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Ears-on with the Motorola Rokr E8 music phone

Motorola's new Rokr E8 music phone landed with a thud on our desks this week, and we've had a chance to tickle it in the right places and take it home for the night

Since its unveiling at the start of the year, we've had tidbits about Motorola's Rokr E8 handset, but not until now have we had our very own to play with. Although we've only been able to spend 24 hours with it so far, we've got a few early impressions to share with you.

First and foremost this is a music handset, and as such it doesn't support 3G, Wi-Fi, HSDPA or anything like that. Secondly, with its flashless 2-megapixel camera it's no competition to the 8-megapixel camera phones we're starting to see.

But this touch-sensitive keypad-rocking Rokr has a shedload of music features in its favour: a 3.5mm headphone socket, support for MP3, AAC, WMA and WAV audio formats, stereo Bluetooth, 2GB of internal, expandable memory, and extremely fast transfer speeds for transferring albums.

Our first 24 hours with the handset have been fun. The clever haptic feedback makes texting on the touch-sensitive keypad pretty easy with practice, and the reasonably small 51mm (2-inch) screen is at least bright and crisp. Only the slight navigational lag has bugged us so far, but it seems to be something you get used to fairly quickly.

Crucially, sound quality is top-notch for a music phone, easily on par with the best we've seen over the last few months. But we'll be analysing audio performance in more detail in our full review, which you can expect faster than a speeding bullet fired up the backside of a flaming bat out of hell.

We're waiting for confirmation from Motorola as to complete network availability, but it's currently being sold on monthly contracts with O2 and Orange. Watch this space. -Nate Lanxon

Update: Read our full Motorola Rokr E8 review