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I got the phone about 8 hours ago and haven't put it down yet. I've thrown a battery of tests at it and it's passed all of them with flying colors. There have been a number of people that had very early versions that had some problems with both build quality and software, but those seem to be getting worked out. I have what appears to be the latest flash and flex available and so far I've only had one very minor glitch with Bluetooth.

Specs:
Mode: GSM800/900/1800/1900 with GPRS data
Weight: 4.4oz (125g)
Dimensions 3.46” x 1.85” x 0.91” (88mm x 47mm x 23mm)
Battery life: 6.5 hours talk / 175 hours standby
Phone book: 1000 on phone + 250 on SIM
Main Display: 172x220 pixel 65k color transflective display
Sub display: 96x32 pixel inverse LCD with blue backlight
Camera: VGA resolution with 4x digital zoom (still and video)
Memory: 5Mb onboard, shared
Bluetooth: Yes
USB: Yes
PC Sync: Yes (Outlook and Lotus Notes)
Email: POP3, SMTP, IMAP4
Picture ID: Yes
Ringtones: 24 chord polyphonic and MP3
Speakerphone: Yes
SyncML: Yes
Voice dial: 20 entries
Voice memo: Yes


Let me run down what I've done so far:

I have a v600 Hardware Version SUG3641BA
Flash: TRIPLETS_G_0B.09.2DR
Flex: GS9V600AWSTONA0F7-1.0.2.A.K.0.AQ.P.1.AM.0.3.1.0.D0C.P.X.I.AE

I started by measuring download speed on wapspeed.com and comparing with my old Nokia 3650. With the 3650 I was consistently getting 11.5~12kbps on 2k/8k/16k/32k tests. With the Motorola v600 I'm seeing 50kbps or better on 2k/4k/8k tests. Unfortunately the Motorola doesn't support pages larger than 9k so I can't run the 16k and 32k tests. Not really a big deal for me because I use my Palm Tungsten T|3 to browse the web.

Next test was RF, I got in my car and drove to a known cellular dead zone in Princeton NJ. If you live in this area you know that it is absolutely devoid of quality cell signal and it's famous on Howardforums for being a trouble spot. Well, the phone seamlessly switched to a Cingular GSM850 tower and didn't so much as hiccup during a call. Audio quality was very good and the person I was talking to said I sounded like I was on my office phone. I'll test the phone in my office tomorrow to see how it copes with RF interference. My office is also horrible for cellular performance. (more on that tomorrow)

After that I moved on to Bluetooth compatibility testing. I have a Jabra Freespeak 250, a PalmOne Tungsten T|3, and a Linksys USB Bluetooth dongle for my laptop. The v600 paired to the Freespeak on the first try and works flawlessly. My old Nokia took 8 tries to pair with the Freespeak and frequently lost it's connection. The v600 also paired with my laptop and worked seamlessly, allowing me to transfer files via FTP. The laptop also recognized the v600 as a voice gateway and dial up networking adapter, but I haven't been able to test that yet.

The only problem came when I tried to get the my Tungsten T|3 working with the v600. There isn't a phone profile for the T|3 yet so I had to follow a manual procedure to create a custom one so that the T|3 could use the phone for internet access. The Tungsten not recognizing the v600 correctly until I cycled the power on the phone complicated this procedure. After that is was a simple operation. Unfortunately, without a proper v600 driver for the T|3 SMS messaging doesn't work. I'm sure that will be solved as soon as PalmOne releases the proper drivers.

Overall, my first impression of this phone is quite good. The build quality and design are superb, and far better than my outgoing Nokia. The menus are clearly laid out and fairly intuitive, and the buttons and controls are very solid with a nice crisp feel and they have bright white backlighting. There is good tactile feedback from all of the buttons including the small buttons on the side of the phone for volume and voice controls. Some people complained about response times on button presses with early phones, but that appears to be resolved. The v600 I received doesn't have any lag or delay on menus or dialing and seem faster overall than the Nokia.

The screens are absolutely fantastic. The main display is a high res 172x220 pixel 65k transflective color screen and the outer display is an inverse monochrome LCD with blue backlighting. Both are quite easy to read in all lighting conditions and the outer display is easy to read even without backlighting. There are also three rings around the Motorola M logo on the outside that light up based on that the phone is doing, for instance, they glow blue when Bluetooth is active, red when a call is coming in and yellow when an SMS is received. The lighting is programmable as well. Colors and saturation are both very, very, good on the main display. I have to say the main display is one of the best I have ever seen on any cell phone.

There is a very usable speakerphone on the back that has very good volume and is easily twice as loud as the Nokia speaker phone making it a feature that I will probably use much more often now. And the v600 uses a standard 2.5mm miniplug for the wired headset (included) rather than some odd proprietary connector. The v600 is quite heavy for it's size, but not uncomfortable to use in the least. The balance when the phone is open is excellent. I am also really impressed with the overall size of the v600, it will easily fit in a pocket and doesn't seem bulky in the least.

The jury is out on battery life right now because it’s just too soon to tell. I have really been hammering on the battery today though with a full charge before I turned it on and then leaving Bluetooth on and making several voice and data calls. The battery status didn’t change until about an hour ago so it looks like battery life will be fairly decent.

Some other nice features are an external antenna jack, the charger that comes with the phone is a folding prong travel style charger, 4x digital zoom VGA resolution camera (pic below) with adjustable brightness and white balance, and interchangeable aluminum covers. As I sad, overall I am quite impressed with the phone and I think it would be a very solid purchase for anyone looking for an upgrade.

Pros:
Bluetooth
Quad band GSM
VGA zoom camera
Fantastic 65k color display
Replaceable metal covers
Good keypad layout
Compact size
Good quality speakerphone
External antenna jack
Standard headset jack

Cons:
No memory expansion capability
No infrared port
MP3 ring tones, but no MP3 player

Picture from the v600 camera:


Link to instructions on pairing the Tungsten T|3 with the v600:
http://discussion.brighthand.com/palmhandhelds/showthread.php?s=a8d99539cdb86fa3c13ff3c8d99ef632&threadid=51280

On a side note, I managed to get a deal on the phone because my contract was coming up and I was quite unhappy with my service. I was given an extremely aggressive price of $99 for the phone. That makes this one helluva deal in my book. :)
 

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Thanks for the write-up. I have been looking at this phone to replace my old v60c. I lke the fact that this phone will work with my T|3. Just need to wait for Verizon to carry it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The phone book is similar to other Motorolas and older Nokias where it displays one phone number per contact by default. However, you can change it to 'View: primary contacts' and it displays only one name with per contact with multiple phone numbers and email addresses.

AT&T's shitty service is a combination of things, really. Poor planning is really the bottom line though. In a nutshell, GSM service comes in two major flavors AT&T/Cingular GSM800/1900 and GSM900/1800 in the rest of the world. AT&T and Cingular decided to build their network overtop of their old existing TDMA network which caused some problems with bandwidth availability and FCC licenses. Alot of their recent network is GSM800 which many phones don't support because it's only used in North America. Also, areas like NYC were using GSM1900 on a network designed, physically, to support GSM800. Fortunately, AT&T (now coming under control of Cingular) is working hard to correct the network problems.

The v600 is a quad band GSM phone, so if there is a GSM signal available the phone will automatically switch to it. I have noticed my phone bouncing between Cingular and AT&T networks quite a bit over the past day. Unfortunately, I still have no signal in my office, but this is not surprising. The only phones I have seen function in my office are all Sprint phones.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Verizon is not getting the v600, they are getting the v710. The bluetooth profile will very likely be different for that phone.
 

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jwil said:
Verizon is not getting the v600, they are getting the v710. The bluetooth profile will very likely be different for that phone.
I saw that. The v710 looks nice, can take a 3 minute video clip, has an expansion card slot and plays MP3s. Don't know about the cost, maybe I'll need to take out a second mortgage to purchase this phone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
T-Mobile built their network from the ground up to be compatible with the rest of the world. That's a really nice thing about T-Mobile, if you get one of their phones you can be pretty much assured that it'll work anywhere but Japan.
 

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jwil said:
T-Mobile built their network from the ground up to be compatible with the rest of the world. That's a really nice thing about T-Mobile, if you get one of their phones you can be pretty much assured that it'll work anywhere but Japan.
Why? Whats up in Japan? I have 2 unlocked fones that I've used in the PI. Are the Japanese pre-Meiji Restoration in terms of GSM?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Japan's phone system, NTT DoCoMo, uses a proprietary system unique to Japan. I think there may be some extremely limited GSM coverage, but that may be gone now. The DoCoMo phone system is subsidised by the Japanese government, so I don't expect it to change anytime soon.
 

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Nice phone jwil !! Excellent write-up !!

I have the V400 and it has been good to me so far !!

:)
 

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Question: I have noticed that the flip hinge mechanism on the phone is not as crisp as on my T720. With the V600 open, I can sort of fling the phone (not very hard) and the cover closes - do you notice that?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yup, me too. I've also noticed that the keypad is putting super fine scratches on my screen. :mad:
 

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I thought my hinge mechanism was defective. That's good that you all have that problem too I guess. I thought I would have to get another hinge but seems like it would be hard to replace.

jwil, does your keypad stick up that high? I can clearly see a gap between the keypad and the screen with the phone closed. Seems like ebay is a good source for replacement parts - all from Hong Kong.
 
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