Motorola's Gleam is a shiny homage to 2004's best-selling Razr handset, offering the same fuss-free features and a bunch more bling
Editor's Review of the Gleam
2011's Mobile World Congress was of full of high end smartphones, from the Samsung Galaxy S2 to LG's Optimus 3D. Motorola on the other hand, took a different approach, announcing a time-honored feature phone dubbed the Motorola Gleam.
Capturing the old school stylings of the Motorola Razr, the Gleam features a super-shiny casing, ideal for those who like a bit of bling, although not so good for those who don't like fingerprints. It may look stylish but it isn't the skinniest of handsets, measuring in at a pocket-busting 106 x 53 x 13.9mm.
When closed, the handset's front cover sports an LED matrix that fires up the time when you press the power button. As well as displaying missed calls and other such notifications, the light-up Matrix also shows off some fancy animations, while the chin of the phone turns into a disco. Trust is, it looks better than it sounds.
Within the Gleam's nightclub-esque casing sits a 2-4 inch QVGA 240 x 320 screen. This may sound small compared to the Desire HD's 4.3-inch effort, but on this fuss free phone it doesn't make a difference. This is coupled with the famous "Razr keypad", made up of a set of 12 lazer-cut aluminium buttons. The keys are large and give a decent amount of feedback, but just like the Razr's identical effort, there is a fair amount of give when you press down each button.
Media-wise the Gleam sports a pretty basic 2 megapixel camera, designed for taking the occasional snapshot. As you would expect, it's not the best-quality snapper, although it does come with the option for recording low-res footage at 25 frames per second.
Other luxuries include a built-in media player, capable of playing back both MP3 tracks and full screen video footage. There's also a 3.5mm audio jack for plugging in your headphones, which'll boost the shoddy sound quality from the handset's built in speakers. With Bluetooth 2.1 onboard, it can also be connected to a wireless stereo headset, if that's more your kind of thing.
Although the Motorola Gleam doesn't pack a lot of internal storage (just 32MB of flash memory) you can expand this up to 16GB with a microSD card. This gives you a bit more room for things like pictures and MP3 playlists.
Last but not least, is the built-in browser. Without a doubt, the Gleam isn't a phone for Internet whizz-kids and Facebook addicts, due to its lack of 3G and WiFi speeds, but pages manager to render neatly on the compact non-touchscreen display. There's also a built-in email client, although it's a little fiddly to get the hang of.
If you're after a phone that can party, the Motorola Gleam will be right up your street. Just like its Razr sibling, it's a phone that prefers to look good rather than boasting high-end specs. That's not to say it doesn't get the job done, as it's the perfect call-maker and text-message-sender. Just don't go trying to check your Facebook....
Motorola Gleam News
The Motorola Gleam+ has arrived on pre-order in the UK, ahead of its release on February 27. That’s thanks to SIM free retailer KingOfGadgets who is offering the phone – in both Silver and Winter White flavours – for just £81.99, despite Motorola telling SoMobile that it had no details at present about a release [...]
Want to party like it’s 2004? Well, you can with the Motorola Gleam, a modern reinvention of the iconic Motorola RAZR. While we were expecting Moto to announce an Android-powered smartphone at MWC, we got neither, and were instead treated to the Motorola Gleam”. The clamshell handset is as basic as they come, but shows [...]
Motorola Gleam Specifications
106mm x 53mm x 13.9mm
Type: TFT LCD
Size: 2.4 inches
Resolution: 240 x 320
External: microSD up to 16GB
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
2.0 megapixel camera
At 15 fps
Battery Capacity: 750 mAh
Talk Time: 375 minutes
Standby Time: 500 hours
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: WAV, AMR WB, AAC, MP3, MIDI, AMR NB, AAC+
Video supported formats
Playback: H.263, H.264