Motorola SLVR L9 review: Not much has changed
Who called and when?
Motorola SLVR L9 has a rather limited calls log but to most people it will serve their needs just fine. It records the last 10 received, dialed and missed calls - 10 per category that is. When browsing the log, you can switch between types of calls using the “•” and “#” keys. There are four folders – Dialed, Received, Missed and Recent calls. Data connections are recorded in the log too. You can see when you have a call or data connection (meaning GPRS or EDGE) and what did that cost you (if your operator supports that service, of course).
Messaging: does the job
Motorola SLVR L9 has the typical messaging menu as in all Motorola phones lately. All messages, SMS, MMS and EMS are stored in one Message Inbox, only the emails have a separate folder, called Email Msgs. Incoming messages are displayed on 6 lines. This is rather good, almost an entire message can be read on one screen.
The message editor counts the typed characters but does not alert you when you have passed the limit of 160 characters and the message will be divided in two or more messages. You realize this when you are about to send it, the phone pops up a bubble, telling you how many messages you are about to send.
The email application in L9 deserves applause. It supports the most used POP3 and SMTP protocols and handles attachments seamlessly. You can even set a maximum size of the email attachment to be more than 300KB – something that you don’t see often. Nothing but praises for the way the phone handles emails.
Multimedia: not the strongest part of the phone
Motorola have some phones with great file managers and picture gallery handling. L9 is just not one of them. Browsing through your pictures can really work on your nerves quite bad. Previewing the thumbnails takes forever to happen probably because the browser loads the whole image in smaller size. Other than that, the phone manages files quite fine, you can also switch between folders (Pictures, Sounds, Videos, Memory card) with the “•” and “#” keys. If it wasn’t for the very slow response, L9’s file manager would have been among the best.
When it comes to the audio and video player there are few words to say. When it comes to music, the music player handles it well; it can work in background mode and does not slow the phone more than it is already lagging. But if you want to watch a video, this is a completely different story. It takes a few seconds to open the file and then if you switch to fullscreen mode, even the video has some lag and really gets on your nerves.
The FM radio of the phone is quite good in fact. Once you plug in the cable for the headphones, which serves as an antenna, you can start the application from the dedicated button on the keypad. It supports RDS and can save stations so working with it is a real pleasure.
The 2 megapixel camera in Motorola SLVR L9 with 8x digital zoom is surprisingly weak and lacks a lot of options which are present in most nowadays camera phones. It has none of the usual night mode, panorama, frame shooting and burst shooting mode. Another strange thing is the decision to shoot still images in portrait mode but record video in landscape orientation. If the users want to shoot still images in landscape mode there is always the option to rotate the images to 90 degrees on your PC after transferring them to it. We recommend using lossless JPEG rotation as in our camera samples.
The quality of the pictures is below average for a 2 megapixel camera. Not a big surprise for a budget phone. We compared the photos to Motorola RIZR Z3 and the slider won easily. Motorola L9 captures less details and besides this shooting indoors was tricky. It seems that the shutter speed was too low and about half of the photos in the mall came out blurry (we are showing only the good ones in our samples).
A nice thing to see is the image editor in the phone. In order to edit the picture, though, you must resize it to 300 x 400 pixels resolution. When you have opened an image, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, blur or sharpen the image, rotate it or turn it into a mirror image. You can also put borders or apply different styles on the picture.
Motorola L9 captures video in CIF resolution, which is not bad at all, considering there are some more expensive phones which still shoot in QCIF resolution (4 times less pixels). Other than that and the different orientation of the view-finder, everything in the application is pretty much the same.