Motorola CD930 Review – A New Candybar Mobile Phone

Motorola CD930 Review: It is hard to imagine, but this mobile phone was released in 1998. Having had a remarkable success with the StarTac series, Motorola now aimed to gain more traction into the recreational phone market. This was dominated by Nokia and handsets such as the Nokia 5110 or Nokia 3210 (which were the main competition at this time), made this a tall order.

These phones helped lay down the parameters of what would be a successful handset. Price was important, as was the overall look of the item. Features were not all that important at the time due to technological limitations. Size was a greater consideration.

The Motorola D520 was one of the earlier attempts. Roughly equivalent to the Nokia 5110, this no doubt suffered due to its large size. The Motorola CD930 improved upon this. The battery was redesigned, which not only shaved off almost 50g off the weight of the phone but allowed the handset to become much smaller. This was not the only improvement: the screen changed to a pixellated display allowing more details and some simple graphics to be shown.

Full specifications here.

The basic design elements of this phone can be seen in the ‘Timeport’ series, which would become popular over the next few years. Motorola’s better selling models were always the flip-style phones.


Motorola CD930 Review Pros:

The size of the handset compared favourably to the market leading Nokia 5110. A redesigned battery allowed a slimming both width and height of the phone, allowing for a more pocket-friendly handset.

The space savings were used sensibly: the keypad was roughly the same size and offered ample spacing between the keys. There were few function keys as these were not required.

A larger battery capacity was bundled with the phone: this allowed extended standby times.

Pricing was good on this handset. With Motorola flip phones the flagship products, the CD930 was available on pay as you go networks as an alternative to Nokia.

Motorola CD930 Review Cons:

The phone suffered from many of the same limitations of its cohort: a limited amount of storage space on board.

Functionality was reduced and would not appeal to the leisure market, with the flip phones offering a much more attractive proposition.

Third party housings were much harder to get hold of. The phone also lacked the instant attraction of a game such as Snake.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

These are interesting cases. Many of the older Motorola candybar phones are not that sought after, and the old-style batteries do not age very well, either ceasing to work or leaking after some time. That changed with the newer style battery as seen in this handset, and the build quality was above that for the Nokia 5110. Many second hand versions of this will be in good condition for their age. In an illiquid market there may be upside surprise.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

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