Despite the naysayers who have predicted the company's demise, Motorola's recent cell phone releases have won high marks. Its inventive Rokr E8 stands as one of the better music phones on the market, its Q9c is a quality smartphone, and its Z9 and W755 are reliable handsets with solid call quality. Moto's latest handset, the V750 for Verizon Wireless, offers many of the same benefits we saw on its immediate predecessors--its design is user-friendly, the call quality is dependable and the feature is promising with gems like push to talk and EV-DO Rev. A. Streaming video quality wasn't the best but the music quality compensated for it. You can get the V750 for $99.99 with service.
Cell phone fans will notice right away that the V750 bears a signature Moto design. Though we've been bothering Moto for a long time to break from the Razr mold, we're now beginning to think that perhaps we've been mistaken. If something works well, and the V750's design does just that, then maybe there is no need to throw it away. Fortunately, Moto did incorporate some improvements into the V750. The rugged construction feels solid and comfortable in the hand, and we like the bright external display and dedicated music controls. The silver color and touches of red are attractive. At 2 inches by 4 inches by 0.65 inch and 3.9 ounces, the V750 is slightly bigger and heavier than the W755, which it also resembles, but the V750 remains compact and portable. Also, its durable design means that the V750 meets the same military specifications for shock and vibration as Nextel phones.
The aforementioned external display measures a generous 1.6 inches and supports 65,000 colors. It shows all the information you need including the date, time, battery life, and signal strength. It also functions as a viewfinder for the camera and it shows photo caller ID. You can't change the short backlighting time but a quick flick of the volume rocker will activate the screen again. If so desired, you can choose one of the included wallpaper choices as well.
Below the display are the external music controls. As expected you can activate the player and control your music without ever opening the phone. We like that the keys have some texture and that you get a firm "push" feeling when you press a button. Above the display is the tiny camera lens. Unfortunately, there's no flash.
Completing the exterior of the phone is a number of side-mounted controls. There's a volume rocker and a push-to-talk (PTT) key on the left spine and a voice dialing button and a handset locking/speakerphone control on the right spine. We'd prefer to have a camera shortcut but one is not present on this device. The V750 uses a micro-USB port for charging; the port is located on the left spine below the PTT control. For audio, the 2.5mm headset jack is back on the right spine. We were quite impressed with the V750's speakers, which span its full bottom end. Not only are they conveniently located but they also have impressive output. Yet, we were disappointed by the V750's microSD card slot behind the battery cover.
The internal display measures 2.2 inches (320x240 pixels). Though we're happy with its size, we were hoping for a higher color resolution of more than 65,000 hues. It's perfectly bright and colorful, but it's not as sharp as a phone of this caliber deserves. On the upside, Verizon Wireless has finally updated its convoluted menu interface. Everything is more or less in the same place, but the headings have been changed to more intuitive terms. For example, the music player, camera, and Web browser are now located in a "Multimedia" menu. You can change a few of the display's options, including the backlighting time, the dialing font size, and the brightness.
The V750's controls and keypad buttons are well-designed. They're quite tactile, as they're raised above the surface of the phone and covered in a rubbery material. The four-way toggle surrounds a central OK button. It can be set as a shortcut to four user-defined features. You'll also find two soft keys, a clear key, a camera/camcorder shortcut, and the Talk and End power keys. The keypad buttons are equally spacious and easy to use. The numbers on the keys are large, but the corresponding letters are tiny and the backlighting is a tad dim.
The V750 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 or alert tones. There's a separate phone book for PTT contacts that also allows you to set caller groups and you can designate three as "in case of emergency" numbers. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, call timers, 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 Web-based 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.
The 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in five resolutions. You also can use a self-timer, brightness and white balance settings, three color effects, a digital zoom, nine fun frames, and four shutter sounds (there's no silent option). The camcorder shoots clips with sound in two resolutions. Editing features are slim but you get a few options including adjustable brightness, white balance, and color effect settings. Videos meant for multimedia messages are capped at 35 seconds; otherwise, you can shoot for as long as the available memory permits. There is no flash or camcorder light, and as mentioned earlier we bemoan the lack of camera shortcut on the outside of the phone. As it is, you must open the phone and start the camera before you can close it for a vanity shot.
Photo quality was good, but not quite what we were hoping. Colors were a tad faded, and some objects were blurry. Also, without a flash, image quality suffered when we didn't have adequate lighting. Videos were grainy and couldn't handle quick movements, but that's typical with most camera phones. The handset comes with about 70MB of shared memory for storing your work. That's a decent amount of storage, but you can always use a memory card for more room.
As an EV-DO phone, the V750 supports the full range of Verizon's 3G services including the V Cast video service and the
You can personalize the V750 with a selection of wallpaper, color themes, clock formats, and banners. You can download more options and more ringtones from Verizon using the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser.
We tested the dual-band, dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO Rev. A) in San Francisco using Verizon service. Call quality was very good with amazing clarity and loud volume. Though the V750 lacks Moto's CrystalTalk feature, we had no trouble understanding our callers in almost all conditions. Callers reported few problems, and only a couple could tell we were using a cell phone. Some of our friends reported a slight background hum, but we couldn't hear it on our end.
Speakerphone calls weren't quite as good. Though the volume was sufficiently loud, voice clarity on our end slipped just a bit. As a result we had trouble hearing when using the speakerphone outside a quiet room. Also, callers reported problems unless we were speaking quite close to the phone.
The quality of calls over the Verizon's PTT network also suffered somewhat. The volume could be louder on our end, and there was some static. Our friends reported the same conditions on their side. The PTT feature certainly was usable but it wasn't quite as good as Nextel's Direct Connect.
V Cast streaming video was fine, but it wasn't the best we've seen from a Verizon phone. Videos were pretty grainy and the frame size was way too small. What's more, quick movement came out rather blurry, and it was difficult to read text on the screen. On the upside, the sound quality was pleasant and the voices matched the speakers' mouths. Similarly, music quality from the V Cast Music store was very good. Though the audio lacked warmth, which is a common feature on most camera phones, the audio wasn't excessively tinny, and it offered a decent amount of bass. The volume level was satisfactory as well.
As an EV-DO Rev. A handset, the V750 offers a fast and enjoyable Web data connection. We've never been fans of the WAP browser experience but at least the V750 doesn't make you wait long. Streaming videos loaded quickly and never paused to rebuffer. We downloaded a 2.62MB song in a zippy 54 seconds.
The Motorola V750 has a rated rated battery life of 5.5 hours talk time and 22.5 days standby time. We managed to get a tested talk time of 4 hours and 34 minutes. Those are pretty generous for CDMA phones. Promised PTT time is 3.83 hours and 3.46 days standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the V750 has a digital SAR of 1.45 watts per kilogram.