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Motorola C550 Camera Phone

Motorola C550Available now
18th November 2003

Motorola have produced some fine handsets recently, from the innovative Windows-based MPx200 to the stylish V300 and V600 phones, it seemed that Motorola was on a bit of a roll with their GSM lineup.

But it seems that all is not well in the Motorola design camp, and the team that produced the new C550 candy bar format camera phone seemed not to have been paying attention to their coworkers in the clamshell department.

There are some good points. The C550 weighs just 94 grams and measures 98x43x19 mm. It has an inbuilt VGA resolution camera with 640x480 pixels and it supports GPRS, MMS, polyphonic ring tones and predictive text input.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad points. Firstly, the screen is only 96x65 pixels which is only 38% of the resolution of a typical Nokia with 128x128 pixels. Talktime is a poor 2-3 hours, although standby is a more reasonable 5-9 days. There's no Bluetooth or EDGE support, or camera flash. Worst of all, Motorola have designed one of the blandest phones on the market, so it doesn't even look good.

This is a shame, because we know that Motorola can do better. The V-series clamshells have always been pretty to look at and technically clever, the A-series 3G phones may be huge brick like things (like the Motorola A835) but they are at least technically innovative, the E-series phones are attractive and feature packed, and of course the MPx200 is more of a handheld computer than a phone. Really, the problem has dogged the C-series Motorola handsets for a while - they are unattractive and under-specified, but they are at least usually dirt cheap.

So, it's likely that the C550 is pitching for the bottom end of the market, but the competition is probably the Siemens MC60 which is nicer to look at, has more features,  better screen and much longer talktime. The MC60 is lighter than the C550, but somewhat larger.>

It seems that Motorola have missed the mark with the C550, and come up with an astonishingly dull mobile phone. We can only hope that the next candy bar phone from Motorola is up to the standards of their clamshells.


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