Motorola FONE F3
The Motorola FONE F3, often called the Motofone, is a basic mobile phone that offers the most fundamental features such as call and text messaging. The lack of multimedia features may turn off a lot of potential buyers but it makes up for this with long battery life and a very slim design.
Design (3 out of 5)
The Motorola F3, Motofone, has a very simple design that is certainly not the prettiest in the field. With a candybar design, it has a thickness of 9 mm, so this phone can be easily slipped into a packed bag or a tight jeans pocket without any difficulty. It has a length of 114 mm and width of 47 mm, and weighs roughly 70 grams. There are no control buttons on either side of the phone. However there is a small connector for headphones and phone charging on the left side of the device. The phone is manufactured from plastic with metal highlights. The case comes in three colors: red, black and blue.
With its electrophoretic screen, the phone looks more like a calculator than a mobile phone. The display comes in two lines for flashing of text messages and numbers. The stark departure from normal, colored LCDs typical of many mobile handsets has its pros and cons. In terms of advantages, the phone uses less power given the lack of backlight. The electrophoretic technology also results in texts that are easier to read since black characters are set against a white background. This is true even on bright, sunny days.
However the phone is so simple that a user conscious about style and flair will be embarrassed to be seen with this model.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The Motofone comes with a flat keypad that is divided by curved rubber lines. Users will find no problem dialing a number or inputting text as the number keys are quite large and thus, easy to press. Meanwhile, curved rubber lines make it easier to distinguish keys on the keypad.
On the screen are icons for signal strength and battery life located on the top right and top left portion. The icons are big enough to be seen easily. The number and letter characters are also large enough to be spotted, and they are very similar to calculator digits given their font size.
The Motorola F3 uses a very basic menu system which can be accessed with an up arrow located on the left side of the main keypad. Simple icons tell users the menu function they are accessing, and what they can do with it. The lack of animations, or flashy icons in the main menu makes the interface very user friendly, something that even grandmothers will understand.
Features (3 out of 5)
The phone has the basic functions one would expect from a mobile handset. The Motorola F3 Motofone is not the most feature-packed handset in the world, so users should not expect tons of functions in this phone. As it is, the phone is basically for texting and calling. The phone has no camera, no web browser, and no picture messaging and functions.
A dual band GSM handset, the phone supports 850/1900 MHz frequency bands, which is not exactly the most common frequency utilized by mobile networks in the world. Thus users should check first with their network to see if the phone works in an area or country where they live or are intending to visit.
Performance (4 out of 5)
Given the lack of features, the Motofone still impresses with its reliable performance. Call quality is good, as the phone cancels ambient noise and improves audio clarity. The battery life is also solid, as the phone is said to last up to 450 minutes of talk time and about 270 hours of standby time. This is particularly impressive given the decreasing number of mobile phones that have long battery life. Since the phone uses minimal graphics - a simple clock display on its screen - it uses minimal energy. Thus the phone is very much recommended to users who often find themselves outdoors and without access to electricity for recharging the battery.
The phone also comes with a voice prompting service that explains the icon based and simplistic menu system. This is a good way of teaching users how to go through the menu system. However this can be quite embarrassing especially if the user is in a public place. But the service can be switched off once the user has the hang of the menu system of the phone.
Inputting of text messages is okay, although the phone lacks predictive text which is a familiar feature in most mobile phones.
Verdict (3 out of 5)
This Motorola F3 Motofone lacks a lot of features. The design is barely tolerable, and the user interface is so-so. But Motorola has never said that this phone is feature-packed, so users should expect minimalistic features from this handset. If you just want a basic phone for calls and text and don’t want to have it charge it every day or so then you could do a lot worse than the Motofone.