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

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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.

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7.3 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8

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.

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.

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.

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