Released in 2004, the Motorola C975 was coming off the back of a real period of success for Motorola and their mobile phone division: that year had seen the Motorola V3, which was probably the handset of the year which had made the most impact – a razor-thin (for the time) flip phone which really had striking looks and was hence amazingly. This was no mean feat considering that in this period Nokia had held a big dominance over the market and had squeezed out handsets to cover almost every price point and niche.
So whilst the Motorola V3 caused a stir with its thinness, the pendulum swung the other way for the Motorola C975. At over 139g this was a chunky phone, almost double the weight of Nokia’s lightest handsets. But for the weight there was a lot going on, and not just gimmicks: in an age where rear mobile phone cameras were still coming in, the C975 featured a front-facing one as well for video calls.
The phone also had a greater use as a music player, with on-board software playing a large number of file formats.
The phone was not as big a success as the previously mentioned RAZR series, and even for 2004, the weight was large for a handset, with the only ones being larger being the PDA functioning types such as the Sony Ericsson P910. That said, the candybar design lived on and a slimmer version of this was seen in the Motorola E398.
Pros of Motorola C975
Front facing camera: The front facing camera added a real new meaning to phones: it allowed the ‘selfie’ as well as video calling if the user’s software supported it. Almost exclusively this was seen on the ‘Three’ network in the UK, as many of their phones carried dual cameras at this time as one of the first networks to enable video calls.
MicroUSB support: Motorola were one of the first adopters of this format in phones. Sony tried their own proprietary format and Nokia were still pushing the larger MMC at the time. The microSD was more flexible and had a smaller footprint.
Spacious Keypad: The upside of the larger layout is that the keypad is easier to use: buttons are larger and have more room to be laid out. The centre navigation button has some good clearance and is easy to use.
Wide range of applications: A wide range of video and audio formats are supported, and browsing the internet is possible via WAP.
Cons of Motorola C975
Chunky Weight: The phone is definitely a weight in the pocket, and the thickness may mean it doesn’t fit all pockets well. Given the size of other phones, it could have been smaller.
Screen size: There could have been a chance to really build on the Nokia 6230 and variants 1.5in screen, but the C975 screen is just 1.9 inches despite plenty of clearance around it.
Low Battery life: Perhaps the size of the handset or the applications but a standby time of 140h was lower than most other phones at the time.
Future Prospects and Current Pricing
This was by no means a premium phone but it could be that with its restriction to one network, there were not many of these on the market. Prices are likely to be volatile, especially for well-presented items.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.