Motorola V300 review

Mar 01 2004 - 11:40 AM ET | Motorola, Review
Jonathan Schreiber, CEO of Xingtone and member of Unwired, has come aboard to bring you a short review of the white-hot Motorola V300. Jonathan is a mobile power user who averages 5,000 minutes a month on his cell. This should be used as a frame of reference while reading his review (e.g. if this is not you, some of his gripes may not mean much to you). Xingtone makes software that allows you to make custom ringtones from the music you own.

Motorola V300
GSM 800 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900
3.50" x 1.93" x 0.98"
4.30 oz
LiIon - Talk 6.5 hours - Standby 200 hours
TFT LCD - 65K colors - 176x220 pixels
Ring tones
Polyphonic - 24 Chords / MP3
WAP 2.0, GPRS 2+4
Java MIDP 2.0
VGA resolution (640x480)
5MB / 1000 contacts
iTAP predictive text, POP / IMAP email,

The basics

The V300 is great to look at. It is sleek, nicely colored, with great shape, and size; it just looks good. The camera (with 3 zoom levels) is in the right place, and the buttons (volume, sound recorder and a miscellaneous do all button) are exactly where you want them to be. The external caller ID screen is very readable indoors and out, day or night, with an "always on" clock to boot. Xingtone - Control your phone with real music ringtones When you flip the V300 open you notice the funky shaped buttons are not as bad as the Nokia 3650 (in a complete circle) but rather each button seems to have its own shape: I am not sure what the benefit of this is, I have yet to find one; though no major drawback is apparent either. Indoors the screen is probably the nicest I have ever seen, outside it is almost unreadable (anyone remember the Casio E-100 Pocket PC?).


Motorola V300I must preface this by saying I am on T-Mobile. Although I can say that when I carried the Vertu (yes, the phone that cost $24K), and then to a lesser degree the Nokia 6800, I was always a fan of the coverage in S. CA (and NY, Miami, and other major cities). The V300 however seems to drop many more calls than it should. When the phone is not dropping calls however, the call quality is excellent. The phone sounds like it should, with an earpiece, speaker or the phone cradled on your neck.


The V300 shines! As I mentioned the screen is beautiful (indoors) and every picture I download or use from the camera looks sharp. The external speaker for ringtones is superb. The phone sounds like an AM/FM transistor when it rings or plays MP3s--yes it can play MP3s! If youre not sure why this is important (spelled c-o-o-l) either download a true-tone orXingtone software and make your own. There is something cool about hearing Dream On or Whole Lotta Love when your phone rings.


Motorola V300NO IR! NO BLUETOOTH! NO WI-FI! There is a data cable you can buy (Ed. Note: the cable is USB) but not much you can do with it. Nowadays I think it is inexcusable to have a phone without connectivity options. OTA (Over The Air) does work well however. Not better nor worse than any other phone on the market.

User Experience

Motorola needs to take a couple lessons from Nokia. For some reason features that should be standard are just too hard to work or simply don't exist. For example, there is no way to ADD a phone number to a contact automatically. You know when someone calls from a different number than usual, and you want to add that number to their contact you cant. Text messaging, email, web browsing are all similar to most phones on the market -- again nothing that distinguishes itself from its competition. When you navigate around the menu system you just have to ask yourself why Motorola makes things so difficult.

Wrap Up

The V300 is cool to look at, fun to use, sounds great, but is lacking on many levels. Before you decide if this phone is for you, you need to prioritize why you are getting a new phone. If you are going to rely on voice it is barely adequate. If you are looking for text type services (SMS, Email, Internet), the V300 is fine, but certainly not spectacular. If you dig colors, ringtones, games that look tight, the V300 may be the best phone out there. Motorola (or anyone else out there) needs to pull all of this together  I hear the Nokia 6820 is supposed to be hot... To view untouched samples of the V300's camera click here and here. You can purchase the Motorola V300 from Wirefly for -$50 (you get money back) after rebate. Stay tuned to MobileTracker for an in-depth review of the Motorola V600 (should appear towards the end of this month).