Motorola SLVR L7 Review: Released in 2005, the new SLVR series took its name partially from the Motorola V3 RAZR mobile phone. This was one of the surprise handsets of 2004 and sold in such numbers that it was one of the first to really disrupt Nokia’s crown as top phone seller. The main reason for this was pure design: there was nothing like it at that time. The sheer thinness of the flip screen allowed a flip phone that was not bulky in the slightest.
The RAZR series would go on to inspire many more flip phones. The SLVR series was a new spin-off trading on the thinness of the phones. Three phones were initially released, the Motorola L7, Motorola L6 and Motorola L2. All three of them had similar looks, although the L2 had no camera. All three were extremely thin – at just over 1cm thick this was very thin for a phone at the time. For instance, the market-leading Nokia 6230 was about double this thickness at 2cm.
The Motorola L7 was the top range phone in this series and carried a better display than the other models as well as a memory card slot which allowed the phone to play media. This made the phone slightly thicker and heavier, although at 96g this was still fairly light.
Motorola flip phones would prove to be more resilient. With other phones rapidly slimming down as well, the SLVR series lost its edge. There was an update on this phone the next year, called the Motorola L7i or Motorola L7e depending on region. After this, the SLVR died out and was merged into other handsets.
Motorola SLVR L7 Review Pros:
The design of the phone is excellent with a distinctive design. Compared to other phones of the same era, the thinness is remarkable. This doesn’t come at expense of build quality either, as it is a well constructed handset with a metallic finish.
The phone screen was large and well defined: a step above the Nokia 6230. The phone was a 1.9 inch display at 176 x 228 pixels: a relatively high resolution for the time.
Notably the phone was one of the few non-Apple devices that would sync with iTunes: songs could be downloaded on to the microSD card and be used with the on-board MP3 player.
The phone also ditched the proprietary charger device and now charges off a mini USB connection. This was handy if you have several devices which can use the same charger.
Motorola SLVR L7 Review Cons:
The keypad on the phone was slightly less comfortable to use. Perhaps to preserve the thinness, it consists of one flat plate. Numbers are not aligned totally horizontally with the middle row being offset. Typing out texts on the phone required more concentration.
The camera on the phone was slightly weak considering this was the top end model. It was the same VGA camera as seen in the Motorola L6 and digital zoom was not of much use at these resolutions.
Despite the phone being available in different colours, changing housings was not easy and needed tools to open the phone. This was a big selling point of phones aimed at the younger user.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects
The Motorola L7 is not as ‘classic’ as the original Motorola V3 and goes for lower prices. However, the phone is still retro enough that hopefully it should not be totally unloved in future.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.