced to use the speakerphone, which was much louder. We had no problem connecting to a Motorola Bluetooth HS810 headset or a Plantronics mobile Bluetooth headset, and while calls were slightly fuzzy, it wasn't terribly distracting.

Battery life is a mixed bag. We beat the rated talk time of 3 hours by an extra half an hour, but be warned: excessive Bluetooth use drained power more quickly. Standby battery life was meager. We barely managed 4 days, almost 3 days short of the rated 6.8 days. According to the FCC, the V710 has a digital SAR rating of 1.4 watts per kilogram.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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