Not just because due to the low amount of features there’s not much to write about, but also because it’s hard to objectively judge a basic, low-quality handset when there are lots and lots of top models too. Sure, there are phones in this segment too that make us smile, since the manufacturers have started to realize that cheap stuff don’t necessarily have to be disastrous. Motorola’s low-end handsets are not yet part of this category.
Here’s the low-end phone called W388 and I feel myself as if I’d have a time machine – no, not in the positive meaning. We have already been angry about Motorola not being able to make the tiniest bits of development in some segments and this is even more true for the subject of our current review. I have shown the phone to many of my acquaintances – experts and non-professionals as well – and most of them just couldn’t believe that this is a new, unreleased handset and a couple of them were asking humorously if I had bought it at a bazaar and if there is candy inside it. I think the phone is far from being that bad, but these opinions are a hint for something.
Still, the small W388 is quite well assembled, it barely cracks and pops, its size is 110 x 45 x 14.2 mm and weighs 92 grams. The materials used are not that good, the back is made of a plastic that’s thin as paper, while the front is of a bit shiny plastic that’s cold to the touch. On top of this part we can see the usual design elements from the manufacturer, there is a fake speaker (lots of small holes), shiny Motologo (what a play on words). Below them there is the small display, its diagonal is 1.8”, and the resolution is 128 x 160 pixels. It is a TFT screen, its brightness is quite high, so I didn’t really have problems with readability in sunlight. The keypad is on the bottom, when pressing the numeric keys I’ve been a bit afraid that I will break them, but when writing this review I can happily state that all of them are okay. The navigation keys are above them; this means two softkeys, the call handling keys and the 5-way control dial. This latter one is a surprisingly high-quality one, it’s great to get around in the menu with it.
The back has a hexagon pattern, as a matter of fact it looks quite cool. The VGA resolution camera is on top, while on the bottom there is a W388 label with a large blue something under it – this is the handsfree speaker. Such things are on the top too, but those don’t emit sound. The bottom part is completely empty, as the microphone is under the hash mark key, and it’s made up of nine small holes – design.
There are no big surprises on the sides either, there are Motorola labels on the right and left too and one of them has a miniUSB connector, while the other is accompanied by a 2.5 mm jack output, both of them being covered by a high quality lid. The problem with the first one is that the handset doesn’t support Mass Storage mode and it cannot be charged from a computer, although it should. The problem with the jack connector is that it’s 1 mm smaller than it should be, I really can’t understand why don’t the manufacturers use 3.5 mm connectors, when that’s the most wide-spread.
After turning the phone on there is a sweet little panda looking back at us, or at least this has been the default wallpaper on the model I’ve been testing – well, how should I say it, it doesn’t really suggest the HelloMoto feeling, but by the end of the testing period we became really good friends with the panda. When pressing the central button we continue the time travel, as we get to the grid menu, which has nine icons and based on their design they could have been drawn by fourth-graders, but I think that they were made by professional people. So, they look quite childish and it’s really strange that the Alarm clock in the top left corner and the Office tools near it have the same red clock as an icon, but the latter one has a pen near it.
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(Review Page 1 of 2)