Designed for T-Mobile, the Motorola W490 sports a slender design measuring 3.89 x 1.89 x 0.68 inches in dimension and weighing 3.7 ounces. Although a bit heavy for a flip phone, it has a sturdy body and feels comfortable in hand too. The W490 model is available in three different colors, purple, black and green.
The phone has a squared external display supporting 65,000 colors, that shows some of the useful information such as the time, signal strength, date, battery life and caller ID. However, the disappointing part of it is that you cannot use it as a viewfinder for taking vanity shots. The left spine of the handset contains a volume rocker and the Moto smart key, while the right spine of W490 sports a voice-dialing button and the mini-USB port. The speaker sits on the rear side of the W490, while the camera lens is placed right above the external display. The toggle further offers single-touch access to 4 user-defined functions. In addition, you can program your own short cut menu with all your favorite functionalities. The keypad buttons are aligned with the phone surface, but with tactile lines between the keys. The keypad buttons and the navigation array are both backlit brightly.
The Motorola W490 features an internal display of the size 1.8 inches, 262,000 colors and 176x220 pixels resolution. The colors are bright enough with sharp graphics. The menu interface is just the usual standard design of Motorola. The brightness and the backlight time can be altered, but the small text size cannot be enlarged further.
The navigation array isn’t anything great, with the same basic layout with metal covered controls. The keys are a bit slippery because of the metal finish, but easy-to-use. Additional buttons include a four-way toggle with a middle OK button, a clear button, two soft keys, End/Power and Talk controls and a Web browser shortcut.