Motorola ROKR E8 review
It might be the weekend, but the supply of interesting phones doesn’t end. I’ve played with the new Motorola E8 to my heart’s content and now am going to share my impressions.
Simply put, the phone is superb. Honestly, I haven’t seen such an impressive handset in a while, and it’s probably the first Motorola in a long time which I really wanted to get. As much as I didn’t like Z8, I loved the E8 – granted, it’s not without some reservations, but still.
Let’s start with the fact that this phone doesn’t have a conventional keyboard. It has a touch sensor tablet instead, with small knobs in place of the buttons so you can still feel them without looking. The touch sensors have force feedback: they vibrate when pressed, and it works great, giving you a good idea of what button you pressed exactly. There’s no mechanical movement: the panel is rigid and doesn’t bend at all when you press the keys.
The stylish navigational scroll at the top is called the Omega Wheel:
It’s a fun phone to play around with your friends; you give them the E8, let them use the keypad for a while, and look at their surprised faces when you turn the phone off and the keys “stop moving” – minutes ago, they could have sworn that the buttons moved mechanically, but that’s not the case. I won’t dig too deep in how that feeling is achieved, but the important thing is that it works, and it works great.
Turn the phone off, and the keyboard is gone:
The dynamic, morphing labels of the buttons deserve to be mentioned as well – depending on what you’re doing with the phone at the moment, the look and functions of the keys change completely. The first mode is the “ordinary” one (you can see English and Chinese symbols on the buttons since I tested a prototype). The second one is camera mode, and the third one is for music. All of the unneeded buttons are turned off, and only the essentials for that particular mode light up – an impressive and convenient solution. See the detailed photos below.
Keyboard of the Motorola ROKR E8 in the ordinary keypad mode:
Keyboard of the Motorola ROKR E8 in the camera mode…:
…and, the music mode:
Now a few words about the musical functions. It’s a first phone in a quite long time that can compare to my Sony A816. You don’t need to make any compromises with your ears – the sound is really high quality. Of course, there’s a 3.5 mm jack on the phone to connect your headphones, and it’s positioned pretty conveniently, too – on the upper side of the case. Somewhat weak output signal is a downside – in most cases the volume is enough, but I’d like to have a little backup, too. There’s 2 GB of built-in memory, plus you can connect a memory card; the phone worked fine with a 4GB microSDHC.
Side and back of the phone:
Now a little bit about the weak points of the E8. In my case, the phone was very laggy. I didn’t manage to do as much as write an SMS while listening to the music at the same time, and launching Java applications was pretty much out of the question. Perhaps the phone being a prototype is to blame – the RAZR2 had such problems in it’s time, too. Let’s see if this is fixed in the commercial version. I will say only this: a strong player has appeared among the music phones, one that can win the hearts of many users.