Photos: Hands-on with the Motorola International 7500

If you think the iPhone or G1 are the ideal handsets for you, you'll be very keen to get your grubby mitts on the Motorola 7500 -- it's a truly groundbreaking device

It wasn't so very long ago that mobile phones were the size and shape of a fridge. Luckily we're now living in a world where you can get a phone in your pocket with minimal fuss. When the svelte and stylish Motorola International Micro TAC 7500 landed on our desk, we were giddy with excitement -- this phone takes portable communication to a new level.

The 7500 is a GSM 900MHz phone, so it will work on both Vodafone and Cellnet O2. It takes a large SIM card too, which is inserted at the bottom of the handset -- a wonderfully convenient solution.

The three-line display presents you with all the information you'll ever need. There's a battery meter and signal strength reading. You also get your network name presented to you when the phone is in standby. The 7500 can even receive SMS text messages, which are fantastic for staying in touch with friends. Sadly, the 7500 does not have the ability to send messages, so such communication will be one-way.

So what don't we like about the 7500? Well, there's no 3.5mm headphone jack for a start. But that pales into insignificance when you learn that it has no built-in MP3 player anyway and virtually no memory on to which you could store music. There's also no built-in camera, no mobile Internet and no way to install applications from anywhere. Who uses that stuff anyway?

These trifling omissions aside, on the plus side it doesn't have any mobile branding, and it's not locked to a specific network, so it'll work on either Vodafone or Cellnet O2 without being jailbroken.

Call clarity is pretty good, and the extendible aerial means that those lethal radio waves and exotic gamma radiation generated by all mobile phones is set clear away from your brain-box. Thankfully, there's no Wi-Fi capability either, so you can pop that tin-foil hat back in the paranoia drawer.

From off to ready to make calls takes the Motorola 7500 just 10 seconds. It turns off instantly too, meaning no hanging around while some fancy swirly graphic bounces around your screen yelling the name of your operator at you until you'd rather use your phone as a suppository than look at it for even one more minute.

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