After revolutionizing the stylish mobile phone genre with the slick and slim RAZR, Motorola's latest PEBL is almost exactly the opposite: it's compact at 8.7cm by 4.9cm, and 2cm thick. It's smooth, rounded corners give it that stone pebble-ish look, hence the name. The phone looks good, but it may appeal to women more than men.
The external display is a vertical strip, and even though its monochrome, it goes well with the shape of the phone. The PEBL fits comfortably in your hand, but it's a bit on the heavier side at 110gm, which makes it 15gm more than the RAZR). The opening mechanism is semi-automatic - just slide the top shell down a little and the spring action takes control from there. This looks and feels cool, but if you don't grip it well, it may just fall off your hand.
The keypad, along the lines of the RAZR, is also metallic, but it has a mirror finish - another hint at the femininity of the phone's target audience. The wavey patterns running across the numbers can cause a bit of disorientation while typing, even though the keys are not actually placed in that seemingly unaligned manner.
The camera is a standard VGA - 640x480 pixels or 0.3 megapixels - simply too low for a new phone this year. The quality of the pictures and the 30-second videos is just alright. The pictures look better on the screen because it is the same resolution as the RAZR at 176x220, but the smaller size makes it look clearer and higher-res.
The phone supports MP3 ringtones, but not full MP3 playback, just like the RAZR. With not more than 5mb to spare, you wouldn't be able to store full songs at decent quality anyway. The quality if the MP3 playback is also just acceptable, thanks to the 22kHz speaker. The phone also supports voice dialing and the internal phonebook stores upto 1,000 numbers.
The phone is a quad-band GSM, GPRS phone and has no EDGE support - once again, a little dated for this year's release. It features Bluetooth and USB connectivity and J2ME for games and applications.
To put it all together, the Motorola PEBL U6 is just the first Motorola RAZR V3 in a different shape: the same limited memory and low res camera. For around Rs. 10,000, the PEBL U6 is strictly for the fashion conscious. Those looking for a little more value for money would be better off looking at the RAZR V3i for around Rs. 13,000 - you get looks and features both.
Pros: Looks and feels good, semi-auto opening mechanism, all basic features are here
Cons: Only VGA camera, only 5mb memory space, no EDGE, keypad design can cause disorientation, phone is a bit heavy
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