"What the RAZR should've been right from the start"4.5 starson by sergioquiros
Pros: Sturdy build, fantastic design, brilliant display, gorgeous keypad, super light and small, great reception, all the goodies
Cons: Call volume could be a bit louder, side keys feel cheap
Summary: I bought a V3i with iTunes yesterday and honestly I was a bit worried after reading multiple reports from other Mac users regarding poor iSync compatibility and not being able to sync it or exchange files between the V3i and their Macs via Bluetooth. I'm replacing my old Sony Ericsson which always provided total synchronization with my PowerBook.
So the first thing I tried was mounting it to iTunes via USB cable. iTunes picked it up as with any iPod, right on the source list in the iTunes player, though I first had to change the V3i USB Connection settings from Data/Fax to Memory Card. Then I unplugged the USB cable and tried pairing the V3i with my Mac via Bluetooth. It did it immediately and with no problems (typically Mac). So good so far.
Then the moment of truth: opening iSync and praying it would work. iSync recognized it, and synced all my Address Book contacts AND all my iCal calendars via Bluetooth. Not a single problem. In fact, I even went onto following the test by taking a photo with the V3i and trying to beam it to my PowerBook. It turns out I can't send it directly to my Mac FROM the phone, but I have no problems browsing the V3i FROM THE COMPUTER and retrieving photos, videos, and such out of it.
As I said I've read so many posts on how people are having all sorts of problems using iSync with the V3i Bluetooth, so I have no explanation why mine works. Maybe most Mac users in the US and Europe are getting their V3i phones locked to work with a specific network. Here in Costa Rica since there's only one massive, government-owned communications conglomerate, we receive our phones with no sorts of blocking whatsoever.
Moving along, I have to say I'm so impressed by this phone. I think it's what the initial RAZR should've been. It's typically RAZR: small, slim, light, compact, super sexy. With the exception of the "smart keys" on the sides of the screen (which feel so cheap) the rest of the phone feels sturdy and made out of top-notch materials. Even though the external display is tiny and dark, the internal display is gorgeous and so bright, you won't believe it. It handles colors, shades, contrast, and sharpness wonderfully. The keyboard is a slightly improved version of the now famous RAZR keyboard. It's bit, although it might take time getting used to having no real buttons as we know them. One of the sexiest features to this phone is the way the keyboard illuminates. It's blue glow is simply mesmerizing.
On its iTunes player: it's definitely NOT an iPod, but just a slimmer version of the iTunes music player in your computer. You can browse and play by albums, artists, playlists, etc. You can shuffle songs, albums, and so on. It comes up on iTunes pretty similar to an iPod Shuffle. Even though this phone retains the 100 songs cap imposed by Apple and Motorola, mine came with a 256 Mb media card, which cuts the cap down to a limit of 50 songs. So get yourself a 512 Mb media card if you're planning on buying this fantastic phone so you can actually dump 100 songs in it.
The V3i will continue playing music once it's closed, but all the control you'll have via the side keys is pause and play. No volume, no skip back and forth. You need to open the phone for that. The V3i comes with stereo headphones which surprisingly plug into the USB port. They come with a microphone so you can take a call while keeping them on. iTunes pauses itself when a call comes in and resume playing at the end of the call. Oh yeah, and for a phone the sound quality is surprisingly excellent.
On a final note, many people are comparing the 1.3 megapixel camera on the V3i with Sony Ericsson's high-end 2 megapixel cam phones and giving it thumbs down. Don't make that mistake. Even though it's not as good as Sony Ericsson's the V3i camera is phenomenal. Photos are clear, sharp, and way more than good enough to brag about.