Make no mistake, the V195 isn't aiming to win a fashion show. Rather it bears a minimalist flip phone form factor in the tradition of models such as the Motorola V325 and V557. However, that's not to say it's unattractive. We like the clean lines, rounded edges, and the lack of an external antenna. T-Mobile sells the version with the smooth silver finish, but the phone is also available with a more colorful blue face.
Measuring 3.6 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches, the V195 isn't the most compact flip phone out there, but at 3.6 ounces, it won't weigh you down. What's more, it enjoys a solid construction and feels comfortable in the hand. Like many Motorolas of its class, the V195 has a rectangular external display. It's monochrome, of course, and relatively small (96x32 pixels), but it shows the time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID. Though you can't adjust the backlight time, you can switch it on with a flick of the volume rocker on the left spine. Below the display is a dim light behind the Motorola logo that flashes for incoming calls.
The phone's internal display also holds no surprises. With support for 65,000 colors, it's not the most vibrant cell phone display we've seen, but at 1.75 inches diagonal (128x160 pixels) it's well proportioned for the phone's size. The two available menu styles are generic Motorola, which can be a bit confusing to first-time Moto users. You can change the backlight time, the brightness, and the contrast, but you can't alter the font size.
The navigation array is reminiscent of the Motorola E815. Here again, we enjoyed their spacious layout and tactile feel and we liked the generous number of shortcut options. Besides dedicated keys for the Web browser, the main menu, and the messaging folder, you can designate shortcut options for the four-way toggle, the two soft keys, and the smart key on the left spine. Other controls include an OK button in the toggle's center and the talk and end/power buttons. The backlit keypad buttons are also designed well. They're big and easy to press, and the middle row is raised above the surface of the phone for dialing by feel.