Motorola V2397 - cellular phone - AMPS / D-AMPS review: Motorola V2397 - cellular phone - AMPS / D-AMPS

The Good Affordable; relatively sturdy; exchangeable PhoneWrap covers; analog roaming.

The Bad No wireless Web access; limited features; no vibrate ringer.

The Bottom Line Take away the colorful PhoneWrap covers and the V2397 is a basic, inexpensive, and full-sized candy bar-style phone.

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5.0 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 5
  • Performance 5

If you aren't a fan of short, supercompact phones and want something with a little more girth, the V2397 will appeal to you. While this mobile may be short on features, it does a good job of just being a phone. Motorola makes a CDMA (V2267) and GSM (V2282) version of this model. Like its siblings, the V2397 is a chameleon; you can add a PhoneWrap cover to the unit. Our light-gray V2397 came with a blue, hard-shell PhoneWrap cover, but you can choose from 17 different PhoneWraps (7 are soft covers and cost $10 each; 10 are hard covers and will run you $14 each). Quick tip: Go with a soft cover; you'll find it feels more comfortable when the phone is sitting against your face.

As with other models in the V2000 series, the V2397, which weighs in at 5.3 ounces and measures 5.4 by 2.0 by 1.1 inches, is sturdy and has generally good ergonomics. It's slightly convex, which offers two benefits: It contours well around your cheek, and since the dial-pad area is indented, the phone is less prone to accidental activation when stored in a purse or a pocket. If you want additional security, there's a keypad lock feature.

The V2397 doesn't have the most user-friendly navigation system we've seen. It's a little quirky and takes a little getting used to. For instance, you access the phone's menu by first pushing the FCN key, then the 1 key, which doubles as the Menu key. The system is similar to the one found on Motorola's Timeport 8167. Newer Motorola phones, such as the V60c and the V120c, have an updated navigation system. This isn't an AT&T Pocket Net phone, so you won't find a wireless Web option here--or any other extras, for that matter. However, the V2397 comes with all the standard features, such as two-way text messaging, call timers, multiple language support, caller ID, a call history log, nine ring tones (though there's no vibrate mode), and a 99-name phone book. Plus, you get one-touch access to voicemail. Though the V2397's battery life is pretty average, we had no complaints about the phone's performance overall. We surpassed the phone's rated talk (100 minutes) and standby (110 hours) times and almost always made a clear connection using this tri-mode (TDMA 800/1900 AMPS 800) mobile on AT&T Wireless's network in the New York tri-state region. We rarely had to extend the retractable antenna to pick up a strong signal.

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