Feeds
85%

Motorola Motofone F3 e-ink handset

Can a phone this basic, this cheap be any good? Yes it can

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Review Spiritual successor to Motorola's budget C113 handset, the new 'Motofone' F3 has clearly been designed with developing markets and the more technophobic among us in mind. All you get is a very basic phone that does nothing other than make and take calls and texts, and work as an alarm clock. That's it. No, really, that is it.

motorola motofone f3 slimline cheap handset

Coming in at 0.9cm deep - it's 11.4 x 4.7cm face on - this is one of the slimmest handsets around, and at 68g one the lightest too. Despite the lack of weight and thickness the whole unit feels very robust and comes clad in a reasonably scratch-resistant plastic, if the results of a few minutes of your truly prodding it with a small screwdriver are anything to go by. The battery cover clips on with a reassuring click, and when you combine that with the lack of a screen to smash - more of this in a moment - I'm fairly sure you could drop it onto a hard floor and watch it bounce right back up with little in the way of harm.

The handset itself is dominated by a large silver navigation button that along with the flush pressure-sensitive keypad works rather well. In fact, the keypad is one of the F3's real plus points - the actions are well weighted and the surface tactile, making keying errors is very rare indeed. Motorola has resisted the temptation to reduce the size of the handset by a few extra millimetres and ended up making the keypad too small for average adult fingers, and it gets a big podgy thumbs-up for that. The keypad looks well water resistant too - in fact I'd hazard a guess that it would come through a fair soaking in pretty good order, though with power and headset connections routed via a standard Motorola jack on the right of the handset it is clearly not that waterproof.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.