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The Motorola A1000 is a wonderful but frustrating phone all rolled into one.
You may notice from the picture that there are no numeric keys - well this is not one of those phones with the keys hidden - it just doesn't have any (they're on-screen)
My A1000 is on Contract with 3 and the web access and mobile television is outstanding. You will not believe the quality of the picture and sound as you watch over 15 tv channels live (including BBC & ITV)
Using the phone as....a phone is easy to do, an on-screen keypad appears and it is very responsive as you touch type the required phone number or navigate to your contacts.
The video playback quality is superb but the Camera is pretty poor by todays standards as it is only just over 1 Mega Pixel.
The one area where this phone lets me down is the texting. Texting is done using the stylus and it has predictive text which lends to writing pretty fast messages using the on-screen keyboard. Unfortunately I can only manage to write texts whilst sitting or standing still. No more using your thumb to fire a quick text whilst walking down the street. The keyboard is pretty small so you have to be accurate with your stylus in order to text
All in all a good phone and worth a look at, only let down by needing to be still to text
I first came across this mobile phone when I saw that a friend of mine had it. For some reason initially I thought it was a games console or a personal organiser or GPS system of some sort. Intrigued I asked him what it was and he explained. I got a brief demonstration of the phones features and decided that I would get one of my own.
The Motorola A1000 was released at the end of 2004 and I think it was initially designed as a device which would be more suitable for a businessman who is mobile and not office based than the general public. However I think in reality it actually appealed a lot to normal people, students, gadget people and just the general old Joe off the street.
The A1000 was released as the phone which has everything. Quite simply this gives the impression that the A1000 is one of the greatest releases made in telecommunications history. Although the phone is generally very good and acceptable in most of its functions, like most things it does have its downsides.
I suppose one of the nice things about the phone is its ability to receive email. I can then understand that this would be something that would support a businessman in his work no end. Much like the blackberry's of today the A1000 was intended to increase productivity and make peoples lives easier. Email would be one of my first niggles. I would have liked to receive my email on my phone but I seemed unable to set it up on the complicated Symbian OS installed on the phone. Im not sure if that was just me but I consider myself quite an expert with computers and the like so I have to admit that I was quite astonished to find such difficulties in setting up the email side of the phone. Feeling like a ninny, I proceeded in calling 3's customer services and unfortunately they too didnt seem to know how to set it all up. Unfortunately that is the major sad story with my A1000. From the time I got it, to the time I got rid of it, I never had my email set up as I should have done.
The second main feature that was released with the A1000 was the ability to hold conference calling and two way videoconferencing. I didnt have the pleasure of having a conference call on my A1000, but I did have the benefit of using the video call function. This was perfectly acceptable, easy to use and the image was fairly sharp. The only downside to the video calling function was the expense. I cannot remember now exactly how much the video calls cost me but I believe it was in the region of 50p per minute which if you consider a 20 minute video call would cost you £10 wa quite expensive.
Nevertheless expense was not down to the phone itself, rather the network provider.
The A1000 includes tri band functionality enabling you to stay connected as you travel the world and the bluetooth function on the handset is very fast and reliable. This promotes the speedy transfer of data between handsets or to a laptop or desktop computer in the office. On the subject of connectivity. The phone is supplied with all the necessary software and cables to enable you to connect the phone directly to your laptop or desktop pc and upload or download files between devices. This is quick and easy to install, and the data transfer speed when connected via USB is very fast.
The phone includes 24mb of on board memory which is fantastic and much larger than many other phones incorporate. This enables you to store vast quantities of texts and emails, pictures and videos and music on the phone. Included in the phone is an expansion socket so that you can plug in extended flash memory. Not a function that I ever used but if you handle large amounts of data it could be something that is very useful to you.
With such memory and operating power it is not surprising that the gaming capabilities on the phone are enormous. The phone supports java gaming and although I am not a big fan of games on mobile phones I must say I was impressed by the one game that I did play on there. This was a racing game and it was not unlike something you may have found on the playstation, only on a smaller scale. The graphics were superb and the game was exhilarating and compelling. THe only downide was the sound, although this was more to do with the game than the phone itself.
A handy feature of the A1000 is the internet browser incorporated into the handset. This has full HTML functionality and enables you to surf the net when you are away from the office, on the train, bus anywhere where there is a full 3G network available. Obviously the net is a little more limited than it would be on a desktop computer due to the dramatic size difference in the screens but generally I found being able to surf the net very useful. I guess again I have a niggle here in that the speed of loading web pages is painfully slow from time to time and sometimes you even had time to go and make a cup of tea between pages loading. Whether this is a handset issue or a network issue I am not sure but nevertheless it did decrease the enjoyment of such a novelty feature (as it was at the time).
The Motorola A1000 incorporates a 1.2 mega-pixel camera which is great for taking pictures. The software on the phone includes a magnificent image browsing section where you can view all your pictures in thumbnail view and then press on them to select them and bring them up larger on screen. The camera on the A1000 is definitely one of the best I have encountered on a mobile device and the images are very crisp and sharp. The phone incorporates a number of options for changing the image settings for different situations such as zoom, brightness, contrast as well as features such as indoor lighting, outdoor lighting, night mode etc. As well as the basic functions the camera on the A1000 can also be used as a fantastic video camera. With the phone having a substantial memory it is possible to record some fairly lengthy video clips which are much longer than most phones will allow. Again, as with the general picture functionality I would say that the video camera is one of the best I have seen on a mobile phone and I spent many hours videoing moments that I wanted to keep. These videos and pictures can then be uploaded onto your computer for safe keeping.
When I buy a new mobile phone one of the main things that I look for is its sound capability. I am a big fan of sound on a mobile phone, enjoying having ringtones that actually sound fabulous and not tinny or like something that a child played on the xylophone. The sound features incorporated on the A1000 were definitely one of the main selling points for me. The phone incorporates two polyphonic speakers which transformed the sound generally available in late 2004 on other mobiles. The sound quality is excellent and the volume goes up to a pretty substantial level enabling you to hear the phone ringing all over the house if you are deaf. Unfortunately a lot of phones dont have this level of volume and hence some ringtones can be very hard to hear. This wasnt a problem on the A1000. Of course the sound is important when considering voice and video calls as well as just listening to music and ringtones. THe sound on video and voice calls is clear and crisp and it is easy to understand the person who you are speaking to. The Motorola A1000 doubles up as a music player and the large memory enables you to store a large number of music files on the handset which all play with extreme sound power. All you need to do is plug in a set or earphones and you have your own MP3 player whilst on the move! Unfortunately this does tend to run the battery down very quickly.
The display is brilliant. Full colour and fantastic resolution. It is easy to distinguish between different colours and images and anything else you view on screen is crisp and clear. This is especially important when reading text messages for example.
Included with the phone is a little stylus that is used for pressing the buttons on the touch screen display. The system is divided into a number of tabs at the top of the screen. One of these is efectively a virtual telephone number pad for making calls. This is self explanatory and easy to use as the buttons are fairly large. However when it comes to writing a text message or similar it can be quite difficult if you are not used to it. The screen then displays a miniature keyboard which you use to write the body of your message. THe bad thing is that the letters are tiny. If you have trouble with your eyes or you wear glasses for example I could see that this might cause a problem for some users.
Amazingly the A1000 lets you multi task. You can make a phone call or video call at the same time that you are surfing the internet simply by flicking between functions. It also comes with two lines so that you always know if there is an incoming call whilst you are on the phone and it is also possible to answer both calls and switch between them. Although when I tried this I ended up saying the wrong things to the wrong people.
The Motorola A1000 includes bluetooth technology which as well as enabling you to connect to other devices and computers to transfer data, you are able to connect a bluetooth headset to the phone so that you can talk with your hands free, such as whilst driving or if you use the phone a lot.
One major disappointment of the phone was the fact that it seemed to regularly reboot itself. This was not isolated with my phone as checking with my friend confirmed that he too had had a similar problem. Although scarily he said that he lost everything in the phones memory when it happened to him. Luckily for me I never lost the phones memory which is good but still it is not something you expect from an expensive phone from a leading mobile phone manufacturer.
Battery power was impressive when I first got the phone with the battery lasting a few days between each charge, this was something surprising to me considering the size of the screen and the power this must absorb. Unfortunately as time went on I had to charge the phone every single day (after about a year). And although this wasnt a hassle it did mean that if I spent a couple of hours on the phone whilst I was out the battery would be flat before I got home and this sometimes could be a nuisance when I wanted to make a phone call or send a text message.
Summary Of Features
Compact Tablet / PDA Form Factor
WCDMA 2100 MHz, GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900 MHz functionality for global use
208 x320 TFT (65K) Color display
1.2 Mega-pixel & VGA integrated camera (video record / Image capture with 4X digital zoom)
2 Way video conferencing (Point to Point Video)
Multimedia: Streaming, Capture & Playback (MP3, MPEG4)
Messaging: SMS, MMS, E-mail (IMAP4, POP3)
Full HTML Browser with Small Screen Rendering
Picsel Document Viewer (Supporting Microsoft Word®, Microsoft Excel®, Microsoft PowerPoint®, Adobe
PIM Application (Calendar, Contacts, Notes)
Synchronization: SyncML (OTA), Desktop PC Sync
24MB of User Memory /Supports Removable Memory (Triflash-R)
Integrated USB, Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
A-GPS support for Location Services
Virtual Private Networks Support (User installable)
Symbian 7.0 Operating System
J2ME (MIDP 2.0 + APIs)
Download pictures, video, audio, ringtones, wallpaper, and applications
Companion products (Stereo headsets, Bluetooth® headset, Bluetooth® car kits, and many more items)
In summary I would definitely recommend this phone to anyone who likes gadgets or even if they just like the look of it. It is certainly a nice experience owning a phone with a touch screen display and it is an attractive piece of kit to be carrying around with you.
PLEASE NOTE: Originally published on Ciao by me, TheHairyGodmother
THIS MUST BE ONE OF THE TOP CEL PHONES IN FUNCIONS, I ALREADY WON MANY PHONES BUT THIS ONE IS A WINNER, USUALY I DONT LIKE THE SOFTWARE OF MOTOROLA, BUT I FOUND THE SYMBIOS SOFTWARE OF THE A1000, NEAR TO PERFECT, THERES EVERYTHING THERE AND YOU CAN PUT MORE AND MORE, MINE WAS FREE TO ALL NETWORKS SO THAT MEANS THAT I CAN USE ALL OVER THE WORLD, THE MENUS ARE EXCELLENT, AND CONFIGURABLE, THE DESIGN I CLEAVER AND THE ONLY BAD POINT IS THAT IS A LITLE HEAVY, BUT YOU GET USED, THE PHONE AS A GOOD CONSTRUCTION BECAUSE MINE GOT FIRE WAY ON THE GROUND AND IS PERFECT, THE SCREEN IS PROTECT AND THE PEN IS WELL HIDE, AS FOR BATERY LIVE, I COULD SAY ITS VERY GOOD FOR A BIG SCREEN LIKE THIS ONE, ANOTHER MUST IN THIS PHONE IS THE MULTIMEDIA FUNCTIONS, I USE GOING TO WORK THIS PHONE LIKE A WALKMAN, BECAUSE OF THE SLOT OF MEMORY YOU CAN HAVE A CARD FOR MP3 ANOTHER FOR GAMES AND LETS SAY ANOTHER FOR GPRS SOFWARE, YES THIS PHONE CAN EVEN BE TURNED TO A GPRS NAVIGATION SYSTEM, AND IT WORKS WELL, IT HAVE ALL THE COMS YOU CAN GET EXCEPT THE INFRARED, BUT WHO NEEDS INFRARED WHEN YOU HAVE BLUETHOUT OR WIFI!, THIS IS A PHONE FOR BUSINES MAN, AND BIG BOYS, BECAUSE OF IS POWER NOT JUST TO PHONE BUT TO TAKE THE OFFICE WITH YOU.
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