The new SLVR L6 and L7 devices without a doubt vie for positions as the most stylish phones to hit the market this year so far.
The new family of phones, which build upon the design breakthrough of the RAZR original of the species, have raised plenty of oohs and ahs in terms of appearance.
There’s the L6, a silver version with plenty of bling quality, and the L7, the smooth and sophisticated dark horse of the family.
Differences between the two devices are subtle in terms of appearance but worlds apart in terms of features.
The lower-cost L6 is beautiful but comes with a lower-resolution camera and lacks additional data storage capacity.
That said, it is as feature-rich as any member of the Motorola family with Bluetooth connectivity and video-recording abilities.
The L7, however, appears to be the suave, upmarket and mysterious family member; boasting additional 512MB of storage through a Flash memory card as well as higher-res imaging.
One of the biggest hurdles the technology industry worldwide sets for itself is the labyrinthine path of legalities that sometimes dog the potential of its most promising products.
Licensing issues and specific deals called for by mobile operators meant that the one feature that has added to the devices’ mass appeal in the US — an iTunes music player — is not available on the European devices.
However, a spokesperson has told me that announcements are imminent regarding iTunes for the devices.
A little bit of digging and it became apparent that to enjoy MP3 music on the L7 device, you simply connect the phone to your computer via a USB cable and it becomes an extra storage drive.
Just drag and drop anything between 120 and 150 songs on to it, access the My Files menu and create a Playlist and bingo, you have an MP3 player with its own snazzy digital audio player skin.
Both devices are fun, functional, look slick and seem certain to help Motorola ratchet up extra share of the Irish mobile market.
Their true potential rests primarily with how their virtues — such as the MP3 player function — are communicated to the outside world both by Motorola and the mobile networks that sell them.
The current pricing for L7 available from Vodafone is €229 on Ready To Go and from €99 on contract.
O2 launched SLVR L7 last week priced from €159 and the L6 is available from O2 for €149 on Speak Easy.
Value for money ***
By John Kennedy