Not everyone needs the whizzbang flashiness of a high-end feature phone, and this is the crowd that Motorola is catering to with its VE440 candy bar phone. Sure, it has almost everything most callers need to do the all-important tasks of placing and receiving calls and text messages. In addition, the phone's body design has some easy-access music playback controls and a dedicated camera button that, along with a roomy keypad, make it fairly easy to handle. As with many other mobile handsets of its ilk (and even higher-end models besides), the VE440 comes without games.
The Limited Edition model certainly reaches for an edgy audience with its two graffiti-style back covers and branding for the designer, Mister Cartoon, and his studio, Sanctioned.
Although many of the features performed well enough in our tests for a phone of this caliber, call quality suffered, which puts a damper on its core function: making and receiving calls. Still, the phone will appeal to those who prefer tunes over games, andall-in-one pricing packages will surely also attract its share of users. The VE440 costs $89 for black or cherry colors, and $129 for the Limited Edition variety, which comes with specialized back covers and matching street art wallpaper.
Motorola's VE440 has molded some interesting design elements into its musical phone. Where most phone spines present vertical planes that house things like volume control and memory slots, Motorola has set the VE440's right spine at a jaunty 45-degree angle, sloping it upward toward the display. The result is easy access to the phone's three music player controls.
As we mentioned, the back cover is the Limited Edition of the VE440's other area of interest. A Los Angeles graffiti artist-turned-graphic designer known as Mister Cartoon turned out one of two street-smart covers of the Moto VE440 Limited Edition. One features a montage with a skull, rose, and cash; the other, two representations of a blond woman's face. The solid back cover of the regular style is punctuated by vertical ridges.
Measuring 4.4 inches high by 1.9 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep, the VE440 is a pocket-, purse-, and satchel-friendly choice. At 2.64 ounces, it won't weigh you down, but it isn't so light that you'll forget it's there.
As for the phone's controls, the volume rocker and a convenience key perch on the left spine. A Micro-USB slot blends into the back cover. Small buttons controlling keypad lockdown and voice commands sit at the top, along with a standard-size 3.5mm headset jack. Set deeply into the EV440's back is the basic 1.3-megapixel camera. Remove the back cover and battery to find the expandable memory slot.
The 1.9-inch display is nothing to boast about, though the size is adequate for this type of phone. The same goes for the 176x220-pixel 65,000-color resolution, which is adequate and appropriate for a phone of this caliber. There are free and premium wallpaper options, but you can't adjust the display font.