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With nearly the same dimensions as the last-generation V330, the Motorola V360 measures 3.5 by 1.9 by 0.9 and weighs only 3.9 ounces, lighter than the V330's 4.2 ounces. We applaud Motorola for doing away with the external antenna, which helped the V360 fit nicely in our pocket. We also like how it felt in our hand when closed, but in the open position, it felt too flat against our ear. We applaud Motorola for increasing the size of the external display, but a grayscale screen is hardly an upgrade from the V330's two-tone blue. The backlight setting is not adjustable, and we weren't able to display pictures or wallpaper. We do like the addition of the date, which is added to the time, as well as the battery-life and reception bars, but we still don't get photo caller ID.
Motorola has added an expandable TransFlash memory-card slot at the top of the phone. Disappointingly, you have to take the battery cover off to access it, but we like having the extra memory. The side buttons on the Motorola V360 are the same as on the V330. There's a volume rocker and a button for changing ringer options on the left spine. When open, the latter key also controls the digital audio player, though not with much success. The side button on the right controls the voice-activation menu, which was rather difficult to use successfully. The camera lens is on the upper-left corner of the front flap, and the speaker has moved to the bottom of the back of the handset. The V360 also has a mini-USB port and a headset jack.
The Motorola V360's 176x220-pixel, 262,000-color internal TFT display measures 1.8 inches diagonally. It's vivid and clear, and it's even better than the V330's already attractive 65,000-color screen. It is easy to view images in the light or dark, indoors or outdoors. You can adjust the brightness and the backlighting time, and neither the contrast nor the font size can be adjusted.
Motorola has not changed the navigation buttons either. There are still dedicated buttons for the camera, as well as T-mobile's T-zones Internet service. You'll also find a five-way navigation toggle and two programmable soft keys. We love how easy it is to program the toggle as a shortcut, then use the phone while minimizing dedicated buttons to features we don't use. Kudos to Motorola for not being pressured into multiple permanent buttons that lead to purchased services. We are surprised by the changes in the keypad, which is now blue backlit instead of white. The change makes it harder to read in the dark, although the navigation keys show up much better. Compared with the V330, the keypad buttons are much flatter and don't have spaces in between keys. As a result, it's harder to dial by feel.The 1,000-contact phone book on the Motorola V360 seems large, but the 5MB of integrated memory is shared with all applications and data on the handset. Each contact stores up to six separate phone numbers; a home address; an e-mail address; a picture ID, which is visible only on the internal display; and a ringer ID--you get a generous 50 polyphonic (24-chord) ring tones. Plus, you can set your own caller groups. The V360 features a vibrate mode, a voice recorder, a memo pad, a calculator, a date book, and an alarm clock with multiple settings. The phone also features full Bluetooth; PC syncing for contacts; text, enhanced, and multimedia messaging; AOL and Yahoo instant messaging; POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP e-mail; and a speakerphone. The V360 is equipped for push-to-talk networks and Motorola's Screen 3 technology, but T-Mobile supports neither feature. Also, be aware that the interface can be sluggish at times.
The VGA-resolution camera is a definite highlight of the Motorola V360, especially now that pictures can be uploaded directly to your computer. The camera includes three resolutions (640x480, 320x240, and 160x120), six lighting settings, a 4X zoom, and five shutter tones. After taking your shots, you can send them in a message, apply them as wallpaper or a screensaver, and move them to a PC via the TransFlash card. The phone will hold roughly 100 pictures, but once again, that uses shared memory and assumes no other data on the handset. We are disappointed that the V360 does not have a flash, as even the Night setting did not work as well as a flash would. You can also take videos with sound, at a resolution of 176x144, and for a maximum of 30 seconds. Since the V360 is a VGA camera, photo quality was nothing special, and videos were choppy and pixelated.
Except for one title (Pinball), the Java (J2ME) gaming applications on the phone are mostly demos that require you to download and pay for full versions of the games. We're used to such miserly behavior from Sprint and Verizon but not T-Mobile, so it was a shock to see such a skimpy selection. We are impressed with the audio player application, which allowed us to easily create playlists, change the order of songs, and play songs at random or on repeat.We tested the triband (GSM 850/1800/1900; EDGE) Motorola V360 on the T-Mobile network in San Francisco. We encountered decent call quality with acceptable clarity and volume. We occasionally had trouble getting a signal but only when we were in older, concrete buildings. The phone did a good job in windy conditions, but callers could tell we were using a cell phone. We did have a substantial amount of interference with the car phone and the computer speakers.
Regarding the Motorola V360's digital audio player, the sound quality would benefit from treble and bass settings, and the speakerphone distorts the songs, but overall, the player is a step in the right direction and a nice addition to the phone.
The Motorola V360 has a rated talk time of 5 hours. In our tests, we got 4.75 hours on a single charge. Standby time was only 7 days, compared with the promised time of 10 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the Motorola V360 has a digital SAR rating of 1.51 watts per kilogram.