Though Sprint was a little late to the Moto party, the carrier now offers almost all the models in the company's skinny-phone lineup. As a reminder, the Slvr is the candy bar alternative to both the Razr V3m and the Krzr K1m. We prefer the latter in terms of overall looks, but if you're into thin and you hate flip phones, the Slvr L7c is for you. It offers almost the same dimensions as the Slvr L7 (4.48 by 1.96 by 0.51 inches) except that its profile is just a hair wider. At 3.7 ounces, it's also a tad heavier than the Slvr L7, but it still manages to be both lightweight and trim. It also has a more solid feel in the hand when compared with the Razr V3c, and the L7c's all-black color is attractive.
Though the Slvr L7c looks very much like the Slvr L7, it does have some significant design differences. Most importantly, the display has a lower color resolution, with support for 65,000 hues instead of 262,000. The change is annoying, as we just don't see why you have to shift to a less vivid display when you change transmission technologies. On the upside, the 1.9-inch screen is quite large for the phone's size. You can alter the backlighting time, and while the font size isn't changeable, it should be fine for most users. The menus reflect the simplified design that's beginning to show up on most Sprint phones. Splashed with lots of yellow, the interface is simple and easy to use and is a big improvement over Moto's clunky system. The display is difficult to see in direct light and disappears completely when the backlighting is off.
The navigation array and the keypad buttons are taken from the Slvr L7 with few changes. That means they're somewhat cramped and completely flat with the surface of the phone, with only minor separation between individual buttons and rows. Fortunately, they're a bit less slick than on the Slvr L7, but they still can take some acclimation. A four-way toggle with a central OK button serves as your primary navigation tool; there are also two soft keys, a dedicated speakerphone key, a back button, and the traditional Talk and End/power controls. As always, the toggle doubles as a shortcut to four user-defined functions. All the keys are brightly backlit.
A volume rocker and the Motorola "smart" key sit on the Slvr L7c's left spine. Though they're large enough, they're too flat with the surface of the phone and are a bit slick. The mini-USB/charger port sits on the right spine just above a camera shortcut. Though we were expecting to find the Micro SD slot here as well, it is behind the battery instead. This new location is a major design flaw on the Slvr L7c, as you have to remove both the battery cover and the battery to access it. But that's not all, as the slot itself requires a lot of dexterity and patience to secure the card correctly. The camera lens is on the top rear face of the phone. As with the Slvr L7, there's no self-portrait mirror or flash.
The Slvr L7c's phone book holds 1,000 contacts, each of which can take five phone numbers, an e-mail address, a Web address, and notes. You can assign contacts to caller groups, pair them with a picture for photo caller ID or assign them one of the polyphonic ringtones. Other features include a vibrate mode, voice commands and dialing, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, a voice recorder, a calculator, a world clock, and an alarm clock. On the higher-end, there's also PC syncing, instant messaging and e-mail, Bluetooth, and a speakerphone.