Motorola V525 : 03/12/2004
By: Nick V.
The V525 seems to be inspired by the other phones Motorola has released in the past. It follows the clamshell design, the same rounded off edges, and the same backwards send and end buttons on the keypad! Needless to say, if you have had a Motorola phone in the past, you will have no trouble adjusting to this model. The phone has an external camera (VGA resolution – more about that later), bluetooth, speakerphone, 65k color screen, and is quad-band GSM (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900).
The phone itself is approximately 115g with battery, which is only slightly heavier than the T720i (blegh!) that I had before. The size is also about the same as the T720i. I was actually surprised that this phone is not any thicker than the T720, and only slightly longer (the antenna is also bigger). Overall the phone is very nicely sized, rather rugged, fits well in the hand, and the keypad is easy to use (even though there is a “trough” where the 2-5-8 buttons are).
Battery life on the phone also appears to be acceptable. The phone will last about 36 hours with bluetooth enabled constantly, and moderate phone use. Of course, the battery life with vary depending on your signal strength, but I have found this phone has very good reception in low-signal areas in which other phones might drop calls.
In my opinion, the sound quality of the phone is very good. Calls are clear, and I have yet to encounter echo in my conversations.
The phone also has 5MB of storage space for ring tones, pictures, and e-mail attachments.
The first thing people tend to notice on this phone is how brilliant the screen is on the phone. The colors are vibrant and the displayed images are very sharp. Another big plus is the external OLED screen. I was very surprised at how easy it is to read in low light without having to backlight the screen. The external screen displayed the Time in default, as well as signal strength, GPRS status, and battery life.
As a caveat, I must note that this phone is flashed with the Motorola V600 code, so there may be differences in the original V525 code that I cannot comment on. The OS is, like the body, more of the same from Motorola. The phone book is still the same abomination it has been in the past (multiple listings for one person, rather than a hierarchical view). One noticeable difference is that the OS is much faster in responding to commands. On the T720, the phone book would delay when entering a letter on the keypad to jump to a name, whereas the V525 reacts instantly to the request.
The OS itself also seems to be pretty stable. The only possible problem I have noticed so far is that bluetooth may need to be bounced every so often (more on that in the bluetooth section).
One of my requirements for a new phone was that it have bluetooth, and this phone has gone above and beyond my expectations in this regard. I use this phone’s bluetooth with my HP iPAQ 4150 to access the internet and to upload/download files between devices. The iPAQ and phone immediately recognized each other without the need to configure obscure settings. The phone offers two services to the PDA: 1) File Transfer, and 2) Bluetooth modem.
My experimentation, for the most part, has involved the bluetooth modem feature. After figuring out all the configuration information for T-Mobile (I have included the configuration information at the end of the review), I was online and cruising. The average speed is approximately 30Kbps (with peaks around 42Kbps) as measured by www.2wire.com. The connection is also relatively stable (I have yet to be kicked off, even while riding the commuter train).
Although I have not had the chance to try out a bluetooth headset, I can only imagine that it would work to perfection with minimal setup.
The speakerphone on this model is very good. I used it for a 20 minutes conversation and I was even told that the person on the other end could almost hear me better on speaker phone than when I was using the phone normally. The sound from the speaker is good and clear (as speakerphones go). The microphone reception is also good (no need to shout!). My only objection to the speakerphone is that you can only turn it on once the call is connected, so you cannot dial a number with speakerphone enabled and put the phone down. Instead, you need to wait until the person picks up the phone and then you can turn on the feature. There is also no echo for the person on the other end of the call, as some might experience on their speakerphones.
The camera on the phone is advertised as a VGA camera (640x480). The pictures do come out in VGA, although slightly grainy. On the whole, the camera is very functional and the pictures actually come out pretty well. The phone allows you to adjust the brightness, and zoom the image when you are in camera mode. You can also set the F-stop and other settings in the menu options of the phone. The phone has a small mirror on the front so you can do self-portraits with the phone. I have found the mirror to be relatively accurate in terms of what the picture will look like on the phone. The phone has a button on the side that will control the camera to allow for easy operation of the camera if you want to be in the picture.
The phone has a built-in POP3 and IMAP client that will connect via GPRS to your mail server and sync your messages. You can set the phone to automatically poll your e-mail and notify you when you have a new message. You can also compose e-mail messages and send them via your SMTP server (a better way than paying for MMS messages). The e-mail feature works very well.
This phone has met all of my expectations. My requirements were for a phone that I could connect to via my PDA for internet connectivity, speakerphone, and clamshell design. The internet connectivity provided by T-Mobile unlimited GPRS Internet works very well and keeps me connected whenever I need to be. The speakerphone is also very good and I will be sure to make use of it in the future.
The only complaint I can have about the phone is that it is still the same old Motorola phone book. If Motorola could only fix this problem, I would give the phone a 9/10, but because they cannot fix something simple, I will give the phone a final score of 8.5/10.
Cell Phone configuration for T-mobile services on V525 (V600 code):
Configure at your own risk.
Go to Menu -> WebAccess -> Web Sessions -> New Entry:
Port 1: 9201
Domain 1: <blank>
Service Type 1: WAP
DNS 1: 000.000.000.000
DNS 2: 000.000.000.000
Timeout: 15 Minutes
CSD No. 1: <your t-mobile phone number>
User Name 1: wap
Password 1: wap
Speed (bps): 9600
Line Type 1: ISDN
GPRS APN: wap.voicestream.com
(all other settings unaffected)
Go to Menu -> Messages -> Settings -> Message Setup
Service Center No.: +12063130004
E-mail gateway: 500
Use GPRS: No
-> MMS Message Setup
Service Name: T-zones MMS
Server Name: http://126.96.36.199/servlets/mms
iPAQ settings in PocketPC 2003 to dialup to t-mobile GPRS via bluetooth:
1) Establish a bluetooth link to your phone via bluetooth manager
2) Create a new dialup connection
a. Select Modem -> Bluetooth Dialup Modem
b. Number to be dialed: *99#
c. Leave all username, password, and domain fields blank (including when prompted during dialing process – just hit OK)
d. Select Advanced:
i. Baud rate: 57600 (I have not tried setting it to 115kbps)
ii. Dial String: +CGDCONT=1,IP,internet2.voicestream.com
iii. Do not wait for dial tone before dialing
iv. Cancel if not connected in 120 sec.
v. All other settings left as default
With these settings, all you should have to do is enable bluetooth on your phone and pda, click on the connectivity icon on the toolbar, and select the connection you created. Good luck!
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