Motorola E1070 review: Chubby RAZR

David Polesný, 23 April 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Motorola E1070 is an attractive clamshell offering plenty of features and the characteristics of the Motorola RAZR model. However, it is thicker. On the other hand, it has conveniences like 3G support, a megapixel camera, a MP3 player and a memory card slot.

Key Features

  • Brilliant display
  • 3G and video calls support
  • MP3 player
  • Memory card slot

Main Disadvantages

  • Illogical menu
  • External display is hardly visible
  • Lower quality camera

Motorola E1070 is still a relatively unknown model of the famous American manufacturer. In fact, its trivial numeric indication kind of fades among sonorous models likes RAZR, SLVR, ROKR or PEBL. At the same time, in terms of functional equipment, the E1070 model is more of a 'smart' phone rather than a common mobile for the mass. Apparently the lack of a special name can be explained with the design of the phone, which is far too thick to be named after the RAZR.

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Motorola E1070

In any case, Motorola E1070 is no boring or ugly device. It is a clamshell of simple lines with a balanced combination of black covers and silver frame. It is not over-rounded. Its technical design is meant to attract male clients rather than female ones. The phone loses in appeal a little bit due to its entire body being made of plastic, but on the other hand this is expected to reduce its price.

In other words, Motorola E1070 has been designed for all those, who need a clamshell mobile with rich equipment, but are not willing to pay extra for design. By buying this phone you will get a multimedia device with 3G support, but do not expect it to catch people's eyes. It just won't. Experienced customers will definitely notice it, though.

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It is no trivial clamshell

The device we have tested cannot be considered a final version of the phone. In this review we are going to point out all potential flaws we observed in the phone, but some of them might be fixed in the final version of Motorola E1070. (The original of this review was published on Mobilmania.cz in Nov 2005).

Motorola E1070
The testing version of the phone is not the one that will be sold to end users

Mobile lout

This is quite a piece of a phone - this was my first impression of Motorola E1070. It looks pretty robust, even though its dimensions of 96 x 50 x 24 mm are only slightly higher than usual. Anyway, even if eyes may get mislead, hands would not. Motorola E1070 weighs 129 g.

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The phone is not as big as it seems at first sight

The front cover is black, with its top and bottom edge being in silver. The background plastic material of the front cover is matt, while the square area with a tiny display, a camera, and the manufacturer's logo is glossy and thus is susceptible to finger prints marks.

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Two types of plastic material on the front cover... • ...the glossy one is looking forward to your fingerprints  

The top part of the device is shorter than the bottom one. That is why there is no standard line of separation at its bottom edge. Instead, the top part goes into the bottom one, just like in RAZR V3. The entire bottom part is made of plastics. The phone's system connector is a classic miniUSB one and is located on the right side of Motorola E1070.

Right next to the system connector you will see an square button, which activates the camera application. The memory card slot is situated a bit lower. On the opposite side there is a standard two-way volume-control key and a tiny functional key called "Instant key", which can be assigned any function the user pleases. All side keys are comfortable and work seamlessly. What I am worried about is that they may be much too easy to press in a narrow space like one's pocket, for example.

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Camera release button and miniUSB connector • memory card slot is protected by a cap that can hardly be lost • control buttons on the left side of the handset 

The joint of Motorola E1070 is solid. It shows no play. Phone's both parts join softly, without aggressive sounds.

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When closed, the top part does not reach the bottom edge of the device

The rear cover is removable. Underneath, there is a lithium-ion battery with 1130 mAh capacity. It is said to provide enough energy for 290 hours on stand-by and 170 minutes of calls. So far I am quite impressed by the battery's durability as it has been three days since I last charged the phone and it's still on. The battery gets fully recharged in approximately two hours.

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Back cover and the battery hidden under it • loud speaker is located beneath the bottom end of the rear cover

Additional eye

Motorola E1070 has an extremely fine display, with resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and 262K colors. The display surface is smaller than the one of Motorola RAZR, so its high resolution grips even more. A single square cm accommodates more than 6000 pixels. Lines between the pixels are invisible for the human eye. The technology used is TFT, of course. The display is clear and perfectly visible even under strong daylight. Congratulations, Motorola, well done!

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Display is exceptionally fine and good • it is easy to read even under strong direct daylight

The external display is another story. It is passive, with a pretty low resolution of 96 x 80 pixels, and supports the visualization of 65K colors (unlike the older RAZR, which only supported 4K colors). The external display is pretty useful: it shows time, date and state icons, alerts about missed events. It is able to visualize caller's picture and name and can even be used as a mirror for self-portraits. While listening to music it shows the file name and active ringing profile. The most significant drawback of the outer display is its poor legibility once backlighting goes out. As a consequence, you may easily overlook an important missed call.

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External display is quite legible when backlighting is on • it remains more or less legible even when backlights are off, as long as a brighter surface reflects in it • in practice, however, the display is mostly dark and nearly unreadable

Let's now turn our attention back to the opened phone. In the right corner below the main display there is a tiny VGA camera, which mainly serves for video calls. Apparently, Motorola E1070 supports UMTS 3G networks, along with the three standard GSM bands. You may want to use this internal camera for taking self-portraits for MMS, too.

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The self-portrait camera is so tiny that it may easily remain unnoticed

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