Meet the ROKR E1
Hands-on report from the New York City launch of the long-awaited Motorola music phone with Apple's iTunes.
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The wait is over.
One year and six weeks ago, Apple and Motorola made the landmark announcement that they would join forces and create a phone with Apple's iTunes music technology. As you might expect from anything with a link to Apple, the past year has been filled with rampant rumor-mongering and leaks of varying authenticity.
Normally, Apple likes to keep info about its new products as top-secret as possible until they are actually ready to ship, and the iTunes phone was no exception. But being new to the world of mobile phones, Apple was in for a rude awakening. Phones simply can't be kept secret that long, because so many people, at so many companies and so many levels, are involved in the launch of any given phone. Info about this phone was bound to leak out, and boy did it ever.
While some rumors were way off - from an Apple-branded iPhone to a downloadable iTunes client for existing phones - most were dead-on accurate.
Because Apple insisted on timing the announcement of the ROKR E1 to coincide with the phone arriving in stores - normally a very fluid date for any phone - Motorola had only three weeks' notice to plan global launch events for the ROKR E1.
Despite the short notice, Motorola managed to pull off a fairly impressive launch party in the East Village of New York City last night, including a performance by hip-hop artist Common.
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, let's begin with an appropriate video clip: the spiffy start-up animation:
File size: 1.7 MB
mp3 as ringtone
This could have been a cool phone....
I have no idea what their marketing guys were thinking. The W800, while just a repackaged K750i, is far and away a better phone in every respect. Even the case design, which reminds me of a 50/50 bar (orange/vanilla...) is better than the junk design Moto came up with.
I expect an iPod phone to look like something from Apple, not the other way around.
100 Song limit
This, to me, is all hype and an introduction-to-mar...
Synch capabilities and mitigation on memory upgrades.
In many ways, the ROKR E1 falls somewhere in-between an iPod Shuffle and an iPod mini. Pretty much like an iPod Shuffle, it can only hold 100 songs, and you can tell iTunes to "Autofill" the ROKR with a random assor...