Like the Slvr L7, the L6 has a VGA camera. Though we were disappointed it was on the L7, we're more willing to accept a VGA camera on such a lower-tier phone. It takes pictures in 640x480, 320x240, and 160x120 resolution. On the upside, we liked the useful camera options. A meter keeps track of how much storage space is left, and there's a fair assortment of photo-editing features. You get a choice of six color tones and six lighting conditions, an adjustable brightness control, a 4X zoom, a 5- or 10-second autotimer, and a selection of five shutter sounds, as well as a silent option. The MPEG-4 video recorder takes clips with sound in two resolutions (176x144 and 128x96), and you can choose a lighting setting or color tone. Video length is limited to 30 seconds on clips meant for multimedia messages, but you can record longer videos depending on how much space is available in the phone's 10MB of shared memory. Photos and video were below par even for a VGA camera; objects were fuzzy, colors were washed out, and videos appeared blocky and blurry.
You can personalize the Slvr L6 with a variety of wallpaper, menu styles, color schemes, screensavers, and alert tones. As always, you can buy more options from Cingular if you want them. You can also get more ring tones via download. Gamers get demo versions of three Java (J2ME) titles: Tetris, Texas Hold 'em, and BlockBreaker Deluxe. We know demos are the norm these days, but you'd think we'd get at least one full game.
We tested the triband, dual-mode (GSM 850/1800/1900; GPRS) Motorola Slvr L6 in San Francisco using Cingular service. Call quality was generally good, with sharp reception and loud volume. Occasionally, we could hear a background hiss, but it wasn't too bothersome. Callers said they could tell we were using a cell phone but reported no significant problems. We encountered more problems when using the speakerphone. Though we could hear callers plainly, they had trouble understanding us clearly at times. We had no trouble connecting the Slvr L7 to the Plantronics Explorer 320 Bluetooth headset for acceptable call quality.
While the unlocked Slvr L6 is a quad-band world phone (GSM 850.1900/1800/1900), Cingular removed the 900 band in its version. It's a disappointing change, to say the least, as globe-trotters won't get the best coverage worldwide with this phone. Also, the GPRS data speeds mean downloads are pretty poky at 30Kbps to 40Kbps.
The Motorola Slvr L6 has a rated talk time of 5.15 hours and a promised standby time of 15.5 days. In our tests, we beat the talk time by an hour and got 8 days of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the Slvr L6 has a digital SAR rating of 1.58 watts per kilogram.
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