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Motorola V195 / V197


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Heavy, Fragile, Slow


Apr 2, 2009 by aegrotatio

This is my first Motorola after a long line of prepaid LG, Samsung, Pantec, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson phones on both T-Mobile and AT&T/Cingular. It is a huge disappointment how primitive and outdated Motorola equipment has become compared to virtually everything else.

-It has a good radio which is important for 1900 MHz-only T-Mobile.
-Keys are easy to use.
-It looks good (see Cons).
-Relatively long battery life compared to the rest.
-Lots of loud and good ringers.
-Handy external mini-screen shows everything you need including VM, SMS, IM, battery, signal status icons.
-Bluetooth on a prepaid phone is almost unheard of.
-People on the other end think I'm calling from a land line, it's sounds so good.

-Nice-looking, rubberized shell scrapes off in everyday use. This really pissed me off.
-Extremely heavy for its size.
-Rather bulky and awkward to hold.
-Speakerphone is nearly useless.
-When closed the buttons activate ringer profile so when jostling around in a bag it can and will often turn its ringers off.
-The charger is on a timer which you can extend, but why not work like every other phone in existence and automatically charge itself to 100%? The default of 1 hour will not fully recharge the battery.
-Hideously ugly user interface with Atari 800 fonts.
-Rubber grommet that covers charger and headphone jack also covers jagged edges that will scratch you.
-Even though the charger is mini-USB style it does not work with an alarming number of USB chargers.

Absolutely wonderful, especially compared to Verizon's offerings.


Aug 13, 2008 by Thelastholdout

First, I must offer my credentials. I am an outsourced warranty agent with Verizon Wireless, so I have a good idea what's good and what's not, and what constitutes an actual problem with a phone.

Now, let me get down to business:

If you want a camera/good browser/all that extra crap that doesn't have anything to do with the actual function of a phone, then there are better (albeit less reliable) options.

If you want a phone that has about a 98% chance of working properly for a long time, then BUY THIS PHONE.

I bought my V195 a year and a half ago after I tried to move out of my parents' house the first time. They have Verizon, I have T-Mobile now, and even though T-Mobile technically has no presence where I live, the phone still works beautifully on AT&T's network. Over a year and a half, and the only quality issue with the phone is the chintzy quality of the speakerphone or using a wired headset (never screwed around with a Bluetooth). However, I never expected crystal clarity on either anyway. Not to mention I don't use it that often, so it works.

Everything that I've actually tried to use on this phone works perfectly. From the display, to MyFaves, to adding contacts, to sending/receiving text messages, to using the WAP browser (actually a viable option for checking the Superbowl score and quick crap like that). Sure, yeah, there's the static issue, but it's never been bad enough to complain about. Sure, the display is a LITTLE laggy at times, but again, I've used this phone a year and a half. Once in a while a call will drop while I'm talking on it, but I think that's the network and the fact that I live in a concrete building and on the second out of three floors I can still get good reception even while not under my skylight is awesome.

If you're looking for a phone with some moderately advanced options, then buy this phone. Nuff said.

P.S. The battery life rocks, a year and a half later.

Best available phone w/o camera


Mar 22, 2008 by trancefreak

This is the best and newest non-camera phone currently in the market. It gets great reception (even for T-mobile) and phenomenal battery life. It also has bluetooth and mp3 ring tone capabilities. This means you can transfer songs and pictures to the phone wirelessly through your computer without having to use any special software. The bad thing though is that the phone only has 10 MB memory. Also the Motorola operating system is a bit outdated but is very customizable.

Phenomenal non-multimedia phone


Aug 24, 2006 by sether

I purchased the V195 with T-Mobile for $19.99 with a 2-year contract. It was an amazing deal for what I got.

I'm a new customer with T-Mobile. According to the coverage maps on their website, I wouldn't be able to make calls indoors at my home and even calls outdoors would have poor call quality. Either the coverage maps heavily underestimate reception, or this phone has amazing RF. Judging from other reviews and from the phone's power output specifications, I'd say that the good RF is the reason for the great coverage I'm getting (2-4 bars consistently when I should only be getting 0-1 bars at my house).

I have only purchased Samsung phones in the past, and this upgrade to Motorola is a major change. The first thing I noticed was much more customization options -- nearly every option on the phone is customizable. And while an experienced cell phone user will have fun adjusting all of the phone's settings and playing with the advanced features, new cell phone users will find the user interface easy to learn.

-Amazing battery life
-Moderate/good voice quality
-Great reception in poor coverage areas
-Highly customizable
-Class 1 Bluetooth
-Quad-band GSM
-Slick design
-Solid "feel" and nice build quality
-Easy-to-learn interface

-Some static during calls. It's not bad enough to be bothersome but don't expect landline phone voice call clarity.
-Some menu grouping isn't entirely intuitive, such as having "Tools" under "Settings" (I don't think of the calculator application as a "setting"). This is just a minor quirk.

I'm tempted to add "lack of EDGE (EGPRS)" as a con, but there's really no need for high speed data transfer on a phone that isn't intended for multimedia. If you're looking for a phone that just "gets down to business" and doesn't have any useless features such as a camera, multimedia player, etc., this phone is perfect.

Great Basic Phone


Jun 11, 2006 by mauizenman

I have been using the V195 for a week now and have been very pleased with everything about it. No camera either.
Good build and rubber-grip feel
Awesome battery life: Moto claims it is the longest of any phone out there (21 days)
Great reception
Good solid keyboard
Clear outer screen, legible without backlight
Large fonts..for those of us who need it!
Good earpiece and speakerphone volume
mini usb charges when connected to computer or with charger.

Screen: not TFT but that's why they are able to get the batter life so long.Certainly it
is acceptable and is readable in sunlight.



Jun 8, 2006 by darc

Motorola finally got it right for a high quality BASIC cellphone.This phone has great receiption,clear callquality,loud and larger fonts. Now it is a BASIC cellphone so dont buy and then complain about it not having edge or a camera etc . It texts and has bluetooth and only costs $34.

Best phone I have ever owned!


Jul 1, 2006 by blaje

I got this phone almost a week ago, replacing my scratched, water damaged Nokia 3220. I have ALWAYS been a Nokia guy, but my dad god a SLVR L7 and I love it, so I decided to go for the v195.
Well, Straight to the point:


Great call quality
Decent external Display
Good looks
Mini-USB port (BEST PART, why I absolutely hated my Nokia, the cables were crap.
MP3 Ringtones
Great quality speaker, MP3 ringers sound great
INCREDIBLE Battery Life!!


The one thing I hate about this phone is that it has a "Voice Memo" feature, which is basicaly a voice recorder. However, you cannot listen to the recording yourself, you can only send it to others. You can get past it by sending it yourself, but it's annoying.

Excellent battery life- I love this phone!


Mar 31, 2009 by MoonPie98

Just started using this phone in January, on T-mobile in Indianapolis.

Pros: Excellent battery life-- I've forgotten my charger and not been able to charge for two days and the battery is still good. Signal is superb-- better than my Samsung on Verizon. Bottom floor, indoors inside an office it gets nothing, but after I go upstairs, I get a signal.

Cons: Not really any. Small complaint--can't change the font on the wallpaper.

Overall, an excellent phone. Just wish it were a Verizon phone because I can't get T-mobile when I go out of town.

cute phone!


Nov 4, 2006 by antigoneskye

My mom got this phone as an upgrade through T-Mobile. With a two year contract extention, we paid about 80.00, with a 50.00 mail-in-rebate. She doesn't know much about phones, much less, flip phones - she had a Samsung SGH-R225 for two years - but this phone was easy for her to get used to.


It's a Motorola (gotta love them, most of the time)

Nice size flip phone (she was saying she didn't want a "long phone" like my Fusic

Easy UI

Good speaker

Ringer is loud (right now she has Santaria by Sublime on her phone as her default)

Great signal strength (we live on a ranch and she gets full bars where my Fusic gets two or three bars)

Bluetooth! (I'm glad the phone has it, my mom has no idea what it is)

It's NOT a Razr (god I hate Razr's)


Motorola and their weird decision to put the Missed calls under the Received calls....why do they do that!?

The External LCD isn't a screen like mine...so no Picture ID's on the external

No camera or video...but my mom doesn't really need that

Games on the phone are kinda ehhh....but I downloaded TX Hold 'Em and it's all gravy now.

Most of these pro's and con's are what *I* gather from the phone....my mom thinks its the best thing since sliced bread and won't let go of it except when she's charging it.

It's a nice phone, I dig it.

V195? Not so fast...


Sep 26, 2006 by lovetoflyfish

I recently purchased a Motorola V195 for my wife to use and for me until my new permanent phone arrives. The V195 is well recommended by this forum/others but I have quickly found some, perhaps overlooked, problems that make me consider that I chose the wrong phone. First, the back-lighting on the keys is terrible at best. I can see letters and some of the center-column numerals but not the numbers on the sides. Yes, it is a standard layout but because the keys are flat and not rounded buttons it makes them more difficult to find. Now, how about the tone made while pressing the keys? There is better sync between the action and soundtrack of old Kung-Fu movies than with this phone; it is hard to tell if a number, letter or symbol actually appeared without staring at the display! And who on G-d’s Green Earth thought that it was important, while viewing a call log, that they be numbered, (un)checked and preceded by the number one; therefore eliminating the last three digits from the screen?! This is America! Land of the ten-digit number! If I needed that crap I could pick up that info while viewing the details and not have to press view for each listing just to see the number! Loved my Nokia 6360!!!

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