TechnoFILE is copyright and a registered trademark © ® of
Pandemonium Productions.
All rights reserved.
E-mail us Here!

Motorola T720 Cellphone

by Jim Bray

If you want a cell phone that sings and dances all the latest tunes, Motorola thinks it has your answer.

Its T720 unit is not only a fully featured cellular telephone, but it also brings to the mix just about anything you could desire from a wireless telephone. Except, perhaps, for a camera.

The sleek little bugger is the latest incarnation of Motorola’s “StarTac” line of clamshell phones that are reminiscent of the old communicators from the original Star Trek TV show. You know the beasts - they flip up from the top to reveal the keypad and the screen.

That particular feature has never really appealed to me, however, other than as a Star Trek fan delighted to see science fiction becoming reality. What bothers me about it is that you really need to use two hands to get the phone open, which seems to me not to be the most efficient way of operating it.

Still, there are plenty of people out there who really like that aspect of the phone (and to be fair, it does allow for a much smaller unit), so perhaps it’s just me.

Anyway, the $449US T720 is a GSM/GPRS phone that features a color display and Java technology. Its technology not only allows its users to yak incessantly, but download “polyphonic ring tunes” (as if we need more of that!), animated graphics, and wireless games such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.

It can’t bake an omelet, but what do you want?

The phone weighs a paltry 101 grams, which is terrific except that it’s so light that sometimes I would lose it in my over stuffed pockets. This isn’t the phone’s fault, of course.

There’s actually so much stuff on this gadget that you’ll want to take a cruise through the owner’s manual before sallying forth into the cold, cruel world with it. I never did figure out how to use all the features fluently during my testing period, though part of the reason was my aversion to features that aren’t directly telephone-related.

Which means I didn’t spend a lot of time messing with games and stuff like that.

On more substantive issues, the T720 is equipped to do a fine job. It can handle PIM functions, enhanced messaging services, two line external caller ID etc.

Oh, it also has changeable front and back faceplates.

The phone’s small size is terrific for those who can still see without reading glasses, but that aspect of it really screwed me up. The numeric keypad was okay, and the color keyed “Send” and “End/Power” buttons were fine (though reversed from what felt comfortable to me) but I had real problems with seeing the color display if I didn’t pause and grab my specs.

Still, the overall layout is fine. The top line of buttons is for menu and selection functions, with a circular cursor control thingy immediately below, surrounded by the power/end and send buttons. It’s pretty straightforward.

The color screen uses icons (accessed via the cursor control thingy) to get at its various features. The screen is bright and sharp enough and, though I didn’t think I’d care about it, I liked having color.

One thing I really liked was the fact that this telephone offers you the chance to have a real ring tone. I’ve seen so many phones lately (and tested a few) where you were only given choices of various Mickey Mouse Musical Missives (every one of which I despised), that this Motorola is a breath of fresh air.

Of course, you can ruin that aspect of it by changing to a more obnoxious ring, but that’s your problem. You can also compose your own ring tone.

Motorola says the T720's LCD screen supports up to 4096 colors and, though I didn’t count them, the screen is very easy to read (remembering the above caveat about needing reading glasses!).

One control I though could have been placed better was the one that controls the volume. When I held the phone my fingers would fall right on the buttons and I’d find myself lowering the volume unconsciously.

The T720 is also quite configurable in the stuff you can add to it, such as a financial calculator, memo pad, news feed and the like. The display can show up to nine lines at a time, and you can also zoom in a tad closer to make it more legible.

You also get a POP3 E-mail client with which you can be assaulted by spam wherever you go (hey, I’m not cynical!), and you can switch from function to function (including sending a fax) without waiting for a dial up connection.

And you can take advantage of voice activated dialing and a vibrating function that makes the phone less annoying to others, but which (if it works anything like my personal cell phone does) can also make you feel (depending upon where you’re carrying it) as if you’re in the process of having a coronary.

The T720 also supports “TrueSync,” which lets you create, edit, and synchronize your phone and date books with compatible PC, handheld device, or Web-based PIM.

You can even get an (optional) MP3 accessory to download tunes and listen to them on the tiny little speaker - and an optional FM radio headset gives you access to radio stations for those times you really want to spend your airtime minutes on Rush Limbaugh or classic rock.

Okay, there’s a lot of stuff on this phone than people like me, whose cell phone needs are limited, would never use.

But there are also people who either want the latest and greatest or who can actually justify the use of such features as this Motorola offers. For them, this T720 cell phone could be a real bonus.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?


Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think













Support TechnoFile
via Paypal

TechnoFILE's E-letter
We're pleased to offer
our FREE private,
private E-mail service.
It's the "no brainer"
way to keep informed.

Our Privacy Policy

January 31, 2006