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Another look at Mot’s Linux-powered Rokr E2 cellphone

Sep 1, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

OSNews has published a detailed review of the Linux-powered Motorola Rokr E2 music phone. The review, by Eugenia Loli-Queru, takes a balanced look at both the hardware and the software, and identifies a number of the device's strengths and weaknesses.

(Click for larger view of the Rokr E2)

The Rokr E2 debuted in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It has FCC approval, but to date has not been introduced in the U.S.

The review starts off with a run-down of the phone's hardware features and specs, including processor, memory, LCD screen, keypad, input/output ports, size and weight, and the like.

The full-sized SD card slot gets an enthusiastic endorsement. “According to Motorola the phone has been tested with up to 2 GBs of SD, but it should work with up to 4 GBs as well,” Loli-Queru writes. Additionally, “the quality and brightness of the QVGA screen is amazing,” but on the other hand, “the 1.3 MP camera won't get any awards.”

Other positives include the standard mini-USB 2.0 interface, standard 3.5mm audio jack, “great sound quality,” and built-in FM radio, but the device exhibited “mediocre GSM reception.”

Loli-Queru goes on to describe the look and feel of the phone's UI (user interface), which, she says, is “based on the Chameleon UI non-touchscreen engine, instead of their EZX one. Having used both UIs, I noticed that the Chameleon UI is somewhat derived by the EZX one (albeit very modified).”

“For all means and purposes the ROKR-E2 feels and behaves like any other modern feature phone,” writes Loli-Queru. “Its UI and icon style resembles the current non-Linux Motorola phones, but the fonts are way better.”

Next, she details many of the phone's screens and functions, including the main screen, contacts, recent calls, messages, PIM tools, and settings functions. She notes that the device she reviewed came with three untranslated Chinese games, and “one of them crashed the phone while loading.”

Praising the device's version 8.50 Opera Mobile browser, Loli-Queru writes that it “worked fast, scrolled fast, never ran out of memory … and rendered everything as expected.” Although, a couple of minor problems were also noted. Another strong point was the phone's file manager, about which she writes, “I absolutely love the power you get from this seemingly simple file manager.”

Issues singled out for dishonorable mention in the “problems” sections included:

  • Needlessly complex Bluetooth management
  • No “/” symbol in Java apps
  • No quad-band GSM
  • No IM (instant messaging) app
  • Disappointing MPEG4 support
  • No SDK to write native apps for the phone

Read Loli-Queru's complete, informative review of the Rokr E2 cellphone at, here.

For an additional perspective, read the hands-on review of the Rokr E2 by our own resident geek, Senior Editor Henry Kingman, here.

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