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Motorola Entice W766 (Verizon Wireless) review: Motorola Entice W766 (Verizon Wireless)

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OVR
7.3

Motorola Entice W766 (Verizon Wireless)

The Good

The Motorola Entice is a lightweight clamshell phone with a decent feature set and great call quality.

The Bad

We're not crazy about the touch-sensitive music player controls, and the streaming video quality could be improved.

The Bottom Line

The Motorola Entice makes for a decent midrange multimedia phone, especially if you care about call quality.

The Motorola Entice W766 is the latest Motorola flip phone to join the Verizon Wireless family, and it is almost the same as the Motorola Rapture VU30, which was released late last year. It's not as sleek and shiny as the Rapture, but the Entice does have external touch-sensitive keys as well as a 2-megapixel camera and EV-DO support, just like the Rapture. The Entice is a decent midrange phone overall, with good multimedia performance and call quality. Perhaps the one feature that will "entice" you to buy it, though, is its price; it's only $19.99 after a two-year service agreement and a $70 mail-in rebate.

Design
The Entice's rounded corners, smooth edges, and silver plastic bezel on the front give the phone a rather understated modern design. It has a soft-touch backing, and it has a nice, comfortable feel in the hand. The clamshell hinge feels quite sturdy as well, and not at all loose when opening and closing. The Entice is compact and lightweight, measuring 3.8 inches long by 1.9 inches wide by 0.7 inch thick and weighing 3.5 ounces.


The Motorola Entice has touch-sensitive controls on the front.

The entire front surface of the Entice is quite reflective, which can result in visible smudges and fingerprints. On the front of the display is a 1.8-inch external color display. It shows the date, time, battery life, signal strength, regular caller ID, as well as photo caller ID. You can change its clock format and the wallpaper, but that's about it. You can also use the external display as a self-portrait viewfinder. Above the display is the camera lens, which sits next to the Motorola logo.

Underneath the display are a variety of touch-sensitive controls. The first row of controls is for the music player--this row has skip back/Rewind, play/pause, and skip ahead/fast-forward keys--and the second row consists of a speakerphone key and a Bluetooth toggle. The speakerphone, Play/pause, and Bluetooth keys are backlit in blue by default. You can activate the music player by pressing the play/pause button. When the music player is active, the music player controls are backlit in white. We're not huge fans of the touch controls because we had to keep unlocking them in order to use them. Still, at least the phone vibrates whenever we press the keys, providing some tactile feedback.

On the left spine are the volume rocker, a speakerphone key, and a micro-USB charger jack. The speakerphone key only works when the phone is open; when the phone is closed, it acts as a "smart" key that activates the touch-sensor controls when the phone is locked. On the right spine is the voice command key. You have to remove both the battery cover and the battery to get to the microSD card slot, which we found to be inconvenient.

Flip open the phone and you'll find a 2.2-inch QCIF display with 65,000 colors. It doesn't have the best resolution (176x220), but images still looked bright, sharp, and colorful. You can adjust the backlight, the brightness, the dial fonts, the menu font size, the clock format, and the layout of the menu (Tab, Grid, or List). You can even rearrange the menu icons to the way you want it.

The navigation array on the Entice consists of two soft keys, a circular toggle, a camera/camcorder key, a Clear key, and the Send and End/Power keys. The toggle also doubles as shortcuts to three user-defined functions on the up, left, and down directions. The right direction key leads to a My Shortcuts pop-up, which you can populate with up to four of your favorite application shortcuts.

The navigation keys remind us of the keys on the Razr; they have a spun metal surface and are wide and flat, but there's enough separation between each key so they were still easy to press. The number keypad has plastic keys instead, and the keys are well-spaced and slightly raised above the surface, so it was easy to quickly dial a number and type out a text message. The keypad has a backlight when active.

Features
The Entice has a 1,000-entry phone book, with room in each entry for five phone numbers and two e-mail addresses. You can organize your contacts into caller groups, pair them with a photo for caller ID, plus one of 26 polyphonic ringtones or alert tones. Other basic features include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a world clock, a notepad, and a speakerphone. You also get voice dialing, instant messaging, Web-based POP3 e-mail, a voice recorder, stereo Bluetooth, GPS with VZ Navigator support, and USB mass storage. There's also an optional Mobile Email application that lets you get your e-mail directly to your phone in-box. Verizon charges $5 for it, though.

Since the Entice has EV-DO, it can support Verizon's array of broadband services like V Cast streaming video and V Cast Music with Rhapsody. The latter lets you purchase and download songs over the air. The price of a song includes a PC download version as well. The music player interface is similar to other V Cast Music phones, with the same Verizon red background. Songs are arranged by artists, albums, and genres, and you can create and edit playlists on the fly. Other settings include repeat and shuffle. You can store the music on the phone's internal memory or on a microSD card; the Entice supports up to 8GB microSD cards.


The Motorola Entice has a 2-megapixel camera.

The 2-megapixel camera on the Entice takes pictures in five resolutions (1,600x1,200, 1,280x960, 640x480, 320x240, and a special picture ID size). Other settings include a self-timer, brightness and white-balance settings, color effects, a digital zoom, fun frames, and three shutter sounds plus a silent option. As with the songs, you can also choose to store photos on the phone's memory or on an external microSD card. The camcorder can record video clips in two resolutions (320x240 and 176x144), and it has the same editing features as the still camera. You can record videos up to 45 seconds for multimedia messages, or up to the available memory for saving.


The Motorola Entice takes decent pictures.

Even though it's only a 2-megapixel camera, the photo quality isn't too bad. Images did seem a bit blurry, but colors looked pretty good. Low-light photos, however, weren't good because the phone lacks flash. The video quality didn't fare as well, either, with a lot of pixelation and shaky movements in the video.

You can personalize the Entice with a variety of wallpaper, display themes, and alert tones. You can purchase and download more options using the Entice's wireless Web browser. The Entice comes with two games, Pac-Man and Tetris Pop, and you can buy more from Verizon.

Performance
We tested the (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO) Motorola Entice in San Francisco using the Verizon Wireless network. Call quality was fantastic overall. On our end, we heard our callers loud and clear with hardly a static blip or a background rustle. Callers' voices sounded a little harsh, but it wasn't that bad.

Callers also reported great call quality. They said the volume was just right, and there was little to no background noise. Again, they said our voice sounded a bit harsh--they could still tell we were on a cell phone--but it wasn't a deal breaker. When we turned on the speakerphone, they said there was plenty of volume, even when we spoke with the phone held away from us. They said there was a lot more echo, which is common in most speakerphones. On our end, the callers also sounded a bit tinny and metallic over the phone's speakers, but we could still carry on a conversation just fine.

Similar to the speakerphone quality, the audio quality over the speakers sounded rather harsh and tinny; there wasn't a lot of bass or richness. We would certainly recommend a headset of some kind for the best audio quality.

We were pleased with the EV-DO speed overall. We downloaded a 2.19MB song in 27 seconds, and loading a simple WAP page took just seconds. We also experienced little to no buffering time when viewing streaming video. However, the video quality suffered a bit from the display's low resolution; videos seemed blurry and pixelated for the most part.

The Entice has a rated battery life of 5.5 hours talk time and 16.5 days standby time. Our tests showed a talk time of 5 hours and 2 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Entice has a digital SAR of 1.4 watts per kilogram.

OVR
7.3

Motorola Entice W766 (Verizon Wireless)

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8