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Motorola EM330 Review

Motorola has dubbed the EM330 as being a ‘stylish and affordable clamshell’.
30/03/2010

Motorola has dubbed the EM330 as being a ‘stylish and affordable clamshell’. Ever seen a stylish-looking clamshell? It’s definitely debatable with the EM330’s black and gunmetal grey handset, which doesn’t stand out amongst the competition. However, this clamshell does have rounded edges, a glossy black panel covering the external display, and a swirl imprint on the rear of the phone.

When you flip the shell open, you don’t find a sacred pearl. Quite the opposite, again the EM330 seems to have missed out on aesthetic beauty. A boring matte black plastic surrounds the screen and controls, but the point should be made that the controls and keypad are both well-designed. The keypad’s buttons are spaced well apart, slightly elevated and fairly large, so typing is a comfortable experience. All the other controls, including the five-way navigational pad, also fit the bill of being shaped perfectly for responsive and tactile input.

One downside to this handset is that because the phone is so cheap, some of its features suffer in quality. The EM330’s internal display resolution is simply not up to par when compared with other phones on the market. The phone’s features work very well, but it’s hard to see screen icons and the machine’s overall speed is only average. When you scroll through lists, this Motorola doesn’t flow as quickly as you’d like, but when using the keyboard to send emails or text messages there’s not much lag time. The Motorola EM330 has a convenient external screen, but again low cost materials have been used, so it’s quite basic. This outer display has indicators for current battery and reception levels, plus time and alerts for missed calls and text messages.

It’s now time for the upside of the equation. Even though the Motorola EM330 is incredibly budget in terms of price, it’s full of multimedia functionality. It includes an FM radio and MP3 player, of which both work in conjunction with the external screen display. This screen has touchscreen music controls that automatically present themselves when these functions are activated. Fortunately, the buttons are very responsive to touch.

The FM radio on the EM330 is anything but simplistic. There’s a cool recording feature where you can record titbits of songs while listening to live radio, and then create a file to use them as a new ring tone. There’s an auto-scan feature, plus nine presets for your favourite radio stations.

The radio’s sound quality is only average when listening to live shows, but recorded ring tones ironically come out sounding great. There’s also a feature called FMShare that lets you share your favourite stations with mates via text or MMS messages. While listening to MP3 tracks you can use the graphic equaliser with eleven presets and a feature for boosting bass.

Unlike many more expensive handsets, the Motorola EM330 astoundingly comes with both a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD memory card storage slot. There are mobiles on the market that cost around $1,000 that still don’t have this standard headphone jack, so Motorola have done well.

The Motorola EM330 comes with a lot of base-level functionality, like a 1.3-megapixel camera that can take videos, stereo A2DP Bluetooth and three Java games. PIM functions like an alarm clock, calendar, calculator and stopwatch are also included.

The icing on the Motorola cake is CrystalTalk technology, which makes call quality better. You’ll be able to hear people talk on the EM330 even if there’s a ruckus going on in the background.

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