The Motorola Rambler was announced last July 2010 by Boost Mobile Service and Motorola Company. It was released in the US market the month after at $100 together with another clamshell phone, the Motorola Bali. The following review provides more details about the Rambler mobile phone.
Design (3 out of 5)
The Rambler is a Motorola flip phone handset that measures about 3.7 inches in length, 2.24 inches in width and 0.7 inches in thickness. The phone looks quite compact, with curved corners on the front. The middle part of the phone is where its 1.6 inch LCD screen is placed. The colorful and bright display shows basic information like battery life, date, time and signal strength. The external display also works as a camera viewfinder as it has the camera lens above it. The left side of the phone features the speaker key, volume rocker and mini USB charger port. On the right spine are the voice command key and headset jack.
The main display measures 2.2 inches, with a resolution of 176x220 pixels and is capable of showing up to 65,000 colors. The interface looks bright and attractive. Upon opening the phone, the Motorola Rambler shows a navigational array featuring a couple of soft keys and a four way toggle key with the central “select” key. There are dedicated keys for camera function, Send and End, and Back functions. This makes it a lot easier to access frequently used features, particularly the phone camera.
The Motorola Rambler has a weight of 3.8 ounces so it is quite lightweight. While the phone is lightweight, the design leaves a lot to be desired. The straight corners at the back are not in sync with the rounder corners on the front side of the phone, so it can be quite uncomfortable to hold the handset.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The phone does not open easily, but it clicks when firmly put in place. The Motorola Rambler’s interface can also be customized by adjusting settings such as backlight time and brightness as well as color themes, color format and wallpaper.
The full QWERTY keyboard has its number keys highlighted in red. The keys are noticeably raised above the keyboard surface, so it feels good to press them. This makes the Rambler a great phone for texting. There are three modes for composing messages- QWERTY and predictive texting for English and Spanish.
Features (4 out of 5)
The Motorola Rambler supports text and multimedia messaging. It can also support threaded conversations, so users can follow their text messages just like in instant messaging. The phone can also receive and send e-mail. It also supports email clients such as Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail and Gmail, and these can be accessed after entering the required server settings.
The phone book of the Motorola Rambler can accommodate up to 5 numbers per contact. Each entry can also be customized by adding an e-mail address, web URL, instant messenger handle, notes, and street address.
The Motorola Rambler also comes with basic features like a speaker phone, vibrate mode, alarm clock, calculator, note pad, and world clock. Those looking for advanced functions can turn to features like the mobile web browser, GPS, instant messaging, and stereo Bluetooth.
The 1.3 megapixel camera can also record videos. The downside, however, is that the phone does not have a microSD card so users have to be content with the 256MB memory.
Performance (4 out of 5)
The camera is capable of taking pictures in four different resolutions, with a maximum of 1280x1024 pixels. There are also other settings like picture frames, self-timer, brightness, white balance, color effects, shutter tones, and 4x zoom. The phone camera, however, cannot be relied upon to take good quality pictures. Images taken using the phone camera are usually blurry, with washed out and muddy colors. The camcorder can also record videos of up to 5 minutes, but then again, the lack of expandable memory or microSD card slot makes the Rambler quite disappointing in this area.
The phone can be relied upon when it comes to call quality. Voices on the other line are usually loud and clear, with minimal static. Calls using the speakerphone were also good, and those on the other line would hardly distinguish the difference between a call made using a speakerphone from a non-speakerphone call.
The Motorola Rambler’s battery can last up to 5 hours of talktime and about 20 days of standby time.
Verdict (4 out of 5)