Review: AT&T(Cingular) GoPhone Motorola C168i


Fry’s is selling the AT&T GoPhone Motorola C168i for $14.99 with $10.00 worth of airtime, a good phone at a very cheap price. This phone looks so good; pirates (I mean entrepreneurs) are unlocking them for replacement phones and selling them on eBay. I also would not be embarrassed using the C168i at any coffee house where they talk on their iPhones and RAZRs. Although Web access is slow and limited, text message search is a viable less expensive method.

There are some good features about the C168i. It is nice looking, operable with one hand, and the keys are tactile keys and don’t trip up easily by mistake. The 128 x 128 pixel 1.5 inch diagonal screen color scheme is easy to read and clear. There are Windows-like icons to find and activate features such as the phone book and Web browsing. It has SMS and MMS messaging capabilities with pre-defined templates. Text entry with the small keyboard is not that difficult if you choose your type of entry mode and play with it for a while.

The Motorola C168i has features, one would not expect for such a low price, such as call forwarding, conference calling and call waiting. Web browsing via MEdia Net is also surprising for such a low-cost phone but it comes with the high price of access by kilobyte. Any time, you connect to the Web the cost is 1 cent a kilobyte, an accidental key push can cost 10 cents, and it is very slow. Typing URLs takes time with such a little keyboard and lots of going back and forth into different modes, putting in a period for a .com requires patience. There is a way to set up bookmarks, which is probably a much better idea than typing in the URL each time. Because of the pricing system and WAP limitations, it would probably be best use .mobi URLs.

I would only use Web access in an absolute emergency. A better choice for information on the go would be to text message Google (466453) for fast results or text any search term to 92466 for Yahoo results by SMS. A good idea would be to go to the Google and Yahoo Mobile Web sites, to type in your phone number with a regular keyboard and then keep the quick access numbers on your phone.

The quality of the speaker and ringtones is not stunning but functional. All in all the Motorola C168i phone is a decent phone for people who are not power cell phone or mobile Internet users who just need a mobile phone when away from the home or office. It has parental controls, therefore, it’s a good starter phone for a tween. Because it uses a SIM, if you already have a compatible SIM, it can act as an inexpensive replacement phone.

Technical Specs
• Weight: 2.75 ounces
• Dimensions: 1.8 x 4.1 x .55 inches
• Talk Time: Up to 8.8 hours
• Standby Time: Up to 14 days
• Dual-band GSM/GPRS 850/1900
• Large glossy 128 x 128, 65K CSTN color display
• Phonebook stores up to 600 entries
• Store up to 250 text messages
• 768KB User Memory