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Thread: My V551 review:

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    My V551 review:

    I've been using the Moto V551 as my main line now for about a week to demo it and run a review.
    it's a V551, Rogers retail, with R47_G_08.17.0ER software.

    Reception:
    The phone is typical Motorola, in that it works and sounds well.
    the V551 had no problems passing the infamous cantina test and sounded great while doing it like it's big brother, the V3.
    One thing I noticed that I want to pass on is that the way you hold the phone will directly affect it's "reception" the reason I say this is that I found in really weak areas, if I held the phone like this, it would start cutting out


    however, if you move your hand to this position, it starts to work better. Is this a problem with the antenna, or my unit in specific, I can't answer.


    Sound
    The sound quality is typical Motorola, in that it doesn't disappoint. It sounds very rich and very natural. the earpiece volume is also quite loud and there is no distortion at max volume, Furthermore, I can't pick up any background noise from the earpiece, it's just voice, and that's it. if you're looking for a phone that has good voice characteristics first and foremost, the V551 may be what you need.

    Cantina test
    This phone passes easily.
    I had no issues dragging a call in there, or initiating a call while in there.
    It also sounds great while doing it.

    Camera
    The Camera on the V551 is good. It’s not “wow” like any proper digicam, but it’s also able to make phone calls, unlike any proper digicam.
    The V551 also supports Video recording although I find it terribly slow and the video isn’t linear at all. It’s almost like watching a webcam.

    Here are some pics I took with it so you can judge yourself as to it’s quality.
    (keep in mind it’s an overcast blah of a winter day)

    Many Many MAD SEEG devices:


    The Corporate logo, familiar in my other reviews


    Ship it 123!


    Always got time for:

    Bluetooth

    Range
    Just like the V500/V600/V3 the BT is moto standard issue.
    The range is good, It’s similar to that of the V3 in that I was able to walk outside of my store and maintain a call using the same HS820 I had used when I tested the V3 RAZR. It was breaking up, but this is a test of extremities. Under normal BT conditions it’ll work well for you and it will work as to what we’ve come to expect from Bluetooth.

    Synch
    The V551 synchs just as easily usint BT and mobile phone tools.
    Oddly though, MPT doesn’t display the V551 graphic for the control panel, even after I ran a live update. “phone image not available” This isn’t a big problem because it’s just a picture and you don’t lose any functionality, but I felt it worth mentioning so people don’t go nuts trying to set up MPT thinking the V551 picture would need to show up for a successful set up.

    You can also set up the speed dials 1 – 9 just as easily as the V3 using MPT, but it’s still a confusing process and I wish Motorola would simplify that.

    BT pairings (taken from V3 review)
    Of course, operating in a similar way to the V600 has it's advantages. Namely, the V3 can have it's Bluetooth turned on all the time and other's can't see you (similar to SE's Bluetooth implementation of "hidden") what does that mean to you? you can leave BT on all the time and use it with your headsets/PC's/PDA's/carkits and never have to worry about being "bluejacked" or "bluesnarfed" as others just won't see you when they scan.

    Headset use (taken from V3 review)
    the V3 still has that quirk where when using a BT headset it'll default to the "continental" ringtone and SMS defaults to the one beep. now, why it does that, beats me, but it's better then the V600 (prior to the FW flashes/flexes) where it wouldn't ring/beep at all on the handset and only the BT headset would make sounds.

    I still don't like the Motorola/Nokia way of headset use and handsets though... If I get an incoming call, and press SEND on the handset, logically, i'd want the phone to pick up, not the headset. I can see both sides of this argument though where some users feel that the headset is a physical extension of the phone, and as such a BT headset should act the same way as a corded headset considering a corded headset you can press send/end on the phone and it'll control the call.

    However, I feel that they should incorporate a choice into the BT software. Let me pick what mode I want to run my headset in. I prefer pressing Send on the phone and getting the call on the phone and pressing the answer button on the headset, and getting the call on the headset. Perhaps that's just me, however, I still would like to see Motorola/Nokia match SE with respect to BT headset use on this one.
    IT just makes it for an awkward first few seconds when you answer, then have to press menu, and then “use handset” if you want to use the handset instead of the BT headset.
    Aesthetics

    external handset
    Love it or Leave it, ths is a V300 shell, with a slab of Metal on the Front.
    Personally, I like it. I’ve always liked the V300 styling because those rubber parts make for a phone that has traction and doesn’t slip slide around your desk, car, hands.. you get the point.

    internal handset
    The screen is nice, I believe it’s that of the V400/500 series in that it’s a transmissive, not transflective display. It also looks better then previous versions.
    The Keypad on this phone is light years better then the V300 and V600. the keys are hard plastic and they provide just enough “click” when pressed.
    A welcome addition to the Motorola line up is the dedicated camera/internet buttons just above the “normal” send/end keys. This frees up the top 2 softkeys to do whatever you like, which I like.

    Menu
    Typical Moto.
    Love it or leave it.
    It is faster however then the previous based triplets SW series.
    And of course, the customizability of Moto phones is still industry leading. You can assign any feature you like to a shortcut sequence of menu + number which makes navigating real easy.

    Phonebook
    Same as all other Motorola phones before it.
    I would like to see the GSM division of Motorola start picking up cues from the IDEN line in that their phonebook works and flows a lot better and seems to support real multi number per name entry. Although the phonebook appears to support multiple entries per name, it in fact occupies a space on the phone as a separate entity. This is clearly noticeable when you’re messaging a group of people and your scrolling through your phone book to pick off who you want to receive that message. What happens is that all those multiple entries now show up so instead of 1 AndyVX I know have every entry for him from cell# to work# to address and email address which tends to slow things up and get in the way.

    On the flipside, having everything there allows a one stop shop.
    For example, if I go and write a message “hi, how are you” and select AndyVX’s email address the phone is smart enough to realize I want that sent as a SMS email, and not a regular SMS. However, I would personally prefer only having cell #’s pop up when SMSing and Email addresses pop up when I select “write email”

    And while we’re at it, I really would love Motorola to implement T9 in their GSM line up like IDEN, or at least make the punctuation smart. When I press 1 after a word I want a . not a ‘

    Battery
    Surprisingly, I’m getting some good battery life out of my V551.
    I also did some tests to make sure the gauge isn’t “nokia pegged” in that yesterday, when I got home, I noticed I was still showing full… so, I removed the battery for 30 seconds, and put it back in. It was still showing full. So to make sure I called a * line I know that plays a continuous tone and left it on that for an hour (I forwarded the phone to my house prior, just in case) and after I hung up it showed 2/3 bars. So we’ll see as time passes, but my initial thoughts are that the V551 has some good battery life. It’s a lot better then I remember my V600 being

    Miscellaneous

    Organizer/office tools
    One thing I like about the Motorola’s is their organizer and office tools area with it’s date book, calculator, shortcuts, Voice records and Alarm clock. Everything here is grouped and makes sense. You’ll either use the tools or you wont.

    speakerphone
    The speakerphone is good. You can actually use it. It’s loud and clear and gets the job done. While not as good as the V3 RAZR, I’m sure all you “hex editors” out there will take care of that anyway.

    Ratings out of 10:
    Performance…….....8
    Build Quality…..…...9
    Battery life……….....9
    Features…………..….8
    Software………..…….7


    Overall……………….8
    Good solid phone for the money. Strongest featured Flip in Rogers line up currently

    Pros:
    Good RF
    Good build quality with a very strong hinge
    Good battery life
    Excellent features, just missing removable media and class 10 EDGE.
    R based SW works a lot better then the triplets based units.
    Really can’t go wrong at it’s price point for what it brings to the Table

    Cons:
    Same phonebook as other V’s
    Slow menu at times
    Slow iTAP text engine (for me anyway, I’m real fast)
    Looks like V300 (V551m is grey and looks better IMHO)
    Camera blurry
    Video Recording slow (like webcam)
    Last edited by Treatz; 12-08-2004 at 11:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nice work Treatz...

  3. #3
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    One of my clients, an importer of goods from China, purchased this phone because it was "inexpensive and quadband." While neither a fan of motorolas or flips, he is now a convert of both. He is also currently travelling in China with it.

    I got a chance to test it out and I think it's a very good phone. I do find the menus a little slow, but that's just me being picky. I really like the screen and the ring/speakerphone/voice clarity is really good.

    Great, "full spectrum," review treatz!

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    I started out with the V300 and jumped to the V551m shortly after it was available.

    The only real factor for the decision was that the phone has Bluetooth in it and I couldn't justify the cost of a V600 (or I would have bought one instead of the V300).

    Excellent review Treatz. I think a lot of people would be quite happy with a V551.

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    I must say that this 1 phone in particular caught my attention to what is an otherwise boring, mediocre brand in my opinion.

    There's something about the v551 that I like, and I have no issues selling it. I'm just praying that there's no problems down the road with this phone as it's a great phone @ a decent price point.

    My only complaint against it I guess is the lacking camera & video quality (I've seen a video from it). The cam seems to be better than some other MOTO cams as of late tho.

    Nice review as usual and that "hand on the top flip vs bottom flip affecting signal" business sounds like trouble

    are there any other phones that have issues like that?
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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    treatz, there is a way to only show the primary number for each contact, not all of them... its buried in the menus somewhere, when i get to work i will post it.

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    Originally posted by biffs
    treatz, there is a way to only show the primary number for each contact, not all of them... its buried in the menus somewhere, when i get to work i will post it.
    Oh, i know about that
    in the phone book you press menu, then pick setup, and view: all contacts or primary contacts.

    my issue is that even with primary contacts set, once you write a SMS and select your phonebook to browse the contacts you'll get all of em. I like how the NOkia/SE's list a name, and then you have to go into the name to pick it.

    to motorola's credit, they make sending multiple SMS easy.
    just go through your phonebook and checkmark who gets the message.

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    Originally posted by J.
    I must say that this 1 phone in particular caught my attention to what is an otherwise boring, mediocre brand in my opinion.

    There's something about the v551 that I like, and I have no issues selling it. I'm just praying that there's no problems down the road with this phone as it's a great phone @ a decent price point.


    as am I and many retailers, but i believe it was DoctorPleaser who said he sold 80 so far and only had 1 come back.
    that's not bad.

    My only complaint against it I guess is the lacking camera & video quality (I've seen a video from it). The cam seems to be better than some other MOTO cams as of late tho.

    Nice review as usual and that "hand on the top flip vs bottom flip affecting signal" business sounds like trouble

    are there any other phones that have issues like that?
    welll, not that I've noticed this hand/antenna situation i'm going back over it, the E316 also seems affected so it may be safe to say all clams with external antena could be affected if you hold the top part of the clam like I do having your hand there.

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    6230b vs v551

    If you had to pic between the 2 for RF which one would it be?

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    Originally posted by treatz
    Oh, i know about that
    in the phone book you press menu, then pick setup, and view: all contacts or primary contacts.

    my issue is that even with primary contacts set, once you write a SMS and select your phonebook to browse the contacts you'll get all of em. I like how the NOkia/SE's list a name, and then you have to go into the name to pick it.

    to motorola's credit, they make sending multiple SMS easy.
    just go through your phonebook and checkmark who gets the message.
    oh ok cool.

    that makes sense

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    Originally posted by treatz


    welll, not that I've noticed this hand/antenna situation i'm going back over it, the E316 also seems affected so it may be safe to say all clams with external antena could be affected if you hold the top part of the clam like I do having your hand there. [/B]
    Nice review.

    I hold all clamshells the EXACT way you show having problems. Holding it by the bottom for an extended period of time is uncomfortable.

    Are the only differences between the regular and M versions of the phone the external colour and a couple of software apps? If so, the M version may be the way to go.

    So has this become your primary phone now, or are you going back to the 7100r?

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    Originally posted by halfempty
    Nice review.

    I hold all clamshells the EXACT way you show having problems. Holding it by the bottom for an extended period of time is uncomfortable.

    this is true, but you'd only have to hold it like that if you were in poor poor service areas for that extended period of time.. you can also grasp it by the side as well making it more comfortable.

    Are the only differences between the regular and M versions of the phone the external colour and a couple of software apps? If so, the M version may be the way to go.

    ya, 551m is the same phone with grey rubber and much music branding.

    So has this become your primary phone now, or are you going back to the 7100r?
    i'm gonna use this phone as my primary for a few more weeks to get a better feel and to be able to recommed to my customers without any hesitations.

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    nice review mang

    one more con, u cant change the logo on the outer screen
    Last edited by sf1; 12-08-2004 at 02:46 PM.

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    Originally posted by sf1
    nice review mang

    one more con, u cant change the logo on the outer screen
    yes you can. seem editing.

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    so does reception problems happen to everybody who holds the phone like Treatz, or is it his chubby finger blocking MAD SEEG!

    personally I'm not too crazy about the rubber feel. Doesn't feel/look as sleek and stylish as the v600 even though its better.

    I do agree with the phone being at an excellent price point.


    What's next to review treatz? the public wants to know......


    Hit me for feedback !!!

    I carry a lighter in my back pocket. I'm not a smoker, I just really like certain songs......

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