Motorola L6 review: Affordable RAZR bar

Ivo Mareček, 02 February 2006. Read the original review at
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As I have already mentioned while describing the keypad construction, one of the phone's big weaknesses is the software speed. The slow reactions become most evident exactly at faster message writing. The letters are getting slow when writing and in case you are not pretty familiar with the dictionary or the number of presses of a given key, you'll have to put on considerable efforts to write faster.

There are six lines available for writing and reading text messages. Motorola L6 includes a predictive text writing application, the iTap Dictionary. The dictionary can be turned off.

Selecting message type • SMS test • MMS test • inserting an object

The phone supports long text messages, of course. A message may contain maximum 3 parts, consequently 450 characters. While the written characters are counted down in the right upper corner, you have to figure out how many parts you have written by yourself. I have to mention the delivery reports receipt. Although Motorola L6 supports delivery reports, they are turned off by default, so you'll have to turn them on manually at every outgoing SMS or MMS. An automatic delivery report can not be activated even in the phone's settings.

The MMS editor seems to be relatively simple. At closer examination you will find out that it supports all standard elements for creating MMS. It successfully inserts not only text and pictures, but sound and video records as well. There is no email in this model.

A little photographer

The lens of the integrated VGA camera is mounted in the upper part of the back cover. This time you'll be looking for a self-portrait mirror or flashing diodes without success. There is a border after the lens circle, on which can be found more detailed information about the camera. The maximum picture resolution is 640 x 480 pixels (0.31 megapixel). In addition you may use a 4x digital zoom. The zoom, of course, produces only photo "crops".

Motorola L6 Motorola L6 Motorola L6
Camera launch button • lens details

The integrated camera can be used maximum at multimedia messages creation. The resolution of 640 x 480 pixels is too insufficient for common photography. Moreover, the pictures have very bad quality. If you look carefully at them, you'll find out that the margins, especially the right one, are blurred. In addition, it appears to me that on most of the pictures, the middle part is kind of reddish.

Apart from the zoom option and the manual setting of the exposure, the camera menu also proposes an option for using some special photo effects. So, the pictures can be viewed in, let's say, white-color combination, in sepia tones and others. Motorola L6 can also record short videos. In this case you may use the same visual effects. Video records are stored in 3GP format.

Dealing with the photos • video settingso camera interface • video interface

There is no data cable supplied in the box, that's why you have to make it with the wireless transfer via Bluetooth. Happily, sending files to PC is functioning without any problems trough the Copy function in the menu. I have faced small issues while using the original Bluetooth drivers for Windows XP.

Sample pictures, taken by the built-in camera

Not enough memory

The phone supports ringtones in MP3 format. What is the situation with listening to music? You can't use the phone as a MP3 player, because of the non expandable memory size of 10.6 MB. Moreover, there are no basic functions, such as playlists creation or volume control. Otherwise, Motorola L6 can deal with basic ID3 tags. The absence of the option to use the phone as a MP3 player is a pity, because the music reproduction through the built-in speakers is very good.

The built-in calendar is very interesting. A month's timetable is chosen as a starting image in the calendar. There is an option to switch to a weekly or daily plan for a detailed view. You may modify the initial working hours in a way which suits best to your daily regime. An interesting function is the option to print your monthly or weekly timetable directly via Bluetooth.

A weekly view • a monthly view • event/ task details • a daily view

The alarm clock application allows you to set several specific times, independent one from another. You may assign a separate ringtone to every set alarm clock. Ringing volume and a short notice definition are also available. There is also a simple calculator, combined with a currency converter, among the other organiser functions.

The manufacturer has added two Java games for entertainment. The first one is a variation of the famous computer game Worms. The second one takes you into a space gunfight. A Multimedia Album application, dealing with the stored in the phone multimedia files, is pre-installed as a bonus.

Alarm clock settings • calculator • screenshots of the built-in games

Just before the Motorola L6 release, it was widely speculated about the EDGE technology as a standard part of the phone's equipment. Finally, "only" GPRS class 10 is available. You may connect the phone to a computer either via Bluetooth or via serial cable. This one however is not a part of the sales package, so you have to buy it separately.

It won't daze, it won't amaze

Motorola L6 won't be a market hit for sure. But it will find its users anyway. These, however, would be rather people, for whom the mobile phone serves mainly for calling and who want to "break free" from the stereotype of a stylish phone with reasonably above standard features. Another attractive aspect is certainly its price.

Sony Ericsson K700 Panasonic X700

Strong competitors of the Motorola L6 in this price range will be mainly Sony Ericsson K700 and Panasonic X700. Sony Ericsson could gain the users' hearts by its traditionally excellent menu, the sufficient memory capacity and the built-in radio. As for the Panasonic, contrary - due to the support of the miniSD memory cards and the Symbian S60 OS.

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