Motorola V365 - black (AT&T) review:

Motorola V365 - black (AT&T)

A small speaker sits on the rear face of the V365. It's not an ideal location, but we're more displeased that Moto stuck the MicroSD card slot behind the battery cover. Surely on such a beefy phone Motorola could have found a better place for it. The voice-command button sits on the right spine just above the mini USB/charger port, while the PTT button and a small volume rocker rest on the left spine above the headset jack. Thankfully, the V365 doesn't use a proprietary connection.

The 1.8-inch internal display (176x220 pixels) is typical Motorola. It supports 65,000 colors, which is quite adequate for most uses, but we wish Motorola would embrace 262,000-color resolutions on more of its midrange handsets. You can change the display's brightness and the backlight time, but the font size is fixed. Also, we hope Motorola updates its stodgy menu interface soon. The navigation array is set a good distance from the display due to the oversized hinge, but it's tactile and easy to use. A five-way toggle is your primary tool, and you also get two soft keys, a dedicated menu button, and the Talk and End/power controls. Both the toggle and the soft keys can be set as shortcuts to user-defined functions. Finishing the array are shortcut keys for the camera and Cingular's Internet service. The only thing missing is a dedicated back/clear key, but we're used to that omission on Moto phones. The keypad buttons are large and well spaced, and we like that they're raised above the surface of the phone. They also have a bright backlighting for dialing in the dark. The Motorola V360's feature set is soundly midrange. Though it adds some goodies not available on the V557 or the V360, it contains few surprises. The phone book holds a hefty 1,000 contacts, with room in each entry for six phone numbers, a street address, a birth date, and a nickname (the SIM card holds an additional 250 contacts). You can organize callers into groups and assign them any of 14 polyphonic (24-chord) ring tones for caller ID. You can pair them with a photo as well, but remember the images won't appear on the external display. Basic features include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calculator, a datebook, and an alarm clock. Beyond the essentials, the V365 also offers full Bluetooth, support for Cingular's PTT network, a speakerphone (usable after you place the call), e-mail, and instant messaging, as well as voice commands and dialing.

The Motorola V365's camera is lacking a flash as well as a self-portrait mirror.

The VGA camera takes pictures in 640x480, 320x240, and 160x120 resolutions. As on most Motorola camera phones, a handy meter keeps track of how much storage space is left, but photo-editing features were slim. You get a choice of just six lighting conditions, an adjustable brightness control, a 4x zoom, an autotimer, and a selection of five shutter sounds as well as a silent option. The MPEG-4 video recorder takes clips with sound in two resolutions (176x144 and 128x96), and you can choose a lighting setting here as well. Video length is limited to 45 seconds on clips meant for multimedia messages, but you can record longer videos depending on how much memory is available. Internal storage is a tiny 5MB of shared space, so we suggest you invest in a memory card. Photo quality was pretty decent for a VGA camera; the lighting was dark, but colors were distinct and objects weren't blurry.

The Motorola V365 takes decent photos for a VGA camera.

You can personalize the V365 with a variety of wallpaper, screen savers, color themes, and sounds. As always, more choices and ring tones are available from Cingular with the AP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Gaming choices are limited--just one title, Skipping Stones, and a demo version of Bejewled--so you'll have to buy more options for extended play. The V365 also comes with a rudimentary MP3 player, but the spartan interface and mediocre sound quality is a turn-off. We tested the Motorola V365 in San Francisco using Cingular's service. We enjoyed respectable call quality for the most part; voices sounded natural, and the volume was loud. We also never had a problem getting a signal and had no interference from other electronic devices. Callers said we sounded fine, though we had to speak close to the mouthpiece in order to be heard. There was a slight echoey effect to some calls, which was exacerbated by the speakerphone. What's more, the speakerphone wasn't loud enough, and the rear-facing speaker didn't help the situation.

The Motorola V365 has a rated battery life of 3.45 hours of talk time and 8.8 days of standby time. Our tests showed a talk time of 3.33 hours. According to FCC radiation tests, the V365 has a digital SAR rating of 1.51 watts per kilogram.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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