Yes, I kept my Nokia 7160 far longer than I should have. It was December 2005 when I finally bought this Motorola V551. I've had the Nokia for years and was reluctant to give it up because the darn thing worked no matter how many times I dropped it on concrete and because I had $400.00 hands free kits installed in both of our cars and none of the newer phones will fit those cradles.
But in December I apparently dropped the Nokia one too many times and while it still worked, it would often go dead if I just shook it slightly - sometimes just picking it up to answer it would cause the shut-off. It was time to give it up.
I stopped by a Cingular Kiosk in the mall and asked for the physically largest, least featured, least expensive phone they had. I don't want a tiny phone, and while this Motorola isn't too bad, it does get lost in my coat pocket and I sometimes have trouble getting it out to answer it. Sure, I could get a belt clip, but I've tried that before and somehow I'm always smashing the phone against something or it falls off the belt when I'm undressing or dressing - I'd just rather carry it in my pocket. The Nokia was big enough not to get lost in there; this Motorola isn't.
Apparently a lot of folks think that the battery life of this phone is simply marvelous. Maybe it is compared to other phones of the same generation, but the Nokia beat it hands down - of course the Nokia battery alone is bigger and heavier than this whole phone, so that's obviously why, but now I find myself running out of charge before I run out of day. I did buy a car charger, but I haven't been able to use that yet because there's a fuse blown in the car, and I can't seem to pry the cover off the fuse panel, so that repair has to wait till the next time the car goes in the shop.. consequently I often find myself driving home with a dead cell phone. Of course that could never happen with the Nokia because the hands free kit would recharge it - though it never needed to anyway.
Hands free is a major annoyance. I bought the BlueTooth ear bud accessory and dislike it intensely. First, it hurts my ear after a very short period. Second, pushing the ear bud button to answer a call sometimes doesn't work reliably - often I fumble with it several times before I can answer, and of course press it harder which hurts my ear more. I find it impossible to adjust the volume with the ear bud also. I'd much rather have a cradle kit.
When placing calls using the voice dial,
I find that the phone often misinterprets and starts dialing the
wrong number - and hanging up with the ear bud isn't easy either.
It takes far too many key presses to find a stored number that isn't
set up for voice dial, and would be dangerous to try while driving,
so I just don't initiate calls at all now. The Nokia was
much easier, and of course again was in the hands free cradle
so it was easy to get at without taking my eyes off the road for more than
a split second. They do make a
(link dead, sorry)
car kit, so I guess I'll have to get it.
I'll have to wait until my wife agrees to give up her Nokia though..
The phone does have a speaker phone mode, and I've tried that as a subsitute for the Bluetooth ear bud - but the sound quality is poor and it just drains the battery even faster.
The biggest annoyance of this phone is the external side buttons. These can do various functions, including triggering a voice dial and changing the ring style volume or changing that to vibrate rather than ring. As I hit these buttons by reaching in my pocket, or even sometimes just from external fabric pressure caused by twisting my body, the ring style is constantly changing and accidentally hitting the voice dial button often ends up with the phone dialing my sister without my knowledge. It took me a while to figure that out - my sister called me several times asking "Did you call me?". I'd profess innocence, but my number was in her caller id, so obviously I had. Apparently random wind noises get interpreted as her name and the Motorola obligingly places the call.
Other than all this, the phone is fine. Probably the Bluetooth earbud is the biggest annoyance, though I'd like a voice dial mode where I could just speak a number and have it dialed. Next time I buy a cell phone, I'm going to look for that feature.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-07-12 Anthony Lawrence