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Motorola Rokr E2: It's out... kind of

The successor to the iTunes-ready Motorola Rokr E1 has been launched. But is the phone an improvement on the disappointing E1?

Crave is still recovering from the disappointment of the Motorola Rokr E1. The much-hyped phone, which was launched last year, didn't live up to its promise of making mobile phones more music-friendly -- particularly as the pre-installed iTunes software only held 100 songs. Its design was also disappointing and didn't meet Motorola or Apple's usual standards.

Because of this, we haven't been holding our breath for the upgraded version -- the Motorola Rokr E2. When the E2 was announced earlier this year, we weren't sure if it was going to overcome its predecessor's problems. After waiting over six months for any news on the E2, it looks like Motorola finally launched it yesterday. But it did so very quietly and only in Malaysia and Singapore, it seems.

Unlike its predecessor, the E2 uses Motorola's proprietary MP3 player, rather than iTunes. The phone runs on Linux, features the Opera Web browser, a 1.3-megapixel camera and an expandable microSD (aka TransFlash) slot. It also has an FM radio and a 3.5mm port so you can use you own headphones.

Even though the E2 doesn't use iTunes software anymore and runs on a different operating system, it doesn't seem much of an improvement on the E1. We think the phone will struggle to compete with the Sony Ericsson W810i, although we do like the fact it has a 3.5mm port.

We haven't been able to find out whether the E2 is coming to the UK, but at least we know it exists somewhere in the world. We're still not going to hold our breath, but we'll reserve our final judgement for the review -- if it ever makes it here, that is. -AL