Motorola VU204
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Motorola VU204

The Motorola VU204 is great for texting given its user friendly and tactile keypad. It also has a good array of multimedia functions.

The Motorola VU204 is a basic camera with a minimalistic design and features, but its good construction and user friendly controls make up for its lack of features. This phone appeals to owners who simply need a phone for basic voice call and texting.

Design

A flip flop phone, the Motorola VU204 may look common but its strengths lie on its user friendliness and tough construction. Users will appreciate the clean lines of the phone, with a soft touch material making it soft and easy to hold. It has dimensions of 3.5 inches length, 2.1 inches in width and .76 inch in thickness. It weighs 3.4 ounces which pretty much means it won’t bother its users when kept in pocket pants.

The external display has dimensions of 1.05 inches and capable of showing images at a resolution of 96x80 pixels. The VU204’s screen is smaller compared to other phones, but it is in full color and displays the essential information like batter life, date, time, and signal strength. The display also dabbles as a viewfinder as it is located below the camera lens.

The left side of the phone features the volume control, speakerphone control, and a slot for mini USB where the USB cable and charger can be connected. The other spine features a button for voice dialing and a jack for 2.5mm headset.

User Interface

The most common complaint about the VU204’s user interface is the small size of the main screen. This can be a problem for those who don’t vision problems, although the phone is capable of displaying vibrant and bright text and graphics. The phone however allows changing the size of font, and adjusting brightness and backlighting settings.

One of the main strengths of the VU204 is its user friendly navigation controls. Users will love the spacious arrangement of the keypad, and it is easy to text messages or input phone numbers as the keys feature a tactile feel.

Motorola made sure that everything that users need would be within a touch of button. As such, there is a toggle key and an OK button located in the middle. There is a button dedicated for quick access to the camera, as well as a clear key, and the usual buttons for Talk and End/power. The toggle key also provides shortcuts to various functions of which the user can pre-set. The numeric keypad also gets high scores for its good design, and the large buttons make it easy to text and dial. This makes the VU204 easy to operate even when texting or calling in dim situations.

Features

The VU204 isn’t loaded in features, which is not surprising given its modest pricing. Its address book is capable of storing about 1,000 entries. Contacts can be organized into caller groups and customized with caller ringtones and photos. A separate phone book meanwhile allows users to designate three numbers which can be contacted in case of emergency. Apart from the address book, the VU204 features basic functions like calculator, vibrate mode, call recording, alarm clock, calendar, time watch, speakerphone and notepad.

More advanced features include a voice recorder and voice dialing. Users can access their email through its Web-based POP3 email function and find their way through its integrated GPS service. There’s also Bluetooth compatibility in this phone although the lack of a stereo profile can turn off audiophiles. Bluetooth is mainly used for transferring of files to and from the device.

The phone’s VGA camera is capable of taking pictures in three resolutions with a maximum of 640x480 pixels. The camera comes with a self-timer and controls for white balance and brightness. Users can also choose from three color effects, nine frames and four shutter sounds. The camera cannot record video clips and has no flash. The VU204 comes with a decent internal memory of 26MB.

Customization is possible with the phone as wallpapers, clock formats, tones and display themes can be personalized. There is no integrated game available in the phone, however, although users can download them from the Internet.

Performance

The VU204’s camera performs decently with good quality images. The lack of a flash however prevents it from taking pictures during dim situations. When taking pictures under sufficient lighting, the camera phone however can churn out images with natural looking colors.

The phone delivers strong signal, loud and clear audio when making voice calls. Calls made using the speakerphone were also clear and loud, despite the fact that the speaker is placed at the back of the device. Calls made using the Bluetooth headset were also OK.

The VU204’s battery can last up to 4 hours of talktime and up to 19 days while on standby.

Verdict

Overall, the VU204 is one great bargain from Motorola. The small screen is a major disappointment but it more than makes up for its user friendly interface and good design.

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