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CES 2008

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After covering all these big-ticket items, we still have a few phones left in our hopper...

Motorola's big news at CES was definitely the ROKR E8 and Z10, but they also rolled out a lower-end phone that might make its way stateside: the W270.


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The W270 is a very basic clamshell in the spirit of the W370. In fact, the two are very similar, but since it's now 2008, Motorola is following the trend of putting serious music features in its entry-level phones. Therefore the W270 has a microSD memory card slot that the W370 lacks, even though it's technically a lower-end phone with a smaller display. It's pretty neat to see a true music phone at (what we expect to be) a very low price point.

The W270 doesn't have the high-quality, RAZR-inspired styling of the W370, but it still has a nice feel to it. It has a very plastic feel to it, but a solid, durable kind of plastic.

The W270 is technically for overseas markets. It will come to the US... basically. It may have a feature or two changed, like FM radio, and it may even arrive on our shores under a different model number, but it will essentially be the same phone as what you see here. Look for it to be a prepaid model with one of the smaller carriers or MVNOs.

We were able to spend a few moments with the previously announced Sony Ericsson W380. It is a Walkman clamshell that offers only basic features. The lavender skin covering the W380 has a nice soft-touch paint job to it, and the front hides an OLED display that is visible when you interact with the music controls. The buttons in the interior were large and easy to find and use. They are covered with a slick rubbery surface that allows your thumb to slide over them easily. There is a lock key on the top/back of the phone that lets you activate the front-panel controls. The menu system is similar to other mid-range Sony Ericsson's. You can see a short video tour of it here.

Samsung has also added a new Jitterbug in grey. We're not quite sure what prompted the color change but there are some improvements. First off, there's no more glare off that bright white paint job. And now the text is all white on dark grey, which believe it or not is easier for aging eyes to read than black on bright white. Finally, even though the charge port is still tiny, it is now surrounded by a bright white square and stands out much better than the black hole on the previous model. The new model is also updated with a new home screen that asks the user if they want to see a simple user guide for about 3 seconds every time the phone is opened. (This can be turned off.)


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