Despite Motorola’s management issues and fiscal concerns, they certainly keep churning out quality phones.
The Motorola ROKR E8 is a good one. A quick look at the ROKR E8 and you can see it has a specific music focus. It uses a virtual keypad that works in conjunction with Motorola’s proprietary ModeShift technology, which is an interesting and effective method for delivering the options the user wants, when they want them. Add an iPod-type scroll wheel and this thoughtful phone makes it easy to access and play your music.
The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the phone is that instead of a traditional keypad, you instead have three rows of raised dots. This is their ModeShift technology. If you press a music key that will result in the morphing into a music mode. The numeric keys change into play/pause, skip, forward/backward, etc. Again, clever, functional and different.
The virtual keypad can display a traditional alphanumeric mode, a music mode, and camera mode. The ROKR E8 also used a navigation wheel, but instead of being a full circle, it is a horse-shoe shape. The speed of the navigation wheel is customizable.
Rounding out the fascia is a D-pad and 2 inch 240 x 320 pixel display, able to produce 262K colors.
This phone is truly fun and functional, and overall quite minimalist in design. Motorola’s ModeShift technology works well and is a great way to maximize the effectiveness of a fixed piece of real estate. And surprisingly, the phone is easy to use for texts, too.
Talk time is about 360 minutes and the call quality is good. The E8 also comes with Bluetooth 2.0 and a USB cable for fast music uploads, email retrieval, FM radio, SongID and 2GB of onboard memory.
While the camera is not nearly as powerful as the music applications, the E8 has moved into an interesting direction that may well attract an audience.
Fun stuff. Different and functional. If you want to merge your MP3 player with your phone, finally!, the E8 is a worthy candidate.