Motorola A1000 – Missed opportunity

 

Display

The TFT display has a diagonal of 2.9″ and boasts a 208×302 pixel resolution, standard for all UIQ v2.1 smartphones. For its time, its size was pretty impressive, second only to Windows Mobile PDA phones which were larger and had a 4:3 aspect ratio. The resistive touchscreen has no protection glass and is recessed to limit the risk of damage on impact. This makes using the display without a stylus quite difficult, particularly for elements in or close to the corners.

Of course, colour reproduction is nothing to write home about. The 65536 colours made this display clearly superior to a 4096-colour one like the P800 had and whites are definitely whiter. There are no notable differences in colour reproduction to the P900, though the A1000 seems a bit more saturated. At the same time, colours seem to be a bit colder, though that could be an illustion brought about by the extensive use of blue in the interface.

Connectivity

A1000 covers all the bases when it comes to connectivity. It supports tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900 connectivity as well as 3G UMTS. This was, for all intents and purposes, a truly international phone. It’s a shame it was only available only on Hutchinson’s Three network and only in a few countries (Australia, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Singapore, Sweden and the UK) all throughout its life cycle.

 

The integrated browser has its own tab in the main navigation menu. In the absence of UMTS (quite a common occurrence in the technology’s early days), GPRS connection is also possible. Of course, the speed difference is easily felt, especially since the browser supports xHTML in addition to the WAP 2.0 standard. It takes full advantage of the ample screen, but also uses up quite a lot of your mobile data of which there was not nearly enough o go around back then and going over your monthly limit incurred steep prices.

The phone can be connected to a PC via USB using the included dock or a separate cable. The included software allows Outlook sync as well as accessing the file system. If you prefer wireless, Bluetooth is also present in its 1.1 iteration. A1000 supports connecting to accessories as well as efortless file transfer. As is the norm with Symbian, received files are stored as messages until they are saved to the file system. Phone visibility can be quickly changed using the dedicated Bluetooth icon on the status bar whenever it’s on.

Motorola M1000

A1000 also includes A-GPS, a feature that I haven’t had the chance to test without an app to take advantage of this. The phone’s japanese version, M1000 gives up A-GPS in favour of Wi-Fi a much more useful thing to have back in the day when navigation apps were still offline and took up an entire SD card and required tons of hardware resources to run.

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