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Motorola MOTOSURF A3100

 Motorola MOTOSURF A3100 Discontinued
6th January 2009

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It seems that Motorola is keen to put a poor 2008 behind them with the launch of some interesting products at the beginning of 2009. Chief amongst these is the new Motorola MOTOSURF A3100, a 3.5G touchscreen device which is one of Motorola's most powerful handsets to date.

The MOTOSURF A3100 is a Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone with support for 3.5G data and wi-fi. The display is a 2.8" 240 x 320 pixel touchscreen - to put that into perspective, it is the same size as the non-touchscreen panel in the Nokia N95 8GB and Nokia N96.

 Motorola A3100 We have criticised Motorola recently for not shipping phones with 3G, but the MOTOSURF A3100 comes with tri-band 850 / 1900 / 2100 MHz UMTS with support for HSDPA and HSUPA high-speed data. The A3100 also has quad-band GSM, GPRS and EDGE support. With built-in wireless LAN connectivity, this means that you should always be able to get a high speed data connection wherever you go in the world.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional is a pretty familiar operating system these days but Motorola have enhanced the A3100 with a customisable home screen that can display RSS feeds, shortcuts, the weather, calendar events or one-touch access to social networking sites. The MOTOSURF can work with a stylus or finger on the touchscreen, or alternatively there's a rollerball mounted underneath the display.

On the back is a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus, plus a secondary VGA resolution camera on the front for video calling. It's not the greatest camera in the world, but for some reason Windows Mobile handsets suffer in this respect. It's certainly a better camera than the one on the iPhone, however.

 Motorola A3100 As you would expect, the Motorola MOTOSURF A3100 also supports microSD expandable memory (up to 32GB), stereo Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0. The MOTOSURF also comes with aGPS, so you can use it with your favourite personal navigation or mapping system.

Inside is some sort of Qualcomm MSM 7201A processor combined with 128MB RAM. Maximum talktime is quoted as 6.8 hours on GSM with up to 12 days standby time.

Inevitably, the MOTOSURF will end up being compared with the iPhone. One obvious difference between the two devices is the display - the 2.8" panel on the A3100 is significantly smaller than the 3.5" unit on the iPhone, but then the Motorola device is smaller and lighter than the Apple and altogether more pocket-friendly. The MOTOSURF may lack the "wow factor" of the iPhone when it comes to looks, but it is clearly quite an attractive mobile phone in its own right.

Our biggest complaint? Well, it's that we have waited so long for Motorola to produce a handset like the MOTOSURF A3100 in the first place. Motorola could have done with the A3100 in their line-up twelve months ago.. still, this looks to be a very capable and appealing device and hopefully it is an indicator of great things to come. A higher resolution display would have been nice though.

There's no word on pricing or exact availability, although Motorola do say that the A3100 should be available during Q1 2009 in "multiple regions" including Asia and Latin America. There's no reason why the MOTOSURF won't work in Europe and North America too, so we very much hope to see this phone worldwide.

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Motorola MOTOSURF A3100 at a glance


Q1 2009


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100




240 x 320 pixels


3 megapixels


Medium touchscreen
110 x 60 x 14mm / 119 grams



Memory card:









Yes (A-GPS)

Battery life:

6.8 hours talk / 12 days standby (GSM)


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