Motorola VE538 mobile phone

Motorola's VE538 is an entry-level 3G mobile phone that offers excellent value for money.

Motorola VE538
  • Motorola VE538
  • Motorola VE538
  • Motorola VE538
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5


  • Size and design, value for money, interface, pre-installed apps


  • No 3.5mm headphone jack, no volume control buttons, directional keys a little small

Bottom Line

At this price, Motorola's VE538 is a steal. It's a great option if you looking at purchasing your first 3G mobile phone. It's particularly good for teenagers on a budget considering both the Planet 3 content portal and the preinstalled social networking applications.

Would you buy this?

Motorola's VE538 is a prepaid mobile phone available on 3 Mobile in Australia. It is a compact and affordable 3G mobile phone that provides decent features for its asking price.

The Motorola VE538 is a lightweight candybar mobile phone. It's one of the most compact phones we've seen recently, and the small size and rounded shape mean it fits comfortably in your hand. Despite how compact and light it is, the VE538 feels reasonably built and the etched circular pattern on the rear battery cover makes the mobile easy to grip.

The layout of the Motorola VE538 is fairly straightforward. It has a rather large screen considering the size of the phone, a five-way navigational pad and a raised keypad. There are no buttons on the sides or top of the handset, with the VE538 lacking volume control keys. The keypad stretches from edge to edge of the front fascia and provides good tactility, making long messages easy to type. The five-way navigational pad is comfortable for most part, though the directional keys are a little small.

Using the Motorola VE538 is a pleasant experience, thanks to a snappy and well-designed user interface. The main menu isn’t as visually appealing as many other mobile phones, but there is no lag and the design makes it easy to navigate. There is also no keystroke lag when text messaging and Motorola has refreshingly opted for the T9 predictive text input system, instead of its regular iTap system.

Given the low asking price, the Motorola has packed plenty of features into the VE538. It has a 2-megapixel camera, MP3 and video player applications and a basic Web browser; the VE538 also includes a suite of preinstalled applications. Among them are Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and ShoZu. ShoZu allows you to upload photos and videos to a number of online communities straight from your phone. It's compatible with Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Blogger and YouTube, allowing you to instantly update your status and connect with other users. Being a 3 Mobile handset, the Motorola VE538 also offers access to the Planet 3 portal, which includes a wide range of content such as news, videos, ring tones, music and games.

The lack of a regular headphone jack is disappointing, especially for those looking to use the Motorola VE538 as a music player. Thankfully, a microSD card slot for extra storage and A2DP Bluetooth soften the blow. A VGA camera on the front allows video calls to be made, while PIM features consist of an alarm clock, calendar, calculator, stopwatch, sound recorder, world clock and a unit converter.

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