The Motorola W755 for Verizon Wireless has a lot in common with Moto's Z9 for AT&T. Though it doesn't offer an innovative design or a feature that we haven't seen before, it earns a lot of points for just being solid and reliable. And with a cell phone, sometimes that is all you need. Beyond the W755's familiar face is a solid midrange feature set, easy-to-use controls, a brilliant display, and mostly satisfying performance. The W755 is an affordable $99 with a two-year contract, but you can get it for as low as $19.99 if you buy it online.
It won't take a cell phone geek to notice the W755's strong resemblance to the Motorola Razr. Like its famous predecessor, the W755 has a slim design with a square external display and a tiny camera lens just above. It's not unattractive by any means, but it is very common. Yet even with the similarities, the W755 has its own personality. At 3.9 inches by 1.9 inches by 0.68 inch, it's both taller and somewhat narrower when measured across its front face. Its profile isn't quite as trim, either, but it still manages to cast a svelte shadow. We didn't mind the extra girth as the phone has a very solid and sturdy feel in the hand--this is one phone we wouldn't be afraid to drop. We also liked the soft-touch material on the front and back covers. Not only do they add to the W755's durability, but they also contrast nicely with the shiny silver hinge and spines. The W755 comes in dark slate (aka black) or purple. We reviewed the slate version, but the features are the same on both models.
The W755's hinge is sturdy as well. It's also a bit unusual in that the front face actually rests behind the rear flap when the phone is open. Though some readers complain that they find that arrangement uncomfortable, it's not an issue for us.
The 1-inch external display supports 65,000 colors and 96x80 pixels. Besides showing the date, time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID it also supports photo caller ID and it doubles as a viewfinder for the camera lens. You can change the wallpaper and the clock style, but the backlighting time isn't adjustable. That said, a quick flick of the volume rocker will activate it again.
Surrounding the display are touch controls for the music player. As expected, you can open the player and manage your playlist without even opening the phone. We also were pleased to find touch controls for activating the W755's Bluetooth and silent mode. Both are very convenient, particularly if you're driving. All of the touch controls provide vibrating feedback and can be locked to prevent accidental activation.
The remaining exterior buttons on the W755 consist of a voice dialing button on the right spine and a volume rocker and the Moto smart key on the left spine. The latter serves a couple of functions--when the W755 is closed it locks the exterior controls, and when the phone is open it activates the speakerphone. The handset's mini UISB port sits on the left spine and the 2.5mm headset jack sits on the right spine. Both are covered by plastic flaps. Unfortunately, the W755's microSD card slot is located behind the battery.
The 1.9-inch internal display is rather small for the W755's size, but with 65,000 colors (220x176 pixels) it's both bright and vibrant. Verizon's standardized menu interface continues to annoy us, but everything else from text to graphics to photos look great. You can change the backlighting time, the brightness and the display font size.
The W775's navigation array is spacious and easy to use. You'll find a four-way toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, the talk and End/power control, a clear key, and a camera/camcorder shortcut. The latter two buttons and the circular are raised above the surface of the phone but all controls are tactile and easy to use. The toggle can be set as shortcut to four user-defined functions. We also liked the keypad buttons, which are raised slightly with a varying texture. We were able to dial and text quickly without making mistakes. The numbers on the keys are quite large--users with visual impairments should consider this phone--and they're lit by a bright backlighting.
The Motorola W755 has a 1,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and notes. You can organize contacts into caller groups and pair them with a photo or one of 20 polyphonic ringtones. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, call recoding, a calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a world clock, a notepad, a voice recorder, and a speakerphone. On the higher end, you'll find e-mail and instant messaging, USB mass storage, PC syncing, speaker-independent voice commands, and full Bluetooth with a stereo profile. The e-mail isn't as user-friendly as we'd like; you must be in the Web browser to use it.