written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/15/2010
The Motorola Rival may look simple but it has a good number of serviceable features. Learn more about this handset in this article.
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The Motorola Rival offers a good array of multimedia features although its design leaves a lot to be desired. Overall, this new offering from Motorola is packed with features and should appeal to more demanding mobile phone users.
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Admittedly, design is one of the few weaknesses of the Motorola Rival. It has a dull design, rectangular in shape with corners that are slightly curved. The outer shell comes in two color choices - silver or purple, with hints of red and black. The unit has a length of 3.8 inches, width of 2 inches and a thickness of 0.7 inches.
The Motorola Rival has a nice glossy black finish with a display that measures 2.2 inches. It is capable of supporting up to 65,000 colors with a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels. Admittedly, the phone’s display leaves a lot to be desired. Users do, however, have the option of changing several settings like brightness, backlight time, display, menu layout, dial font and menu font size to customize the look of their home screen.
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Like the LG Neon, the Motorola Rival has a display that serves as the touch screen for the phone dialer. The virtual numeric keypad shows up when the phone dialer key, situated on the navigation array, is pressed. The numbers can be dialed by tapping the digits on the virtual screen, with a vibrating feedback to boot. Beneath the main screen is the navigational array consisting of a couple of soft keys, phone dialer key, four way circular toggle, back key and Send and End keys. Another touch sensitive key is located on the top left corner of the display.
Sliding the phone will reveal the full QWERTY keyboard on the left spine. The screen automatically changes its orientation to landscape mode. The full QWERTY keyboard has received favourable reviews especially for the spacious design and slightly raised keys. The left side of the phone features the volume controls, charger jack, speakerphone key, and the headset jack. The right side of the phone features the screen lock, camera key, and voice command key. The back of the phone features the external speaker and camera lens.
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Is the Motorola Rival a good buy? Find out more in this part of the review focusing on the Rival's features and performance.
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The phone book of the Rival is large enough to store up to 1,000 entries. Each contact can contain up to five phone numbers, and can be customized by assigning them into contact groups, or paired with photos or polyphonic ringtones. The Motorola Rival includes features such as speakerphone, SMS, MMS, calendar, clock, stopwatch, notepad, and basic calculator.
The Rival also has more advanced features like instant messaging for different platforms such as Windows Live, AIM and Yahoo, USB mass storage, voice command, and web browser. The phone also supports Bluetooth functions like dial-up networking, hands-free, basic printing, and stereo, among others. Users may also access their email in different options such as mobile email, corporate email, and mobile web e-mail.
The phone’s music player supports some of the more popular audio formats and it allows the creation and editing of playlists. Songs can also be set on shuffle or repeat mode. The phone allows syncing of songs from a computer using a USB cable.
The Motorola Rival also comes with a simple camera, 2 MP capable of supporting a high resolution of 1600x1200 pixels. The camera also has other settings like white balance adjustment, brightness adjustment, color effects, self timer, shutter sounds and fun frames. Customizing the Rival can be done by changing its display themes, wallpaper and alert tones. There are also pre-installed games such as PacMan.
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The phone won’t disappoint in terms of call quality during voice calls. Calls made using the Motorola Rival will turn out to be pleasing as the volume and clarity are acceptable. Even calls using the speakerphone are okay.
The multimedia functions of the Rival, however, are not that impressive. Photos taken using the Rival’s camera are usually dark and blurry. The audio quality of the music player on the phone is poor, lacks bass and suffice to say it's disappointing.
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The Rival looks dull on the outside but it makes up for that with a decent range of features and the full QWERTY keyboard is great for heavy texters. While not the best phone in its price range, the Rival is still a good phone to have especially for the not-so-demanding mobile phone user.