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CNET First Look
Motorola Active W450The Motorola Active W450 finally brings a rugged phone to T-Mobile, but not without compromising its usability.
[ Music ] >>Hi I'm Kent German Senior Editor here at CNET.com. Today we're gonna take a first look at the Motorola Active W450. This is a new phone for T-Mobile service. T-Mobiles never been real big in the rugged phone category. It's always Sprints Domain, Nextel's Domain and a little bit of Verizon's Domain as well but with this phone T-Mobile is going a little in that angle. The phone doesn't have rubber sidings on the side so it's not like one of those Nextel phones that's just encased in this whole armor of rubber. It is composed of plastic on the outside but it actually feels pretty strong. Not the kind of flimsy plastic you might expect on a flip phone. Feels pretty tough. Has a nice durable strong feel in the hand. Pretty solid construction. Like the way the hinge moves. So if you have sort of that active lifestyle, and I hate to say the active phone for the active people but, and you're a T-Mobile customer this might be a good option for you. It's not real long on features. It really is more about that rugged design. On the outside we have a black and white design. It's black on the outside with white around the edges. You'll see a little bit of yellow here on the volume rocker, on the hinge, a little surrounding the camera lens and the speaker on the back. That's to match the keypad which is actually bright yellow, we'll see that in a second. The phone comes in two versions, the yellow that you see here or a bright orange. On the outside I wasn't too impressed with the stand by display. Found it a little small for a phone of this size. It is grey scale so it won't show any colors or graphics. Couldn't get it to work as a view finder for the camera. However, it does show all the necessary information you'll need like time, date, battery life, signal strength. Up here you'll see the camera lens and here on this side there's a volume rocker. The micro USB port which is also used for the charger. Here on this side is a 2.5 millimeter headset jack. We usually like 3.5. And here there's the micro SD slide. I like it. It's accessible here and it's not stashed behind the battery which you see on a lot of flip phones. Inside the main display it wasn't the best either. Kind of a low resolution. Colors and graphics didn't look very sharp. Photos didn't look very sharp. You can't adjust the text size so if you have trouble seeing small text on a phone you definitely want to test this phone out first. The menu layout is standard Motorola. Inside a couple of the submenus like the settings menu there are fewer options which is nice. Typically Motorola phones have taken the display options like the backlighting time and the maybe the wallpaper and they kind of stash it all over the place. So it's nice that they see it in sort of one display option. Keypad buttons and toggle, they are encased in a rubbery material so they definitely have a unique feeling to the finger but I weren't really impressed with them actually. I found that they, the toggle is a little stiff, a little difficult to use and the talk and end buttons especially and then the soft keys really had to kind of find them and really press down to get them to function well. When I was trying to dial by feel I kept pressing the wrong thing or I'd press it and it actually didn't press down hard enough. So these take a little bit of acclimation. So I think the rubber material is great for giving them durability and certainly making them unique to the touch. Did felt that they almost made them a little too stiff and a little difficult to use in some ways. The toggle is covered in silver which does make it discernable. There's an ok button in the middle, dedicated T zones for the web browser. Would like them to be just a little more defined. Would like the numbers a little brighter as well on the back light. So this is one case where you take that rubber material, put it in the keypad but it just doesn't come out that user friendly. Inside the phone 1.3 megapixal camera, there's Bluetooth, personal organizer features, speakerphone, texting and so really a mid to a low [Background music] end feature set in that sense. This phone is really about that rugged design. I'm Kent German and this is Motorola Active W450. [ Music ]