Motorola’s latest 3G phone, the e1000, is a completely different beast to its A1000 model launched on the same day. In a Jekyll and Hyde moment, Motorola has managed to produce a completely different result with this multimedia phone.
It seems that the combination of poor integration of services on the three network, a poor interface and a model that overall was confused hasn’t dogged the e1000 like it did the A1000. Menu systems are simple to use, the phone’s styling and size is great and overall the model is a joy to use.
The styling is very much in the Siemens SX1 school of thought but without the annoying keypad down either side of the screen, instead these keys have been assigned to shortcuts such as starting a voice or video call, volume, browser and camera modes.
Once in your chosen menu or application, the controls are thrown over to a joystick that sits slightly above the unadventurous keypad (a good thing in our books). The result is that getting to the common functions and then being able to use them is quick and easy.
Unlike the A1000 the default screen actually makes sense and is fully customisable to suit your needs and because the unit does offer a touch screen, you aren’t tempted to intervene with a stylus.
One quick press of the browser shortcut icon whizzes you off to the 3G services Three put on. Porn was the strangely the first prompt, but we guess the most profitable. Three obviously see the top shelf titles such as Playboy as a great way to bring in the lad market alongside the footie scores it provides on a Saturday afternoon. Get past the porn however, and you can download music videos, games and film trailers.
The screen isn’t huge, but the quality is a lot better - 262k over 65k, and the difference is certainly noted. In an attempt to make it even easier for you to watch videos you can switch the view of the screen to landscape to make full use of it and this does make viewing the videos a little more bearable.
Like the A1000, the phone sports two digital cameras to allow you to do video calling across the network. The addition of the video calling shortcut button on the side of the handset means that getting full use out of the cameras is slightly easier.
The main camera is a 1.2 megapixel affair with an 8x zoom. Whether it was capturing stills or video, the camera performed well in low light conditions. Other entertainment features include a MP3 player. Removable storage comes in the shape of Transflash although you are restricted by having to remove the battery to access the external memory slot.
As if it was straight out of a Jekyll and Hyde story, the e1000 compared to the A1000 is a gem to use. It's small, compact and dispels the belief that 3G phones have to be big and clunky. More to the point, all the features that you would want from a multimedia phone are here including Bluetooth, a 262k screen and a 1.2 megapixel camera. Even the integration of Three's 3G services has been well done on this model.
What we find so strange then, is the complete difference of the two models. While we understand that they are supposedly aimed at different markets, the difference between them is so surprising that you wouldn't believe they came from the same manufacturer. Which is why we are happy to give the e1000 eight out of 10 rather than the disappointing five out of 10 we gave the A1000.
We tested the phone using the three 3G network