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Motorola W755 review: Motorola W755

Motorola W755

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
6 min read


Motorola W755

The Good

The sturdy Motorola W755 has a vivid display, well-designed controls, and decent feature set. The call quality is satisfying, and the photo and streaming-video quality are both excellent.

The Bad

The Motorola W755 has a poor speakerphone, and its music player was unimpressive. Its camera offers few editing features, and its memory card slot is buried behind the battery.

The Bottom Line

The Motorola W755's design looks way too familiar, but its solid feature set, ergonomic controls, and enjoyable call and video quality make it a reliable Verizon Wireless handset.

The Motorola W755 for Verizon Wireless has a lot in common with Moto's Z9 for AT&T. Though it doesn't offer an innovative design or a feature that we haven't seen before, it earns a lot of points for just being solid and reliable. And with a cell phone, sometimes that is all you need. Beyond the W755's familiar face is a solid midrange feature set, easy-to-use controls, a brilliant display, and mostly satisfying performance. The W755 is an affordable $99 with a two-year contract, but you can get it for as low as $19.99 if you buy it online.

It won't take a cell phone geek to notice the W755's strong resemblance to the Motorola Razr. Like its famous predecessor, the W755 has a slim design with a square external display and a tiny camera lens just above. It's not unattractive by any means, but it is very common. Yet even with the similarities, the W755 has its own personality. At 3.9 inches by 1.9 inches by 0.68 inch, it's both taller and somewhat narrower when measured across its front face. Its profile isn't quite as trim, either, but it still manages to cast a svelte shadow. We didn't mind the extra girth as the phone has a very solid and sturdy feel in the hand--this is one phone we wouldn't be afraid to drop. We also liked the soft-touch material on the front and back covers. Not only do they add to the W755's durability, but they also contrast nicely with the shiny silver hinge and spines. The W755 comes in dark slate (aka black) or purple. We reviewed the slate version, but the features are the same on both models.

The W755's hinge is sturdy as well. It's also a bit unusual in that the front face actually rests behind the rear flap when the phone is open. Though some readers complain that they find that arrangement uncomfortable, it's not an issue for us.

The 1-inch external display supports 65,000 colors and 96x80 pixels. Besides showing the date, time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID it also supports photo caller ID and it doubles as a viewfinder for the camera lens. You can change the wallpaper and the clock style, but the backlighting time isn't adjustable. That said, a quick flick of the volume rocker will activate it again.

The W755 has a selection of nifty touch controls surrounding its external display.

Surrounding the display are touch controls for the music player. As expected, you can open the player and manage your playlist without even opening the phone. We also were pleased to find touch controls for activating the W755's Bluetooth and silent mode. Both are very convenient, particularly if you're driving. All of the touch controls provide vibrating feedback and can be locked to prevent accidental activation.

The remaining exterior buttons on the W755 consist of a voice dialing button on the right spine and a volume rocker and the Moto smart key on the left spine. The latter serves a couple of functions--when the W755 is closed it locks the exterior controls, and when the phone is open it activates the speakerphone. The handset's mini UISB port sits on the left spine and the 2.5mm headset jack sits on the right spine. Both are covered by plastic flaps. Unfortunately, the W755's microSD card slot is located behind the battery.

The 1.9-inch internal display is rather small for the W755's size, but with 65,000 colors (220x176 pixels) it's both bright and vibrant. Verizon's standardized menu interface continues to annoy us, but everything else from text to graphics to photos look great. You can change the backlighting time, the brightness and the display font size.

The W775's navigation array is spacious and easy to use. You'll find a four-way toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, the talk and End/power control, a clear key, and a camera/camcorder shortcut. The latter two buttons and the circular are raised above the surface of the phone but all controls are tactile and easy to use. The toggle can be set as shortcut to four user-defined functions. We also liked the keypad buttons, which are raised slightly with a varying texture. We were able to dial and text quickly without making mistakes. The numbers on the keys are quite large--users with visual impairments should consider this phone--and they're lit by a bright backlighting.

The Motorola W755 has a 1,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and notes. You can organize contacts into caller groups and pair them with a photo or one of 20 polyphonic ringtones. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, call recoding, a calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a world clock, a notepad, a voice recorder, and a speakerphone. On the higher end, you'll find e-mail and instant messaging, USB mass storage, PC syncing, speaker-independent voice commands, and full Bluetooth with a stereo profile. The e-mail isn't as user-friendly as we'd like; you must be in the Web browser to use it.

The W755's camera lacks a flash.

The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions. You also can play with a self-timer, brightness, and white balance settings, three color effects, a 4x digital zoom, nine fun frames, and four shutter sounds (there's no silent option). That's a smaller selection of features then we'd like.

The camcorder shoots clips with sound in one resolution (176x144). Editing options are even fewer than on the still camera. Videos meant for multimedia messages are capped at 1 minute, 25 seconds; otherwise, you can shoot for as long as the available memory permits. There is no flash or camcorder light, and we bemoan the lack of camera shortcut on the outside of the phone. As it is, you must open the phone and start the camera before you can close it for a vanity shot.

The W755 has great photo quality.

Photo quality was quite good. Colors were bright, objects were defined, and our photos were free of excessive noise. Videos weren't as sharp but the W755 is one of the better Moto camera phones we've tested. The handset comes with about 70MB of shared memory for storing your work. That's a decent amount of storage, but you can always use a memory card for more room.

As an EV-DO phone, the W755 supports the full range of Verizon's 3G services including the V Cast video service and the V Cast music store. The music player's interface is identical to those on other Verizon phones. You also have the option to purchase Verizon's GPS service, VZ Naviagtor or its Chaperone child locater service.

You can personalize the W755 with a selection of wallpapers, display themes, clock formats, and banners. You can download more options and more ringtones form Verizon using the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. The W755 doesn't come with any games.

We tested the dual-band, dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO) Motorola W755 in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was quite decent; we had acceptable voice clarity on our end and we encountered no static or interference. The volume could be a bit louder but it should satisfy most users. Our only issue is that we did hear an echoed effect at times.

On their end, callers said we sounded fine. A few reported a slight background hiss, but we didn't hear the same. They could tell we were using a cell phone, but on the whole the W755 offers great call quality. We also had no trouble being understood by automated calling systems or using the voice dialing feature.

Unfortunately, the speakerphone didn't perform quite as well. On our end voices were muffled with a slight crackling sound. Meanwhile, callers had trouble hearing us when we wee in a quiet room. Bluetooth headset calls were better; we paired the W755 with a couple of models and enjoyed respectable call quality.

Multimedia performance was uneven. On the upside, streaming video was excellent. Clips downloaded quickly and were very sharp, even with quick movements. Though the size of the frame is smaller than we'd like, the W755 is one of the best V Cast phones we've seen in a while. On the downside, music quality was poor. As mentioned earlier, the output of the phone's speaker is rather poor and our tunes suffered as a result. The volume was fine, but the clarity was not. A headset provides a better experience. We also experienced slow song downloads from the V Cast music store. A 1.58MB track downloaded in 1 minute, 5 seconds.

The V755 has a rated battery life of 3.67 hours talk time and 16.25 days standby time. According to our tests, we had a talk time of 3 hours and 27 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests the W755 has a SAR of 0.8 watt per kilogram.


Motorola W755

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7