Motorola E815 / E816 Hollywood
Phone Scoop Review
Oct 11, 2005 by Eric Lin
In-depth review of Motorola's first EV-DO phone for North America, the E815 for Verizon. read review ›
The best I have owned!
Hmm..This is the first review I am writing but what a good way to start..In my day I have owned 2 analog phones(ok but out of date), a Startac time port(good phone but lacked features), Samsung a315(ok reception, but kinda out of date), LG6100(not good reception, good camera, good ringtones) and this e815(good everything). I would have to say the e815 is better than all of them...I wont go into a long explanation here are the pros and cons:
Signal strength - even in low signal areas!!
Call clarity - no distortion or static or breaking up!!
Call quality! - sounds better than a land line
High Speed EV-DO - haven't used yet
Screen is colorful and big - cool
Camera - 1.3 megapixels...quality is ok
Video recorder - good feature
No Analog - This was a disappointment to me, but analog is becoming more rare.
Vibrate function is a bit weak but it is ok, you can still feel it. The LG6100 I had scared me when it first vibrated..lol
Ringtones are limited, the phone does not have a wide variety like the LG I had.
The video recorder does not have that high quality from what I have seen, but it is a phone. Get a camcorder if you want something better.
Does not come with a belt clip.
Basically if you need a high quality multimedia phone..Get this one!
Best Verizon Phone
BOTTOM LINE: The BEST choice for a phone I've made with Verizon to date. Keeps the time on the screen as long as you're in a lighter area to view it without having to push anything. So if you liked the 710 but just wish it let you change the background of the outside screen, well, the E815 can!
Besides this phone, I loved the V265 EXCEPT for the fact that there is NO DATE. That is correct. I can't get over how stupid that is, whether it's verizon's choice or motorola's, both are blaming eachother, probably because they know what a stupid choice that was not to include the date on the main screen. YES, YES, you can go to the date book, but still that's rediculous.
THE REST: Let's face it, Verizon doesn't have the greatest phones. Whether it be the fact that they're all ugly, they work like crap, or just the fact that they have too many features to it that they make you mad.
I can deal with the fact that every phone that is decent out there is going to have a camera, fine.
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I have always been an LG fan and i have always been anti-moto...
comparing this to the vx-8100:
bluetooth blows the lg far far away.
can use speakerphone while closed.
camera quality is much much better
takes picture instantly... no 1 sec delay.
almost entirely customizable.
bluetooth easier to unlock.
unbelievable RF. works almost everywhere.
bigger buttons. easier to dial and text.
gives suggestions for words in text.
phonebook in text dictionary.
cannot keep flash on or a quick turn on.
voice dialing is very poor and unrecognizable.
not stereo. speaker phone crackles.
the old motorola crappy charging port.
you MUST assign someone to a speed dial.
contacts cannot have their own text tones.
can't read texts from front screen.
battery life is below average at best.
text messaging can be difficult if coming from a samsung or lg.
flip is floppy.
phone freezes up at times, but find me one that doesn't.
all in all, i like this phone a lot better than the lg. it is made better and works better.
p.s., fyi... if u erase any of your quick texts, u WILL lose your voice activated features. software glitch i guess.
2 week review...
Here are a few pros and cons...
*Camera... Nice pictures with flash.
*Inside screen size... Full of color.
*MP3 capabilty... Needs a transflash card.
*Vcast videos and clear and crisp.
*Video Recorder isnt great compared to its camera... Very choppy recordings.
*Sound recording from Voice Recorder/Video Recorder is low... Very low.
Overall, I like this phones capabilty. I live in Southern California and havent had a dropped call. On my recent phone, I would love using the voice recorder at work recording hilarious conversation for laughs. With this phone, its not the same considering how low the sound is. All in all, I can only be happy considering I wont have any dropped calls anymore.
Like the e815 but beaware of alarm problem
I bought this phone for my wife and have waited for two weeks to see how it would work out. Like someone else I would give this phone a 4.5 without a few significant problems and without Verizon's crippling of the features.
In a brazen attempt to extract a few sheckles for downloading pics and ringtones those functions have been disabled. Fortunately a seem (config file?) edit is documented at Howard's forums which will fix this and the ability to use bluetooth for file xfer.
I am really disturbed that the alarm does not go off if you receive a txt message. If you depend on and use your phone as an alarm clock to wake you up this will never do. It has been suggested that VZE/Moto will fix this but it has not been forthcoming.
In addition to the phone, I spent $20 on ebay for a usb cable and Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) software. With this software and the seed edit you can do BT file xfer of ringtones and pics. JPG's must go through this software or a conversion at VZWPIC website or they will not display at all.
I also bought a 128mb transflash card for $31 at Amazon.
The seem edit is well documented but in my opinion cannot be done very well by a novice.
You will see reports of both great and poor battery life. This is apparently a function of where you are relative to VZW's EVDO network. In fringe areas of the EVDO network the phone will swithc continually betweent the 1x and EVDO network which apparently wipes out the battery. Otherwise the battery is pretty good. An extended battery is available but I didn't get it.
The best features are the reception and the speaker phone. MP3's play very nicely. No hack needed for this. Just plug the card into your pc and drag your music to the card. Let the phone format the card. It wants to setup it's own folder structure.
I have ordered a stereo headset for the mp3's (supports standard phone plug rather than mp3 plug)
Best Verizon Moto EVER!!!
Simply put, this phone is a killer. It's got a huge bright screen, and of course bluetooth. Best of all, the reception is the best of any phone I have ever used. What has impressed me the most is the programmability. Unlike my last phone (Kyocera KX414), you are actually able to customize the directional keypad. There is a shortcut feature that you can use to create a list of shortcuts to nearly any feature in the phone. I added the shortcut icon to the keypad commands, now it's 10x more useful. I had no trouble bonding the phone to my PC using a bluetooth adapter. With a few simple hacks you can easily enable OBEX transfer and read/write to your transflash card (just do a web search for "e815 seem edit"). Note that hacking voids the warranty. Just don't tell anyone (oops). Now I can transfer photos and ringtones back and forth with no problem.
Voice dialing works well, with a few catches. It works best with pre-programmed entries ("home", "Bob", etc.) although you can speak numbers directly into it. It works well with "411", but if you're driving and attempt to voice dial "324-783-9238" you'll be disappointed. If you must do this, do it in a quiet location or just use your thumb like in the olden days.
A few others have complained about the size of the phone, but I don't consider that a problem. The keypad is large with positive clicks. People with large hands should have no problem operating the phone. Plus, how else are you going to fit that huge pretty screen? The e815 is probably the best CDMA phone ever made, certainly the best Verizon has ever offered.
- Superb reception
- Big bright screen
- Versatile programming options; shortcut feature is great
- Hackable SEEM
- Bluetooth works very well
- Voice dialing is excellent
- Toggling vibrate mode is cumbersome, but you can overcome this using shortcuts
- Voice dialing has a few minor limitations
- Camera quality is limited, but what did you expect?
I can use my phone at my house!
After running my LG VX4600 over with my car in a snowstorm and my phone coming out unharmed, I told myself I would never buy any other phone other than an LG.
I live in the pinelands of South Jersey. What am I saying here? There are no cell phone towers in a 5 mile radius and THICK WOODS EVERYWHERE. There is no service for any providers except Verizon and Nextel in my area, and what service is there is terrible. With my VX4600, I had to go outside to make calls. I could never use my phone in my room or anywhere in my house. None of my friends with any other carriers could either. After reading the reviews on this site about how good the E815's reception was, I gave it a whirl now that my contract is up.
Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. I can FINALLY use my phone with crystal clear, land-line quality in my room. I have 2-3 bars of service all over my house. I can even make calls in my BASEMENT! This is completely unheard of. I'll never have to sit in my car in a rainstorm making a call ever again!
While this was a nice breath of fresh air, I decided to take the phone for the ultimate reception test. I work at Sears and I took my phone on a tour of the darkest corners of the stock room. The stock room is composed of concrete walls, metal girdirs, and probably asbestos as Sears is filthy like that. I have service everywhere. No one else could believe it. I have the only phone in Sears that works EVERYWHERE I GO!
This phone could find service in an undergound bomb shelter. Have poor service at your house? Before you switch carriers, buy a $500 repeater, or just go insane like I almost did, switch to this phone. After buying this, LG's phones make Verizon's network look bad! It is so much better than I thought!
Also, the speakerphone, camera, and overall build quality of this phone is great. Battery life is decent, I've had no problems with echoing, the software is fast and easy to navigate...I could go on and on. Buy it!
NICE PHONE, VERY FEW CONS
I have had problems with almost every phone I have owned, the last two I had were the LG VX6000 and I HATED that phone! It was plastic, weightless, and cheap and the Kyocera Slider, cool phone, but screen was tiny and the texting was horrible. I have gone through 7 phones in two years. I like a phone that isn't too heavy, but is heavy enough to know it is solid and wont break when you drop it a few times.
The Motorola E815 is nice and sturdy, sleek and stylish. The picture is awesome and camera is great. Almost everything about the phone is great, but here are some PROS that stuck out to me, and some CONS as well...
*Camera (with flash) is really clear
*Awesome reception, very clear sounding
*Phone looks sleek
*Easy menu access and very easy to follow
*Leather cases and other accessories that were made for the Motorola V170 can be used for this phone
*Cool IM feature lets you sign into your msn, aol or yahoo account
*Ringer is nice and loud
*Real tone rings sound sweet!
*Nice big, clear screen
*Leather cover makes the phone a lot more durrable and stylish (highly recommended)
*Video camera is horrible (but who buys a phone for the video camera?)
*When I am on msn IM it will sometimes freeze and I will have to completely turn my phone off to make it work again.
*A lot of GET IT NOW games are not available yet...like tetris :(
All in all there are very few cons, and This phone is very very nice. Out of all my phones I have had, this is definitely my favorite one!
What is not to like about this phone?
Have had the E815 one week now and am very satisfied with it. Had been considering getting the V710 and glad I waited for this one. The phone is essentially free with NE2, a real solid deal.
Camera is fine (for a cell phone). Even has a flash!
Screen is large and detail is sharp
Transflash card for storing pictures and mp3.
Voice dialing - no need to store "voice tags"
Speaker phone works when phone is closed.
No Analog, but not a problem in the SF Bay Area where digital reception is very strong.
A real solid value, a real no brainer. Nothing to loose, try it, phone can be returned within two weeks of order for full credit.
E815: Best phone I've owned to date...
Well I've had the E815 for a week now (well, it's actually my wife's but I've used it enough...and I bought it for her Smile )I'm just gonna lay it out there and be blunt.
The Motorola E815 is the best pure phone we've ever owned.
Sound quality is awesome. When I am talking to her when she's on the phone...it sounds as good as our landline...I can't tell the difference.
Signal strength is awesome (It's pulling 4 bars right now, next to my Samsung i730 which is bouncing between 2 and 3 bars)
Build quality of the phone is amazing. It feels very solid...yet very light.
Buttons are very easy to press. I have rather large-ish thumbs...and I haven't miskeyed a number yet with it!
Battery life seems very good so far...it's hard to get a feel for that until we're in a situation where it isn't on the charger for a few days but it seems like the battery meter never drops (she charges it every night, though...but even still after using it off and on all day the meter doesn't drop down by day's end)
The menu system is very intuitive...even my wife figued it out pretty easily.
Ringer is awesome. First phone in awhile we actually had to turn the ringer down because it was too loud...most phones ringer volume is a problem...not so with this baby!
I could go on and on...but I'm just gonna say it again. This is the best cell phone we've ever owned. If I didn't prefer a PDA/Phone combo...I'd have an 815 for myself. But my wife has a business that she runs, and she uses the cell phone as her business phone and she speaks to clients regularly...so she needs something that performs very well as a PHONE...and the Moto 815 definitely does that. I was going to wait for the LG VX8100 to come out and compare the two; (she's been using an LG VX4400 for 2 years and has been pleased with that so I naturally was going to check the next greatest LG phone)...but I'm glad I didnt' wait. This thing ROCKS!
Motorola definitely has a winner here!