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Motorola ROKR E8 music phone

Can it revive the fortunes of the ROKR family

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Taking into account the lack of 3G, the browser does a reasonable, if slow, job at negotiating full web pages. The Google link on the standby screen will no doubt encourage users to try the mobile internet (and it’s a welcome addition), but if it’s a fine browsing experience you’re after you should really consider a faster, more web-capable handset.

The E8 also includes a selection of office tools - calendar, tasks, notes, calculator, clock functions and so on - a couple of Java games, plus remote back up/sync options and PC syncing. Voice control, ‘talking phone’ (reading out phone info and messages), and voice recorder options are included too.

Motorola MOTOROKR E8

Sadly, no 3G though

Call quality from the E8 was pleasing, with a consistently clear, natural sound from the earpiece, decent volume levels and a strong network performance. Battery life was reasonable; Motorola quotes a standby time up to 300 hours or up to 360 minutes' talktime, which isn’t exceptional for a non-3G quad-band GSM phone. With our average levels of usage with some music listening, we managed around three days between charges.

Verdict

The main selling points of the E8 are its novel context-swapping ModeShift controls and its solid, quality music player capabilities. But while function-changing touchpad controls are new for Motorola, this sort of thing has appeared in various forms recently on other, more capable handsets. As such, this technology isn't enough of a deal maker to sell this phone on its own. What’s more, the phone’s large footprint and small display offset some of the attractive styling plus points. Its lack of 3G and Wi-Fi limit it too.

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Motorola ROKR E8 music phone

Despite a good music player, Motorola’s ROKR family fortunes aren't going to be transformed by its ModeShift control technology.
Price: Contract: from free. Pre-pay: £160. Handset only: £200 RRP

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