Motorola Gleam review:

Motorola Gleam

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Typical Price: £90.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars 11 user reviews

The Good Eye-catching design; cool LED lights; thin frame; easy to use.

The Bad No 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity; poor camera.

The Bottom Line The Motorola Gleam is a cheap and shiny homage to everyone's favourite flip phone of yesteryear, the Razr. It's a good choice for those who value simplicity.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

The Motorola Gleam is an homage to the company's legendary Razr handset. The Gleam is attractive, basic and cheap, offering thrifty buyers some bling for their cash.

The Gleam is available for around £50 on a pay as you go deal from the Carphone Warehouse and other vendors. You can also pick it up SIM-free for around £90.

Razr sharp

We can't blame Motorola for attempting to rekindle happy memories of the Razr's wafer-thin frame with the Gleam. The Gleam, however, is fashioned mostly from plastic, rather than brushed metal.

The front of the Gleam has a glossy finish that attracts fingerprints like nobody's business, and the vast expanse of shiny plastic is only broken by the 2-megapixel camera. Once a call or text message comes, though, a hidden dot-matrix screen makes its presence known. It's a deliberately retro touch, and we're rather taken with it.

The cool glowing white LEDs on the bottom of the phone react when you open and close it.

This pocket-sized light show continues, with a set of LEDs located on the bottom of the Gleam. These pulsate when you open a close the clam-shell mechanism, as well as flashing when you receive a call. Another neat touch is the throbbing effect that occurs when you plug the handset into a wall charger.

Clamming up

Clam-shell phones are something of a rarity nowadays, making the Gleam feel quite old-fashioned. The hinge that joins the two sections of the device also seems rather flimsy, and we noticed a small amount of wobble in both the open and closed positions.

The keypad is inspired by that of the original Razr, but it's made from a single piece of flexible plastic, rather than aluminium. The physical buttons reside beneath this plastic sheet, and have a very slight degree of travel when pressed. Initially, we felt the keys were unnecessarily large, but it doesn't take long to become accustomed to them. Indeed, texting on the Gleam is practically effortless.

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