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BT Fusion / Motorola V560 / Bluephone

 Motorola v560 Available now
16th June 2005

BT and Motorola have announced the fruits of a multimillion pound project stretching back over two years to produce a new and radical phone for the UK market.. and have finally announced a handset that looks almost exactly the same as most other common Motorola handsets. Initially dubbed the "Bluephone", this forms part of a range of handsets called "BT Fusion".

In fact, the Motorola V560 is almost exactly the same in every respect as other recent V500 series handsets, except that it has a little BT logo on it. The screen size of 176x220 pixels, the basic VGA resolution camera, the internal layout, quad band GSM plus GPRS and of course Bluetooth are all identical to other handsets in the range.

So where has the money gone? Certainly not on the handset hardware. Although we do like the V500 series of handsets, they are looking dated these days. It looks like most of the money has been spent by BT, not Motorola.

Indeed, the it's the back end of the BT Fusion system that is interesting, with what amounts to a Bluetooth-enabled VOIP point wired into a BT ADSL line enabling the V560 to make low-cost calls when within about 25 metres. This is basically an advanced Bluetooth accessory for the phone. Visitors to your household with BT Fusion handsets can also piggyback onto your system.

Is this a great idea then? Well.. we hate to rain on BT's parade but we can hardly see the point of the whole setup. It will only work if you subscribe to BT Mobile or Vodafone (it's the same network these days) and want to pay for the expense of a BT ADSL line in your home. If you're a subscriber with another telco or mobile provider, then forget it. You are limited to using this very dull V500 series handset at launch, with the possibility of using an ever-so-slightly modified RAZR at a later date. So.. if you like Motorolas, use BT Mobile or Vodafone and want BT Broadband AND you are close enough to an ADSL-capable exchange then you are in luck. That's a pretty small market segment.

To us, this looks like a technical solution in search of a market, rather than the other way around. People with long memories may remember BT's Phonepoint technology that briefly ran in the early 1990s (see BT's archive). That too was a technology in search of a market - and it failed disastrously.

And boil the technology down and it's not so clever after all. VOIP has been around for a few years now, and the V560 is definitely showing it's age in terms of features. Had this product come to market in 2003, then it would have been fantastic. But now it's beginning to look somewhat irrelevant. Sorry, BT.

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Motorola V560 at a glance


Q3 2005


Quad-band GSM




176x220 pixels, 65,000 colours


0.3 megapixels


Medium Clamshell
88x49x25mm / 115 grams









Battery life:

Not specified


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