Motorola A835 Review: Released in 2003, the new Motorola A-series of phones were an interesting new direction. Motorola had muscled themselves to the top tier of mobile phones with classic flip designs such as the Motorola V66. In the Motorola V70, they had also produced one of the more distinctive phones of the era. Their initial forays into the colour candybar market were also solid. The Motorola C350 went up against tested phones such as the Nokia 3100 and more than held its own.
The A-Series phones were a new line, targeting the top end of the market. Phones such as the Motorola A760 were more combinations of the Sony Ericsson P800 series, the Nokia Communicators and a PocketPC. These had a touchscreen as well as a flip and ran LinuxOS. Cutting across several market segments, they were also quite rare in the market.
Not so rare was the newer Motorola A835. This, as well as the Motorola A830 were designed to capture the trend in video calling. They featured a rather prominent front-facing camera as well as a rear one for photos. This was to be the major selling point of the handset. Popular handsets such as the Nokia 6600 had not gained this feature as yet. Other phones could offer it, but only via an attachment. Also coming to the party was a higher colour, larger screen designed for video usage.
The A-Series kept going for some time, although its domain would become the PocketPC type phones. Technology meant that the front-facing camera could be incorporated into much smaller phones and then became standard across many other models.
Motorola A835 Review Pros:
Video calling was a major draw. This was easy to use, with the camera being well positioned for a head shot. Software was integrated onto the phone, although it required the recipient of the call to have an eligible handset as well. At the time, only one UK network allowed video calls.
With a very large area to play with the keypad was easy to use. Navigation was also easy due to the central joystick.
There were also a number of high-end features. E-mail was supported as was web browsing, and the phone also had Bluetooth allowing for quick downloads of data.
The phone also had an MP3 player on board. 64MB of memory was a very large amount, if media was not to be consumed.
Motorola A835 Review Cons:
Availability of the phone was limited and restricted on to one network. Video calling also could come at extra cost due to the data consumed.
The rear facing camera was only VGA in resolution and did not come with a flash.
The phone also did not feature an external memory card – this was something that caught on in later versions.
The phone also sacrificed a significant amount of weight. At almost 160g, this was double the weight of some standard models of phone.
Current Prices and Future Prospects
Video calls are standard nowadays, so it may be of interest to see a phone from the days where it was not. This phone may have novelty interest in the future, but it may be too early to tell.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.