Review: Motorola E815
Nearly every 3G (EV-DO, UMTS and otherwise) clamshell is about the same size, which is to say large but not huge. It still is small enough to fit in your hand easily and slide into your pocket with little effort. The sides are curved and sloped so that the phone just sinks into your palm, which is a rather nice feeling, especially when combined with the well-balanced weight. In the same way the phone being large but not huge, it is also weighty but not heavy.
What stands out as especially large is the barrel for the extendable antenna, which sticks out a full inch from the top of the phone. The e815 may slide into a pocket comfortably but keeping it there as you go about your day is not nearly as comfortable.
The battery door is attached so solidly, it is a good thing there is no reason to ever remove it, because it is quite an effort to get off. The rest of the phone, including small objects like the TransFlash slot cover, is equally solid except for the hinge. Oddly the largest moving part of the e815 is the least confidence inspiring. When closed, there is a great deal of play in the hinge and it does not open with a confident snap. It just sort of stops when it cant go any further. The phone does shut, however, with a confident thud.
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Thanks to the e815's size, each key on the keypad is large enough to accommodate even the meatiest of hands. Though the keys are placed next to each other with no space in between, each key is slightly convex. The hump of each key allows your thumb to confidently move from one key to the next. Although the keypad keys are excellent, the side keys are tiny and not easy to use, especially the camera and voice dial keys on the right which are both tiny and very hard to press. The volume rocker and select on the left are a bit easier to use. Motorola already includes a dedicated camera key on the internal keypad, so we would have preferred they drop it from the right hand side and use the extra space to enlarge the voice dial key.
Live reports from the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hot new phones from LG, Samsung, Motorola, Audiovox, and more!
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