Motorola C650 Initial Thoughts

may 7, 2005

Well, I haven't used a Motorola phone since my old work phone (StarTac) died two years ago. The thing that always bothered me with the old StarTac was the menu system and that turned me off to phones from Motorola. The C650 has vestiges of the old menu system, but Motorola has tweaked the system to be easier to use -- though the phonebook is still a pain in the butt to use. The C650 is an entry-level phone, but I am surprised by the features that it has -- which are usually found only in mid to higher end phones. The C650 has a mini-USB port right next to the charger port. Some people who have this phone complain that Motorola does not supply the USB driver nor the application for using the port with Windows machines -- for those people, I say Google it and you shall find. With the application and driver, I am able to pull pictures off the phone (and put them on the phone). I can manage ringtones and videos also. What is also cool is if I plug the C650 into my iBook 600, iSync is able to pick up the phone and get it in sync with my AddressBook and iCal! The C650 looks a lot like my old SonyEricsson T610 with it's black shiny (and oil magnet) upper-half and silver lower-half. The dimensions of the two phones match almost exactly. The C650 is a bit lighter than the T610 (and it is a noticeable difference in hand), but do not mistaken that as the C650 not being as sturdy. The C650 has no noticeable creaking of the case, it feels really solid. The rounded edges of the C650 and the lighter feel make the C650 feel and look like a much smaller phone than the T610 -- the price tag of the C650 is also $100 lighter than the T610 (I bought my C650 for $150 and my T610 for $249). The screen on the C650 is nice, but not perfect. Even after adjusting the contrast on it, the screen still seems a tad washed out. The buttons on the phone are fine and usable. The joystick is a bit stiff though and takes a bit of getting used too. I do wish the phone had side buttons for the volume, but that is OK. The speaker phone on the phone is loud! Louder than any other mobile phone I have had, I am very impressed with it. The sound quality of the phone is good -- much better than the up-and-down-fading of the Sidekick II. I do have to get used to doing predictive text for text messaging again though, which is a pain --I got used to T9 on the T610 with the space button being #, now on the C650 the space button is on the * button where as the change-mode button is #. That is pretty confusing. The ringer on the C650 is quite loud. So far, after a lot of playing around and tweaking, I have no complaints about the phone. It is nice to have a small phone on the belt instead of the huge brick of the Sidekick II. I do miss the Sidekick II though, there are moments when it's webbrowser or full keyboard or AIM or SSH client would be useful. But, unfortunately, those moments are far apart and not worth $20 a month. I will write a review for Epinions about the Motorola C650 soon.