Motorola Australia A1000
- Great screen, good sound, zippy transfer rates.
- Kludgy input method, short battery life.
The A1000 is a fantastic smartphone if you're looking for multimedia playback; it's responsive and features top-notch audio and video. Just don't expect to enter huge amounts of text into it.
Price$ 979.00 (AUD)
Motorola's striking A1000 offers a blend of connectivity and performance, but is let down by a short 3.5 hour battery life. This sleek grey-and-silver unit weighs 160g and measures a very reasonable 117 x 59 x 19mm. It runs on the Symbian 7.0 UIQ operating system and features Bluetooth support as standard.
The A1000 features tri-band support for GSM 900/1800/1900 and UMTS 2100. The only carrier currently offering this device is Three, and it's designed to take advantage of the 3G network in Australia. The 3G network offers a high data transmission rate, and testing showed transfers peaking at around 18-20Kb/sec. This is ample for looking up Websites and processing email, and in fact it exposes a small problem with the phone. The device features a 175MHz processor that's under quite a load when downloading Web pages. Some larger sites are slow to render as a result. It's enough bandwidth for video calls, though, and the device features a 0.3 megapixel camera on the front to facilitate face-to-face conversation. A 1.23 megapixel camera is also slotted into the back panel, which provides adequate--though not brilliant--images.
The A1000 features a joystick for navigation as well as four navigational buttons on the bottom of the front face. They're well laid out and easy to use. In fact, their wide spacing helps ease operation for those with large hands. While many other smartphone models offer keyboards, the only way to get text into the A1000 is via a slim stylus tucked into the bottom of the device. This makes text entry somewhat cumbersome, but you get the hang of it reasonably quickly. It's fine for quick-and-dirty note taking or messaging, but it's tiring trying to write large amounts of text.
There's only 24MB of RAM built in (along with 24MB ROM), but this should be adequate to store contacts and messages. Unfortunately, the only means of adding external storage is via a TransFlash adapter. This uncommon format is more expensive than SD or MMC, which is a bit of a letdown for those wanting to play back movies or MP3s on the A1000. As it stands, the multimedia support is solid and the sound is great.
The A1000 includes a number of elegant features, like an integrated document viewer for opening Word, ZIP, Acrobat and Excel files; a loud speaker; and a top-class 208 x 320 pixel screen. If it had a keyboard, the A1000 would have it all covered.
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