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Review Motorola C650

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  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • User Manual

Motorola has true bestseller in its active - Motorola C350. Despite the fact that the model was functionally poorer than the earlier introduced products, it has conquered the market due to minimal price. For most users Motorola C350 became the first phone with color display. The company was preparing for quite a while before releasing the successor to C350. The main stake was put on the presence of VGA-camera, basic set of features targeted for youth. The new model received C650 title, it will definitely repeat the success of 350, the technical specifications are speaking out for themselves and for this fact as well.

The phones design can be described as strict, the combination of silver plastic in the bottom with black glossy one in the upper part are looking extremely interesting. The designers once again are demonstrating their vision of inexpensive phone, they believe that despite the price the phone should look as an expensive one. This move has rational seed, the outlook of C650 is firmly pointed out among the phones in its category, it can be compared with business phones. The phone looks nicely during work and relaxing. You will not experienced disharmony of phone / clothes design in case if its office style. It turns out that the designers managed to artificially increase targeted segment by creating it maximally possible. Such move was first introduced in Motorola C350, here we see it in action again.

The phone fits nicely into ones hand, the fingers are pleasantly and nicely located on the upper part of plastic. The phones size is comfortable (103x44x20 mm), same thing can be said about its weight (91 grams). If you will hold the phone tightly, it will start squeaking, this is normal. With causal, not extreme, use you will not notice this.

The phone traditionally support exchangeable covers, but unlike previous models keyboard is not changeable. In order to open the phone you have to pull the trigger and remove the back panel. You will have to get used to this operation, the latch is placed densely to the case. The disadvantage in the opening mechanism turns out a big advantage in terms of constructions proof. The panels do not have backlash.

The battery which is located under the back panel is Li-Ion, its capacity is 600 mAh. According to the manufacturer it can work for 200 hours in stand by mode and up to 3 hours during conversations. We were testing this phone in Moscow, MTS was our operator. The phone was usually working for 3 days with 25 minutes of talks and about 40 minutes spent for usage of other functions daily (organizer, games). With less time spent for phones usage its working time can be up to 4 days or even more. This is a pretty nice result for the phone powered by color display.

The displays resolution is 128x128 pixels (28x28 mm), it can display up to 65k colors (STN). Considering that this is budget solution among phones with color screen you should not expect much from this display. But comparing this model with Nokia shows clear superb of Motorola C650, the colors are livelier, brighter. If you compare this display with Samsung, than we will notice pure and obvious defeat from Koreans, including such phone as C100. But anyway, almost all models in this segment are priced higher than C650, direct comparing is not correct.

Up to four text lines are located on the display, the font is big and visible. The screen turns pale when it hits direct sunlight, pretty pale I must say. The only note is that in Autumn and Winter the screen will be seen nicely, the sun is not so bright during these times of year.

The keyboard is presented in one block, the keypads elements are stuck closely to each other. This does not create any problems, working with keyboard is comfortable. The joystick supports key-press, it is convenient. The pleasant unexpectedness is location of Menu button, it is placed under the joystick. From now on in order to access the menu you do not have to move your finger away from the joystick, this is convenient. On the whole the keyboards ergonomics can be classified as average, it is not very good or bad. The backlights color is blue, the symbols in the first vertical row are darker. In various conditions the symbols are seen differently, indoors the symbols are often flown together.

The port for charger is located in the bottom, as well as headset connector. As standard option mini-USB port is present. The phone can work with any standard cable, which is a certain advantage. The price of such cable in any computer shop ranges from 4 to 5 dollars, or even less. Unfortunately the software should be found separately. You have the ability to get full version of Mobile Phone Tools, but its price will be significantly higher.

The VGA-camera window can be spotted in the back side, the little mirror that will help you taking the pictures of yourself is located there as well. The software part of the camera is similar to the one that is used in triplets ( Motorola E398, v300, v500, v600).


Whenever you turn the phone ON you will be asked to personalize your mobile phone. In case if you press Yes you will be automatically redirected to the corresponding menu, it is standard.

Another interesting moment related to interface is about work of notices when the phone is turned off. For example, whenever there is time for reminder either it is time to wake up the phone will turn on by itself automatically. By the way you can disable automatic turn by viewing the event. This function is really nicely done despite overall simplicity. It allows forgetting about setting up various separate timers for phones turning on.

The menu is exact copy of older models, the phone took a lot from previous models as legacy. You can access the Main Menu by pressing the Menu key which is located under the screen right in the middle. The main menu is traditionally presented with 9 icons; each of them uses service text line for definitions. You can switch the main menus appearance to the list mode. Then everything will be presented with lists. Half of the menu is presented with lists and half with icons (if you use the appropriate menu look). The user can customize the order of following for the icons in the main menu (or the items in list view mode). The menu doesnt support fast number navigation, but you can setup shortcuts for almost every menu item or function. The navigational key can be assigned with various actions during the stand by mode. But thats not all, you can also remove the signatures for the soft-keys if theyre annoying during the stand by mode, they will appear only when you press one of the keys. Two soft-keys can be bind to various actions as well, apart from the default ones. With such menu personalization flexibility the lack of the fast number navigation is not so noticeable.

In case you use two input languages for your SMS you can choose the language from the special menu. But thats not all, you can also setup which type of text input to use for every Language predictive or no. An interesting solution that allows setting up your mobile even more customized. However most of the people who use mobile phones dont switch the text input, only a small amount of users use more than two of them.

Phone book. 1000 entries can be stored in phones memory, however only one number can be assigned to each. You can switch the way of phone books outlook, in that case all identical entry names (ex. John Smith) will be stored as one entry, this means that one entry can finally have more than one phone number, e-mail address etc. , . Another interesting feature comes up when you had changed the view style you can bind custom ring tones and pictures to every number (not entry) to be used in case of an incoming call. The phone book supports Contact Groups as well.

However I have noticed a small disadvantage when you are deleting an entry from the phone book, you will have to delete each number assigned to it separately. Its impossible to delete them at once.

You are free to choose the style of displaying entries in the phone book: either names with assigned images, or only names, you can also personalize the entry sorting style (quick dial number, name, e-mail address). Voice dialing can be setup as well; it works fine in various conditions.

The phone book reminds the one used in Samsung phones (unlimited number of fields per name, you can enter as much as you can), on the other hand it has some obvious advantages and additional parameters (personal photo, ring tone). At the moment Motorola is the only manufacturer that offers such kind of the phone book, the others have certain limitations on one of the parameters (one photo for each name, and the lack of ability to bind it to separate numbers, the same goes for the ring tones).

In C650 separate mass message sending function is introduced, the user can edit subscription lists manually.

Messages. The first thing that nearly shocked me is that there is no additional memory for SMS, you can only use SIM-cards memory. Thats it. Seems that Motorola thinks that MMS will become the future standard and decides to head for it. However this phone does support EMS, but there is the very same SIM-cards limit.

Working with MMS doesnt bring any inconvenience; everything is simple and easily understandable. The messages can be attached with pictures made by the built-in camera, sound files. The ten predefined templates are really great, be sure to check them out.

WAP. The phone has WAP-browser v2.0 and its possibilities are standard so nothing special can be said. GPRS (class 10) is present, the settings are rather simple, just follow your operators instructions and everything will be done in a matter of minutes.

Office Tools. Whole set of applications is stored here, the simplest of them is calculator. After you press the Menu button you will get access to the memorys functions, as well as the unit converter.

Shortcuts are located in the same menu. You can create shortcuts not only for various menu sections, but for a definite wap-site as well.

Alarm clock. You can create several alarm clocks and choose a custom ring tone, name and volume, type of reoccurrence (daily, single time) for each of them. This phone was designed for continuous, thats why entering names and titles for the alarm clocks is required. This option seemed wicked at first, so I went on naming the alarm clocks with some random letters like A, G, J, R, M etc. Ive ended up with a huge mess of alarm clocks, so I was forced to leave only one of them. Everything became clear and useful after sorting up the titles. My final list was the following: morning, weekday, weekend, training, interview for the radio. Of course it was possible to make the appointments in the organizer, but I dont really like marked squares in the calendar, seeing really important appointments and business that are not suitable for daily To Do list separately is a lot better. The alarm clocks are ideal solution for these needs; they can be activated by one key press and will warn you about the appointment. You just have to set them up once. Someone can refuse by saying that the Alarm Clocks are rather routine and not really required since most of the people use them only to get up in the morning. Well, so many people so many tastes, I am really busy and sometimes it happens that I am forgetting some important meetings, so a set of Alarm Clocks will save me theoretically.

Organizer. You can view it monthly or weekly with breakdown for hours. You will see your appointments bind to a certain time of the day while viewing the calendar in the 2nd mode, its convenient. Each entry can be assigned with a name, start time, length (measured in hours, the minimal amount of time 30 minutes). Warning can be set in advance. Each entry can be reoccurred, this is a big plus.

Games and applications. The phone supports Java, all applications that are stored in this section are created using this technology. Depending on the market on which this phone was bought, number of games and their titles will differ. In our sample we had such preinstalled games as Skipping Stones (logical game), and Hungry Fish (you must avoid big fish and eat small ones). Also in games section there is FotoFunPack 2 application installed. With its help you can mock photos of your friends, attach their head to the preinstalled templates, apply roses, ties and other stuff to their faces and so on. Perfect software for youth, a lot of users will like it.

Whenever you are working with Java applications you will notice the proper icon coffee cup. There were no problems encountered during upload of new games, the installation went smoothly. The maximal size of Java application was 100kb, the phone supports MIDP 2.0. And please dont write me e-mails containing questions like Where can I download JAVA games? we have a Forum for that.

Multimedia. The phone supports themes. Its a set of wallpapers, color schemes for the menu, sounds and ring tone types. You can change the outlook of your phone almost instantly and this is really fun. New themes can be downloaded from Motorolas website.

MotoMixer original sound file editor that allows mixing the tracks. You can play with it from time to time; the results may come out rather unexpected and nice. However as the practice shows, these sound editors are nothing more than a toy for most of the users, only few of them take use tool seriously.

Sounds information about all sound files located in the phones memory is stored here. You can check out their size, info and even listen to them. The players is similar to other Motorolas phones, everything is clear and easy to understand.

Picutres list of all images located in the phones memory. Theres a special icon near the file name. Each picture can be set as the wallpaper or screensaver. Pictures can be sorted in categories; this will make the browsing easier. A special editor is present as well, it allows putting frames, changing color scheme and using special effects. The most convenient part is that after mocking the picture it can be stored with a new name. This means that both the original and the new picture will be available for use. This may come handy in case if you want to edit the photo, and not to ruin the original.

Video. The phone supports playback of video clips (mpeg 4), but is unable to record them. In our sample we had one preinstalled video clip, it was not very interesting I must say.

Settings. Here you can setup all Display settings including the color schemes. Ring tone type and notification mode (mixed mode, when the vibrating alert works at the same time with the ring tone is present) is here as well.

I dont think there is any need to describe the network and security settings since theyre all similar to any other phone.

The last thing I wanted to tell you about is the amount of available dynamic memory. On the whole there are about 2.5mb of memory, about 2.0mb of it is available at once. This should be enough for most built-in applications, plus there will be some space left for own pictures and other stuff.

Camera. The display will act as the viewfinder. When youre moving the phone frequently the viewfinder will still act normally, the picture changes in real time. This is an astonishing and nice news to hear. The ideal distance for taking quality pictures of people faces is 30-50 centimeters.

The camera has VGA resolution; this allows taking pictures 640x480 pixels. But thats not all, you can also choose MMS resolution (160x120); Average (320x240). The menu lacks an option to choose the resolution during the shooting, on the other hand it simplifies the picture taking, and limits users freedom and doesnt leave an alternative. Shuttles sound can be disabled.

The endurance can be adjusted (from -2 to +2), as well as the lighting conditions (automatic detect is set by default). There are five different presets for lighting conditions, and they really affect the picture quality.

The picture quality on the display is high, but loses when compared to older models, it is due to display. If we compare this phone with its competitors then we can say that the picture quality is one of the best, as well as photo quality.

Photo examples can be found here >>>

Graphical sub-system performance

The JBenchmark v2 test was used for testing the graphical sub-systems performance. As result we have received the following:

Overall score 56

  • Work with graphics 43
  • Text 184
  • Sprites 176
  • 3D transformations 5
  • User interface 76

On the whole the picture does not look so cloudless, the processor and considerably low amount of memory are affecting the performance, the phone works with graphics worse than such phones as Siemens C65 (98 points), Siemens C65 (87 points). For example the worse results in working with graphics belong to such phones as Siemens ST60, Sagem myX-7. Let me remind you that Motorola C350 had pretty weak processor as well, and it was not going well with the graphics either. It turns out that games are the weakest spot in this phone, in all other applications low graphical performance is not noticeable.


The network reception quality is okay. The volume of 24-tone polyphonic ring tone is loud enough, the phone can be heard even if it is in your pocket. This is a real improvement comparing to the very same C350. The vibrating alerts power is average, it is not always felt. The phone has good loudspeaker, it can be compared with best products by other manufacturers.

One of the advantages is support of mp3 ring tones (mono, up to 96kbit stream). You should record small parts, otherwise the amount of free memory will disappear at once.

At the moment Motorola C650 does not have any competitors. Since this model has good display, VGA-camera and can playback mp3 files. The nearest competitor is Siemens C65, but it is losing by release terms already. If the current price for Motorola C650 is around 185-195 dollars, then in autumn it will decrease to 150-155 dollars. With such price the phone is extremely interesting right from its release date. All models in this price segment are losing heavily to Motorola C650 in functional terms. In case you need functionally advanced phone you will have to pay more.

Ring tone samples for Motorola C650 (400 Kb, mp3)

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Alexander "Lexx" Zavoloka(alexander.zavoloka@mobile-review.com)

Published — 28 May 2004

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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