A sequel to the popular , Motorola's V505 for AT&T Wireless (now owned by Cingular Wireless) is an excellent blend of style and substance. Boasting an attractive design, Bluetooth compatibility, outstanding call quality, and a surprisingly good VGA camera, this handset will appeal to both business users and style-conscious consumers. The price is high at $319, but you should be able to find it for less with a service contract.
Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more. While it follows in the feature footsteps of the high-end , the Motorola V505 looks more like the company's lower-range . Yet that doesn't mean the new mobile won't stand out in a crowd. Blue, rubberized trim surrounds the V505's dimpled, silver face to lend a sleek and attractive look. The back of the handset also sports the rubberized casing that provides a soft, almost soothing feel in your hand. At 3.5 by 1.9 by 0.9 inches and weighing 4.3 ounces, this is an average-size flip-phone handset.
There are a few useful controls on the outside of the mobile. A voice key on the right side activates the voice dialing while a volume rocker and a "smart key" used for selecting menu items are on the left spine. There's an external antenna, but it's nonextendable so you don't have to worry about breaking it when storing the phone in a handbag or a briefcase. We're not fond of the placement of the headphone jack, which is on top of the unit opposite the antenna. Nor do we like the small, removable, rubber jack cover that is just begging to be lost.
Below the camera lens and mirror, the monochrome external display shows the time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID (where available). Our only complaint is that the screen isn't big enough for photo caller ID--one thing that makes having a camera phone worthwhile. Flip the cover open, though, and you're presented with a rich, vibrant, 65,000-color 1.75-inch-diagonal screen that is great for displaying pictures.
Though you get a five-way navigation pad, two soft keys, and a menu key, the keypad doesn't feel cluttered or look confusing. In standby mode, the left soft key provides one-click access to the integrated camera, while the toggle acts as a shortcut to four user-defined functions. Though Motorola has taken a lot of lumps for making handsets with less-than-intuitive menu operation, that's not the case with the V505. Thanks to the soft keys and the dedicated Menu button, wading through the phone's menus is a snap. The left soft key automatically becomes the Back button when in menu mode, so you have no problem backtracking out of submenus. The context-specific menu key is especially helpful. When you press Menu on a number in Recent calls, for example, you're presented with options to store the number, delete it, or send a text message, to name just a few. The dial-pad keys are large enough and raised just high enough from the unit to offer easy touch-typing.