Motorola V600 mobile phone €399, Bluetooth speaker €99


2 Sep 2004

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Product: Phone; Bluetooth Speaker
Price: €199 – €399; €99

The V600 and its Bluetooth wireless speaker (speaker pictured) marks the culmination of a long journey that Motorola has taken to ensure its place in the top five of mobile device makers in the Irish market. Motorola always gets the timing of new product introductions right and the aesthetics are generally innovative and well defined.

Yet Nokia, Siemens and SonyEricsson have garnered a loyal user base with their phones. Motorola’s operating system (OS) has often been too finicky, difficult to navigate and has often meant hitting too many commands to do even simple things such as sending a text message.

Thankfully, the V600 has a nice, pared down and easy-to-navigate OS that has eliminated hassle and has made the devices enjoyable and easy to use. In fact, Motorola has made enormous strides in building a user community around its devices’ functionality and the ‘hellomoto’ user experience.

The V600 to my eyes is a consumer phone with all the equipment contained on a business phone. As well as standard office tools such as calendar, alarm clock, web browser and so on, the device features Bluetooth connectivity for connecting to hands-free kits and cameras. The device can also play the latest MP3 ringtones and polyphonic tones. The integrated camera and video camera are slightly hampered by a small screen, but function easily and clearly.

The device also features a tiny mixing desk for composing your own polyphonic ringtones to various baselines and rhythms. Another thing Motorola seems to have got right is its message editor, which speeds up predictive texting even further — good news if you want to try instant messaging over the device.

The V600 was to be used as a solution with a Bluetooth portable speaker. Volume wise the speaker is perfect and you could use it nicely as an in-car hands-free kit (it even comes with a charger to run off a car cigarette lighter).

Both devices worked well. The phone’s identification of a Bluetooth device nearby was quite swift. However, while everything was going well, I was asked to enter an access code, which I felt was wholly unnecessary and had me floundering to figure out the code.

For the first time using the devices I had to resort to the instruction manual. Thankfully, the code has to be entered only once as the two devices recognise each other thereafter.

This is the perfect stopgap for anyone who wants to enjoy hands-free mobile use in the car without also investing in a full car kit and indicates that Motorola has cracked Bluetooth. Expect an interesting range of devices to come flooding out over the coming years. Even without the Bluetooth speaker device, the V600 is a solid and reliable phone that is a joy to navigate and could be the device to enable Motorola to command an enviable position in the Irish consumer mobile space.

The V600 is priced from €199 with O2 and €399 SIM-free; the same device is available from Vodafone from €349 SIM-free. The Motorola HF800 Bluetooth portable wireless speaker is available for a recommended retail price of €99. All prices are inclusive of Vat.

By John Kennedy