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Motorola Motoflip W220 Review: A Fresh Look Phone

By on May 12, 2007 in Reviews, Tech Takes | 2 comments

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Product talk on Motorola W220 on Engadget Mobile
My Rating of Motoflip W220: 7.9 / 10
Pros: Clamshell design with a reasonably sleek profile and weight; innovative outer ‘display’; FM radio. Good budget buy.
Cons: No camera / Bluetooth; snap-shut system feels badly made; bad keypad for touch-keypadding; small memory with no expansion slot.

To be fair to the phone, excuse me if I misjudged it. I only handled it for a short period of time when my pal Prashanth came over. Nevertheless, it was more time than what people generally spend at a phone store evaluating phones. I’d asked him to review it on his blog, since he didn’t here’s some blah on it on my blahg.

Motoflip W220 is in the revolutionary new batch of phones that Motorola is launching in the lower segment – like some absolutely dirt cheap lower end models which have a nice finish, and yet pack in exceptionally bright B&W displays. W220 is one of the lowest clamshell phones in the market, and yet, it looks good and has a nice feature set. It seems that this phone has been launched specifically for the Asia Pacific market for now, so you probably won’t find this in other areas.

The phone has a slim profile, and a reasonably bright screen. No navigation problems on this, the buttons are adequately spaced too. It comes with the usual FM radio that’s appearing on many phones these days, but lacks a camera. Of course, if you want that, you can pay a bit more to get the Motoflip W280, which has one.

What made me give it a higher rating than the Nokia 6260 (read my earlier review) is it’s highly innovative outer display. Now higher end clamshells usually have a lower resolution display on the outer cover to show limited info. With a budget model, two functioning screens were out of question. What Motorola did was amazing – and showed that if they work at it they can make good phones. They made a small display on the outside which uses icon-based notfication – when you get a call / SMS etc, an icon for it blinks outside. And they looked cool too!

What I didn’t like was the snap-shut system, because it didn’t do what it was supposed to do – snap-shut easily. Higher end phones in the clamshell category are pretty good in this aspect, they can open and close in flick. Strangely, this one doesn’t work as well as in others because you practically have to lift it open or close it shut. A very irritating thing.

Once again, Motorola’s iTap predictive text messaging irritated me, and messaging is something I do a lot. The keypad too leaves much to be desired – although it’s a copy in plastic of the metal-etched version found on RAZR / SLVR / RIZR, it just doesn’t have the same feel. I’ve used the SLVR too, and touch-keypadding is possible on it. The one on W220 though just doesn’t make the cut, because it practically has NO texture. And the plastic rip-off is a cheap-looking blemish on an otherwise good phone. A different, separate buttons keypad would have made it look better.

Overall, a good budget buy, the phone looks good too. However, for marginally more, or even at the same price competitors offer phones with more features, albeit with more standard looks. It all boils down to what you want more – style, or functionality.

PS – Your comments would be welcome on this one Prashanth!



2 Comments

  1. Prashanth

    June 6, 2007

    Post a Reply

    Honestly, I dont find much of a difference between iTap and T-9 based messaging phones…
    You dont really use jaw-breaking CBSE English exam vocabulary in regular meessaging. For day to day words, and for slangs as well, iTap and T-9 offer very very similar (read just the same) functionality.
    iTap even allows you to write the word “Asshole”..!! when you type “ass” manually… (that is after you type “as” manually, an option to choose “ass” comes up..!!)
    The good thing abt iTap is that it allows consequetive word suggestions just like the example illustrated above…
    Having the d-pad to choose between suggestions, you can continue type out your super high vocab as well just in case you type in a word that starts with the same letters as a very common simple word… which is sort of buggy in T-( phones where you cannot just ignore those suggestions…

  2. GQ

    June 7, 2007

    Post a Reply

    @Prashanth: That’s the prob with (some versions of iTap) – it doesn’t let you store items. You’ve to use the d-pad way to compose asshole. Whereas, on T9, if it doesn’t exist in the dictionary, then you can enter once via normal method, and it stores that so that it can be used using T9 next time. Also, T9 learns which letter combination you use more, and uses those the next time.

    ‘…which is sort of buggy in T-( phones where you cannot just ignore those suggestions…’

    This is typical response which people who don’t use T9 much give. :) You should remember that T9 edits on-the-fly: type in the whole word and THEN see, it keeps on changing the text on screen as you type. With iTap, you need the d-pad to choose the letter, then continue etc etc – and I find that using the d-pad breaks my flow too. At least on T9 you use the * button to choose, it doesn’t break the flow.

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