iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Motorola T205 GSM Phone

July 10, 2001

A mobile phone I'm going to examine today is one more model from Motorola. This T205 phone is very similar to the T2688 one. This entry-level phone will cost you some $130. Another interesting detail is that this model is the first of three ones assembled on the Acer plants.

Design, accumulator and operation time

The appearance is unusual for Motorola. The phone is thin (14 mm), small and weighs 90 g. There is no a clip mount, that is why you will have to use either a case (but it is lacking now), or a holster for wearing it on a belt. But it is still difficult to find such accessories since its form (i.e. thickness) is non-standard. At least you can mount a belt for wearing the phone in your hand.

The company will first launch the phone in three colors: Metallic Light Titanium, Metallic Radar Blue and Metallic Silver. I've got a Metallic Silver sample. But it is only the front panel that changes its color: the rear panel and a rim around a display are always black.

A Li-Ion battery (600 mAh) used in this phone is traditional for Motorola, but its appearance has changed. The battery serves at the same time a rear lid of the phone. The battery fits reliably, there is no any backlash. The phone is supplied together with a charging unit, which allows for charging the battery completely at 2 - 2.5 hours. The phone works nearly 3 days at up to 15 minutes of talking a day without switching off for night.

The SIM-holder has a simple and reliable construction.

The keypad is plastic. The volume control keys on the side panel are made of rubber and allow for a quick look-through of a record-book in a stand-by mode. Under the screen you can find a menu navigation key. This model differs from other Motorola phones also in a key with a green point which has replaced a key with a green phone. Now let's look at the changes made in the menu.


When you switch on the phone you will see a screen saver. The graphic screen can display up to 4 lines of text and one line of icons. They are a signal level (5 points), a battery status (4 points) and an indicator of an active line. No secret that the most of mobile communication operators allow keeping two numbers in one SIM card, with their simultaneous use permitted. The vast majority of phones support this function, but it is unclear why this sign is displayed on the screen. Besides, you will find there a date, time and a name of an operator.

To get into the menu you must press a navigation button in one of the directions. You will see 8 icons located in two rows with a writing for a chosen item below. You can navigate the menu with the respective keys, choose an item with a green key, go a level up with key C. You can also choose a quick navigation mode, but it functions rather strange. In particular, when in the main menu you can quickly choose a desirable item having pressed a corresponding figure. But for getting inside it you must press a key with a green point. In the submenu short numerical sequences work good.

You can adjust a quick access menu of a maximum of 9 items.

In the phone book (a reference one) one can keep up to 100 numbers (apart from the SIM card memory). In all other respects, the phone book features are standard: record search, creation of new records. After editing and saving of a record you will see a message of a successful completion of an operation and a small icon of an animal - a pleasant feature. A text input in a phone book is possible only in English, as well as when making SMS messages. By the way, you can save 5 templates for SMS.

Among other interesting functions is a possibility to choose manually an operation frequency - 900 or 1800 MHz, at default the choice will be made automatically. This model has only one timer (60 sec). A proprietary sign - the second timer set for any time - is absent. There are two animated screen savers: a small dragon hunting a fly to eat it, and a fish which tries to swallow a heart on a hook.

For the first time an entry-level phone has a function of switching on/off according to a timetable. It means that you can set it so that it will be switched on/off automatically at the desired time. The phone allows both setting one on/off cycle and using it all the time or only on days of week.

Through the Tools menu you can find a calculator. Besides, for the first time a phone of such class has acquired a calendar which allows for looking through a year month by month and set definite sound alerts. Each commentary can consist of up to 21 symbol, and totally you can record up to 20 comments. For each one you should set time and day, but it is unclear why it is necessary to input these data repeatedly when choosing a definite day in the calendar.

There is also a usual alarm clock for a single response.

Sound quality, calls and sensitivity

In my opinion, the phone has quite decent sensitivity: I had no problems with it in town, the sound quality was good, the sound was clear. My interlocutor heard me perfectly as well. Frankly speaking, I didn't expect such a clear sound from an entry-level device.

A user can choose a ring tone among 5 tones and 13 melodies, but it is impossible to create your own melody. At the maximum volume the phone is loud quite enough not to omit a call. A vibra-call can be, unfortunately, used only with one tone (trill) or without any sound, but with no melodies. The set of melodies in not very attracting. For SMS-messages you can choose one of the given melodies or ring tones.

The phone keeps in memory 10 last dialed numbers with time and date of a call. Besides, there are lists of missed and accepted calls.


Reportedly, the initial price of the T205 will be $130, which is not too much for a phone with a vibra-call and a Li-Ion battery. Besides, do not forget such functions as auto switching on/off according to a timetable and an organizer with alert signals intended to supplement a single alarm clock.

The communication quality is quite good. There are some imperfections when working with the menu though, but you get used to them quickly. The phone doesn't recognize a busy signal which makes usage of auto call function impossible.

So, the phone left an ambiguous impression: on the one hand, it offers not bad function set, on the other hand, the menu and the construction are not well thought-out. But you mustn't expect too much from a budget model: this phone is intended only for talks and is a direct competitor for such entry-level models as Siemens A35, Panasonic GD35 and Siemens C35, though it loses to the latter model taking into consideration its price (it loses, however, far not in functions but in convenience of usage). So, this model takes an intermediate position between the A35 and C35 models.

I think that this phone will become popular and maybe it will repeat the success achieved by the m-series from Motorola, who knows?!

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