MOTOROLA GLEAM EX211
Motorola, $99 motorola.com.au ★★★
WARNING: using this mobile phone may cause early noughties flashbacks. Motorola’s latest phone release is not what you might expect. It’s an inexpensive prepaid handset with serious retro styling.
The Motorola Gleam looks a lot like one of the company’s first RAZR phones — the flip-out handsets that dominated pockets in the early 2000s.
This phone offers the same body style, with newly rounded corners, and its numerical keypad even looks the same, with a metal facade and a four-way navigation pad in the centre to call the shots.
Strangely, even its menu system is a reminder of past mobile phones. Its basic 2.4-inch colour screen offers a 12-icon menu that will take you back to pre-touchscreen days when you had to dive deep into a phone’s options, clicking and hoping. Changing the phone’s background image, for example, takes nine selections.
All the basic mobile phone features are present and operational in the Gleam, however. Its two-megapixel camera is slow, but functional. It offers an MP3 player, FM radio and standard headphone jack, plus there are tools including a calculator and alarm.
This phone can even connect to the worldwide web, albeit in a very basic way.
Motorola has added a couple of modern extras, including an LED display on its shiny face and a Micro USB charger, but this phone is otherwise genuinely retro.
Consumers who simply want to make phone calls should appreciate the flip phone’s comeback. There’s something comforting about having a phone stretch from your ear to your mouth and being able to physically hang up on a call when you’re finished chatting.