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Motorola touts 'razor thin' metal mobile

V3 pitched at PowerBook crowd

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Motorola launched its sleekest clamshell phone yet yesterday, pitching the aluminium-clad V3 at the PowerBook crowd and other "lifestyle" users who "want something different and are prepared to pay for it", the company said.

The V3 is certainly impressive to look at. Its brushed metal casing looks and feels better than plastic, and its 2.2in 176 × 220 main display is crisp and clear. There's a secondary external 96 × 80 display and a 640 × 480 digicam with 4x digital zoom. The large keypad is metal too and backlit in electro-luminescent blue.

Closed, the unit measures 9.8 × 5.3 × 1.4cm and weighs 95g. The antenna is integrated into the base of the handset, while the 680mAh battery sits behind the keypad. It delivers 204-400 minutes' talk time and 156-250 hours' stand-by time, Motorola said.

The V3 runs Motorola's own Synergy OS, and will ship with a Java MIDP 2.0 for apps and games. The handset also provides MMS, SMS and email messaging, plus WAP and Web browsing. It also includes a Wireless Village instant messaging client. There are picture and video (MPEG 4) playback apps, and the MotoMixer music-making utility.

Motorola V3 handset

The handset supports MP3 and polyphonic MIDI ringtones, the former a feature operators will be unable to disable, the company claimed. Ringtones can be transferred across via Bluetooth - using the Class 1 spec. for increased, 100m range - or USB. Indeed, those are the only connectivity options the handset offers beyond its quad-band GSM/GPRS support.

And while it supports MP3 ringtones, it doesn't include an MP3 player. That said, with only 5MB of on-board user-accessible memory, there's not a lot of room for songs. The V3 has no memory expansion slot.

Motorola did not provide pricing for the handset, but did say it expects the V3 to command a "premium... high-tier" price-tag. The phone is due to ship in the UK and US in the autumn. ®

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