Written on: 24/01/2006 by sjhartland (24 reviews written)
Large clear screen
Subtle external screen
Refreshingly different styling
Easy one hand opening
Flat keys mean it's hard to enter text
Slow response when texting
Shows dirt and marks easily
The clever opening hinge is loose after 2 weeks
I bought the Motorola PEBL because I fell for the super looks of the mobile phone. There is nothing quite like it around. However, perhaps because I was expecting something a bit special, I am just slightly disappointed with it after getting used to it now.
The good stuff...
The easy and clever hinge arrangement means that you can open it quickly one handed, but it's easy to drop as the weight suddenly shifts. I like the screen, good colours, the camera is super, the video is average for a phone. The zoom is useful, and the sound effects for the camera are funny at first. Good 'night' mode as well, though no flash like the Samsung D500 etc.
Nice choice of wallpapers and screen savers, and you can use your own photos for your wallpaper. The shortcuts are handy, and the general menus are OK, but I have had a Motorola for years before, so I am used to them. I find it all quite straight forward. Motorola have improved some of these menus now, so that you can reply to a message with just one button, unlike the older ones.
Battery life seems good so far, and voice quality is good, as is the external speaker. I personally like 'normal' ringtones, and this phone has a few superb ones, as well as the usual dance track and silly sound effect tones that many people seem to like.
Speakerphone is handy and loud, as are the ringtones. Bluetooth of course, and the usual office tools, but no 'To Do list' which is a shame, but it does have a voice recorder which partly makes up for that. Datebook is good, and quite flexible. The external screen looks great in that blue hue, and you almost wish you could leave the light on permanently it's that cool.
The hard keys on the side are handy for changing settings without having to open the phone, and there is a setting inside for just about everything, and a large choice of ring styles (loud, soft, vibrate etc...)
The software the comes with the phone is very good, and allows transfer of files both from the phone to the PC, and also from your PC to the phone. This only seems to cover pictures really, which is a shame, as the cover implied all files could be transferred, but of course you cannot send word documents etc. to the phone. It has email as well, but I have yet to try it.
Bad points -
Not many really, but...
It marks very easily. For example, the Matt black exterior shows up scratches easily, and I'm very careful with it! The keypad and screen seem to be covered with some sort of coating which probably improves clarity, but always seems smudged and dirty, even after cleaning with a cloth, and the whole phone shows fingerprints very easily.
The hinge already mentioned has started to feel a bit loose already. Although it still works fine, I don't know if it will be OK after a year! I hope so. The flat and shiny keypad makes texting surprisingly hard, which is compounded by a very slow processor that always seems to be 2 characters behind where you think you are. Not the best phone if you text a lot.
There was only one game in the phone and that was bit pants, but of course they want you to pay to download more.
The PEBL doesn't really do anything else wrong, but it won't stand out for its features alone anymore, as all the points mentioned above are available on most good phones you buy today. You buy the PEBL for the look and feel of it. Just try before you buy if you are a compulsive texter, as the keypad looks great, but it is slightly difficult to use (and it's slow!)