I'd been toying with the idea of attempting to use a phone with a stylus and a touch-screen. With the Motorola A768i, I got my chance. What follows is 30 days of leaving behind the old and embracing the novel.
Accustomed to my Nokia 6630, the Motorola A768i feels foreign. Motorola phones in general are notorious for their clumsy interface and this played on my mind, but it was not to deter me from using the phone.
The A768i looks brilliant in its sedate silver grey outfit, and is so executive's phone. The clamshell design and the build quality are great.
The phone can be worked on without a SIM card-when switched on, it says "No SIM card found," but once you click OK, you can proceed to use other features on the phone-a must for a PDA phone. I spent some precious hours understanding the interface sans the SIM.
You cannot potter around with a phone for long without a SIM card and in it went, the next day. The interface is miles ahead of the earlier Motorola phones, and the menu structure is neatly arranged. The stylus was testing my patience as I tried to enter notes and fiddled around with other features. However, it allows single-handed operation without the use of the stylus too.
None of the three themes on the phone were interesting, so I decided to customise them. Adding a home screen was quite easy. The phone offers customisation of text size, message alerts, and more. I didn't like the camera, though; the pictures are grainy.
My enthusiasm is increasing with experience. Came across the Picsel browser on the phone. This excellent utility, apart from browsing the Net, allows opening and reading of .doc and PDF files. The interface is sleek and permits zooming and panning.
I did not expect any hiccups when transferring data from the PC to the phone, and I was right! The CD bundled with the phone contains many more ringtones and multimedia.
Decided to use the audio recorder on the A768i for an interview. but I realised that I might pay dearly for using a feature I was unsure of, but the results were quite satisfactory. The volume level was low, though.
Issues have begun cropping up. The SIM card-which I've had for three years-created a problem when sending messages, and I had to get a new SIM. And then there was the episode with the settings: features within the message and voice settings are difficult to locate. Charging takes unusually long, and the battery indicator is unreliable.
Tired of using the default Web browser, I decided to install the Opera mini. It has a much better interface, and the site rendering is an out-of-the-world experience.
My initial concerns of a quirky Motorola OS are quickly disappearing. I'm fast at the stylus now, can browse the phone with one hand, and can easily get to any hidden menu. Using the stylus is addictive, and I almost despise my Nokia 6630 for not having one!
Most people, loyal to one brand of phone or the other, easily take a dislike for alternatives. All it takes is a little getting used to. I've had a relatively good experience, but the Motorola A768i needs improvement to match up to the likes of the PDAs by Sony Ericsson and Nokia.