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Motorola SLVR L7 Review

Last week, I bought a Motorola SLVR L7 from a guy on eBay. It's basically like the RAZR, but it's the candy bar style of phone instead of a flip phone. So far, I'm liking it. It's not that I didn't like my iMate Jasjar, but there are some obvious advantages that the SLVR has over it. For one, it's an insane amount smaller and lighter. It also has an almost completely metal body, which I'm sure adds to the weight, but makes it feel very sturdy in your hand. The Jasjar has WAY more processing power, and a much bigger screen, but after carrying it around in my pocket for more than a year, I really started to yearn for something that wouldn't weigh my pants down and clunk against my leg when I took every step. (Not that I don't have that problem already...rimshot!)

The SLVR is just a smidge over a centimeter thick, and not very much taller than a RAZR when it's closed. You can honestly hardly even tell it's in your pocket. The things that drew me to the SLVR/RAZR over other phones was not only this form factor, but also the fact that its connection for data and charging was not some esoteric $80 cable that my older Nokia phone required, but a standard mini-USB cable.

Given that the phone has a standard USB jack in the side of it, I can plug it into my computer, and automatically have my contacts synchronized to it...I didn't have to re-type in a single one. I can also easily get the photos onto my computer to post via flickr or anywhere I choose. I really pity most people that have to use their data plans to send themselves photos through email or some other such kludge. The camera isn't really that great; it only takes 640x480 images. Obviously camera-phones don't replace real digital cameras unless you really don't care about your photos.

Contacts on Motorola phones took a little bit of getting used to for somebody who's only used Nokia phones up until now. Nokia phones' contacts were grouped by the contact name, whereas the Motorola doesn't seem to group contacts at all by default. I managed to get this worked out, but it wasn't as intuitive as I would have thought.

I'm sure some of you are yelling at the screen that I should have just read the manual. Well, that's where you'd be correct. However, I did read the useless, waste-of-pulp, craptastic, bundle of pages that sullies the name of manuals everywhere and it has not much more than a diagram labeling the buttons. Fortunately there are many, many people who use the RAZR, which uses the same software as the SLVR, and one of them was able to tell me what I needed to do. It's not like it would have made or broken the phone for me, but it's nice that I can make it do what I want.

For all you crazy kids who like your ring tones, it's easy to add them to the SLVR. Just like you can drag all your photos off of the phone, you can drag MP3s onto it. I've managed to add a separate ring tone to each person who I would normally call or would call me. There's only about 6 megs of space on the phone, so I made them 15 seconds or less and encoded them at 48 kbps and 22 kHz. When played on the phone, there's no noticeable loss in quality, because that's about as good as the speaker is anyway.

That's all I have to say about it after a week of using the phone. It's actually more remarkable that I don't have more annoyances to report. That's something in itself. I guess that means it's pretty good :)

Originally posted on Tuesday, 2006-10-17 at 00:25:16.