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I should start by saying that a lot of my opinion is based on a comparison with a newer, similarly basic, Samsung mobile phone that I have recently bought to communicate with my eldest daughter on a different network.
My old phone is really still my current one. I bought it in May 2006, and the Orange shop salesman saw us coming - I think it was already old stock even then. However, although he may have been relieved to shift the box out of the store cupboard, I have been very impressed with this simple phone's reliability and performance over the four years that I've had it.
First of all though it's the shape, not just visually but its feel, that I love. It's a clam shell phone, and when I first had it a friend mistook it for a Pebl, but it's not quite that streamlined, and I think it's slightly bigger. Mine is glossy black, and shows virtually no wear, despite it having lived in my pocket or bag ever since I got it. The only discernible wear is around the camera lens, where a little of the silver has worn off.
The shape of the phone when folded shut is very tactile, and makes a good substitute for a stress ball. Being a clam, it has very little wear to the screen. I have recently bought a slide phone, and had to go out straight away and buy it a sock as the screen was scratched within about 5 minutes. I'm not used to these 'technological advances'. My clam is protected from scratches, and from me inadvertently dialling someone from the depths of my handbag. This for me is a huge plus for this type of design.
As far as features go, this is pretty basic. It does proper voice calling, and has a speaker-phone option very plainly offered on-screen during calls. I've only used this once or twice but it worked very well. Texting is my favourite, specially following my recent experiences with my new phone . My Moto has intuitive predictive text., which is hugely appreciated. It does occasionally drop the odd clanger, but I can trust it to come up with words that I have used myself, not a library of someone else's idea of "what people today will want to text". There is no 'add to library' option as it's just not needed. It seems to automatically store words that I have spelt out, and over the years it's built up a pretty good personalised dictionary. For this reason alone I've realised that it's worth it's weight in gold, as my other phone wants every single word adding to the library, and I've given up on predictive text on it altogether and gone back to steam-powered letter-by-letter.
The camera is a very basic VGA, but it has a larger diameter lens than my new one, which explains why despite it being in theory the same size and resolution, the pictures that I've taken with my Moto are better. By posh camera phone standards they're laughable, but I'd say that they compare pretty well with the old 110 film format, for anyone that can remember those little cheap cameras, with the thin cartridges of incredibly narrow film inside. The photos always printed up pretty grainily, and that's more or less what you get here.
There are games installed on it, the only one that we've used is HungryFish which my youngest daughter will sit & fiddle with for ages if I let her. There is also a collection of wallpapers, although they're a bit odd, notably the sea photo that has a sloping horizon - presumably it's aimed at waterskiers? The variety of ringtones is by now quite old-fashioned but fun, it hasn't any concept of what a polyphone or mp3 sounds like, and has no slot for a memory card.
It has no Bluetooth, and no USB cable, although there is a port on the phone to plug one in. I've never got hold of one yet, as the one I got which claimed to match the phone didn't fit it, so I called time on that. Any photos that you take, if you want to save them, have to be inventively transferred to your storage of choice. My tried and trusted method has been to send them to my email address, which works roughly 7 times out of 10, better if I only send one in a day.
It did used to manage a rudimentary attempt at going online, but it was very slow to load, and for the most part had such a small amount of memory that it couldn't display the pages!
The original battery lasted ages, I only had to replace it earlier this year when the charge just wouldn't keep up anymore. On the whole, for the use that it has, it's not bad per charge, but with regular long phone calls it does go down pretty fast. As you may guess from the fact that I have two very basic phones, I don't do a lot other than texting and voice calls, so it doesn't get a hammering from extra-messaging activities.
The basic menu is pretty straightforward, with all of the functions and settings that you're likely to need at your fingertips, rather than them being buried somewhere in an obscure place in the menu (Samsung I'm looking at you). The keys are backlit during use with a rather lovely neon blue.
It has been an ideal phone for me, it's done everything that I originally bought it for, which was basically to function as an emergency phone, and for texting. The camera, although poor, is a bonus and has actually been able to capture some special images which I still value for sentimental reasons. Its therapeutic stress-pebble quality has been much appreciated too, as has its durability, as it's been dropped many times, with the most damage it's ever sustained being that the battery cover came off when it hit the ground at a particularly tricky angle.
Of course I'm aware that this phone is long gone in terms of availability, but I wanted to post an appreciation of the old thing as it's still going strong!