Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology - BENE­DICT KELLY

AF­TER FI­NALLY get­ting our hands on the Moto­fone – Mo­torola’s flag­ship prod­uct for tar­get­ing the emerg­ing mar­ket – it’s clear that the com­pany has pro­duced a marvel of mod­ern en­gi­neer­ing. In­stead of just cut­ting fea­tures from an ex­ist­ing de­sign, Mo­torola has pro­duced a cell­phone that of­fers ba­sic func­tion­al­ity in a cost-ef­fec­tive but still cut­ting-edge de­sign. You won’t find a cam­era or a video player – or even a colour screen – on the Moto­fone. In fact, the menu has only six op­tions: send a mes­sage, read mes­sages, call his­tory, change ring­tone, set alarm and change time.

I can al­ready hear the cries of joy from those who be­moan the pro­lif­er­a­tion of func­tions on mod­ern cell­phones and long for those days when all you had was SMS and voice call­ing. If all you want is a phone, then your day has come.

The one area that sets the Moto­fone apart from the pack is its screen. In­stead of an LCD dis­play it uses a rea­son­ably re­cent in­no­va­tion called elec­tronic pa­per for its dis­play. It’s mas­sively more power ef­fi­cient and en­ables the cell­phone to run for longer in en­vi­ron­ments where peo­ple may not have reg­u­lar ac­cess to elec­tric­ity. Com­bined with clear voice prompts in both English and French, it’s for all lev­els of users.

The best part of the Moto­fone is its price. With a rec­om­mended re­tail price of be­tween R250 and R300 and a slim profile, it would be hard to jus­tify any other cell­phone if all you want is to talk and send SMSs.

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