Motorola MPx220

9 Jun 2005

Product: smart phone
Price: €269
First and foremost, this is the smarter person’s smart phone. It is the ace in Motorola’s hand and positively the best
value-for-money smart phone on the market.

Up to four years ago, Motorola wasn’t at the races in the Irish mobile market, with only a 2pc market share. The phones, though attractive, were being held back by a less than adequate operating system (OS). In the intervening years, however, the company has done its homework, creating an armoury of attractive devices aided and abetted by aggressive marketing. The result: the company is now the No 2 player in the Irish market with between 20pc and 30pc market share.

The proof of Motorola’s success is the company’s flexibility in its product range, veering from the ultra-cheap device for the prepaid market to the stylish and expensive handset for corporate players (the slinky RAZR phone for example). While the MPx220 lacks some of the style of the RAZR, it packs a powerful punch.

The first thing you’ll notice about the MPx220 is that it is designed for the Windows Mobile OS, instantly pitching it against Nokia’s Symbian OS. For individuals familiar with Outlook and using PDAs, interacting with the device is like using a standard PDA. Intuitive toolbars and home and back keys on the handset make it a similar experience to surfing the internet on a PC. This is one of the clever but subtle design innovations that Motorola is renowned for and suggests we may be at the business end of a potential momentous movement in the mobile arena.

Features wise, the device sports a 1.2 megapixel digital camera and video recorder, comes with a 128MB mini SD memory card and a HS801 bluetooth headset. Because I use a PDA I tried out its ActiveSync capabilities with my PC and within seconds my contact book, email and calendar were on my phone. The device also sports a nifty voice-recognition system for dialling numbers, accessing contacts and applications that blew me away. For corporate workers there is also the option of an additional Co-Pilot Satellite Navigation System that gives you road and city maps for most of Western Europe.

The MPx220 smart phone is currently available from Vodafone for a recommended retail price of €269.