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Item#: 9SIA24A0P25736

Motorola Pebl U9 Unlocked Quadband Phone (Gold)

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Though Motorola has succeeded in making a series of reliable, practical cell phones this year, the company hasn't been working the style angle that hard. Sure, the Z9 and Rokr E8 are attractive, but even those handsets put function over form. The Motorola U9, however, wears its style on its sleeve. Sporting a glossy surface and curvy lines, the attractive U9 reminds us of the Motorola Pebl U6. Beyond the pretty face, it offers a brilliant display, decent call quality, and a functional music player. Though we had a couple of concerns about its controls, and its menu interface was a bit sluggish, the U9 remains a stylish phone with substance. Just don't get too excited about its camera. It's available unlocked in North America for $150. To find accessories for this phone, see our cell phone ringtones and accessories guide.

Design
Like the Pebl U6 before it, the Motorola U9 looks like it could skip several times across a pond. And like a real pebble, the U9's curvaceous shape and smooth, glossy skin would look at home in a fast-flowing stream. At 3.54-inches tall by 1.91-inches wide by 0.65-inch thick, the U9 has a pleasant size that fits squarely in the hand without taking up too much space in a pocket or bag. The hinge lacks the slide-and-open mechanism of the U6 but it has a solid construction. Its only quirk is that when open, the phone's front flap actually rests behind its rear flap. It's unique and it shouldn't make any difference to the user. We're a bit worried about the plastic skin on the phone's front face. Though we didn't subject the U9 to any torture tests, we wonder how the phone would handle a solid drop to a hard surface. Only the back of the U9 is covered in the soft-touch material that almost completely enveloped the Pebl U6.

The external display is hidden behind the U9's screen, so when its backlighting is off it disappears entirely. You can't change the backlighting time, but a flick of the volume rocker will reactive the screen. At 65,000 colors and 1.45 inches, it shows all the information you need, including the time, battery life, signal strength, and photo-caller ID. It also works as a viewfinder for the external display, and we like the flashy wallpapers and screen savers. What's more, when you're listening to tunes the music-player touch controls appear on the external display. Though they aren't always responsive, they are a nifty touch.

Completing the exterior of the phone are a volume rocker and the Moto "smart" key on the left spine and a voice-dialing shortcut on the right spine. The phone's single speaker sits on its back side. The U9 does have a microSD card slot but it's stashed behind the battery, unfortunately. Also on the downside, the U9 uses a micro-USB port for both the charger and the included wired headset. We prefer to see a standard headset jack (2.5mm or 3.5mm) on a music phone

Though Motorola has succeeded in making a series of reliable, practical cell phones this year, the company hasn't been working the style angle that hard. Sure, the Z9 and Rokr E8 are attractive, but even those handsets put function over form. The Motorola U9, however, wears its style on its sleeve. Sporting a glossy surface and curvy lines, the attractive U9 reminds us of the Motorola Pebl U6. Beyond the pretty face, it offers a brilliant display, decent call quality, and a functional music player. Though we had a couple of concerns about its controls, and its menu interface was a bit sluggish, the U9 remains a stylish phone with substance. Just don't get too excited about its camera. It's available unlocked in North America for $150. To find accessories for this phone, see our cell phone ringtones and accessories guide.

Design
Like the Pebl U6 before it, the Motorola U9 looks like it could skip several times across a pond. And like a real pebble, the U9's curvaceous shape and smooth, glossy skin would look at home in a fast-flowing stream. At 3.54-inches tall by 1.91-inches wide by 0.65-inch thick,


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Item#: 9SIA24A0P25736
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