Product Review: Motorola music phone

30 Jun 2008

Style over substance or rock solid? We review Motorola’s new music phone.

You might already recognise Motorola’s latest music-centric phone, the Rockr E8, from Fergie’s music video ‘Clumsy’. This handset is as slick as the production values used in the video, which says a lot about the Rockr: it is all about image and style.

What I love about the design, apart from the slick, black plastic exterior, is that the keypad is one solid, touch-sensitive, seamlessly integrated part of the handset’s face with tiny raised bumps to denote individual keys.

Touching the buttons gives a slightly ‘squishy’ vibrational feedback so it feels tangible even though it’s a touch interface.

When the phone is switched on, the keypad, navigation keys, scroll wheel and buttons for music playback are all backlit, but when the phone is switched off you see nothing but a black exterior.

The keys’ icons change depending on what service you are using. So when you’re in video-camera mode, all of a sudden new icons for zooming, recording and displaying appear on the keypad.

Motorola calls this technology ModeShift and it is a clever way of customising the handset so it can be a dedicated music player one minute, multimedia player the next and then easily swing back into phone mode.

For storing your music collection, the phone has 2GB on board and can support up to 4GB external – not a bad substitution for a dedicated MP3 player then. It also supports lots of music formats: MP3, Midi, AAC, WMA and Wav included.

Like most phones coming onto the market now, all the connections are tucked away out of sight, giving it a more contained feel. The handset is also very lightweight and slim with a well-positioned headset connection at the top.

No surprise then that it won CNET’s Best of CES 2008 ‘People’s Voice Award’ for its looks and it seems like the perfect choice for trendy teenagers and music fans alike.

The Rockr E8 is available for free from the Carphone Warehouse with an O2 contract and also on contract at €99 from O2 stores nationwide.

Pros:Seriously slick-looking

Cons:Navigation can be hard to get to grips with

Price: €99 from O2 Stores

By Marie Boran