new phone!

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v551.jpgSo, after my phone was stolen, I found myself in a need of a new one. I went to the Cingular store, where I discovered that they no longer sell the v400 that I'd been using. However, the phone that they offered in its place, the v551, turns out to be so much better for me than the v400, so it all worked out for the best.

The two major advantages of the v551 over the v400 are Bluetooth and AIM--both of which I really wished for on the v400. It also seems to take better quality photos, as evidenced by the sunset shot I got out my office window today. And it even has video! Haven't tried it yet, but it might be fun to use occasionally.

The downsides? Not too many. The v400 came with Bejeweled and Prince of Persia, but the v551 has only the demo version of Bejeweled. My kids really liked Prince of Persia, so that's disappointing.

More importantly, I seem to be having some trouble with battery life--it drains much more quickly than the v400, with comparable usage. (Yes, I have Bluetooth turned off most of the time. No, I don't spend a lot of time talking on it. No, I haven't spent hours on IM.) With usage almost identical to what I had with the v400, I'm getting only a fraction of the battery life. It only takes about 24 hours before it's dangerously low, and that's with maybe 20 minutes at most of talking, one or two photos taken and sent via MMS, and a few minutes of AIM. I went by the store today and they put in a new battery...although now that I've done a little more reading, it may just be that I need to condition the battery I've got through a few power cycles before it will work to its full capacity.

Anybody had similar battery problems?

16 Comments

I don't own that peticular phone; however, it _used_ to be that you had to condition the battery a few cycles. Although I had been told that the newer batteries only required one power cycle now-a-days, but I could be wrong.

..and the picture quality looks pretty good :-) very cool.

You saved the primary SIM from your stolen V400... Did Cingular sell you a new phone without a SIM, so that you could use the one from the V400?

I figure that your insurance covered it, but I would guess that Cingular's price wouldn't be the sweet deal you got with your V400. They aren't starting a new year(s) contact with you... and the promise of monthly payments for a definite future is what subsidizes the price of the phone usually.

I'd be interested in knowing the amount that the insurance had to pay for the replacement.


-bC

I bought a new, unlocked v551 from Cingular, without a SIM or a contract, for $249--which I thought was a good deal. I checked with BestBuy first, since I'd bought my v400 from them, and their price for the same phone without a contract was $325.

(Of note, Cingular sells all of its Moto quad-band phones unlocked, which is great if you plan to travel abroad.)

I use my phone alot (V600), and the battery life seems decently shorter than previous phones, so I picked up an additional battery and desktop charger. If you use your phone alot, I'd recommend it, just be sure to buy an OEM battery, not a cheap-o from eBay, etc. Lately though it seems that it always dies while I'm in the car when I don't have the extra battery. I've also noticed that if you try to charge the phone once you get the low battery warning, either through the car or wall, the phone will use up more power than it is replacing through the charge--very annoying!

I can steal Prince of Persia from my girlfriend's V400 via P2K manager. Only catch is that you need a USB cable, PC and a few motorola apps installed (that are widely available on the net) to get it onto your V551. So let me know if you want this, and I'll try to host it somewhere or reply via e-mail.

FYI, there was a low volume issue with the first revision of the v551 (AA version). Most Cingular stores have the new BA version, but you might want to check that out in case the store had some old AA's around, especially if you think your earpiece volume is unusually low, even when set to high.

Also, since the battery for the Moto Vxxx series is a Lithium Ion, you don't need to condition/cycle it, as it doesn't have the same "battery memory" that older NiCad and NiMh batteries had. I've read several articles over the past few years that even conclude that conditioning a LiIon battery will degrade its performance, and it was recommened to use and charge it as much and often as you want. I'm sure google has much more information on this.

Bluetooth!?! Have you tried any thing with that feature yet? I've been using the Motorola V710 for Verizon for about two months now with a Bluetooth headset. It works perfectly. (Although it makes me look somewhat Borg-ish.) However, reportedly Verizon instructed Motorola to disable the OBEX (?) to make sure people couldn't transfer files (like pictures) to/from the device. Grrr. We have to use their pay-service. Also, the Bluetooth service is supposed to allow phonebook sync with PCs but it doesn't work. Motorola says a patch is coming out but Verizon denies it.

BOTTOM LINE: I may bail on Verizon just to get a better bluetooth phone.

Robert-

Yep, Verizon disabled OBEX over BT and USB cable support for phone book, pictures, ringers, etc. transfer between PC/MAC and phone. The only way to transfer the multimedia stuff is through a (relatively expensive) TransFlash card, or Verizon's wireless internet services. Many of my colleagues have this phone, and are also extremely disappointed with it.

Sprint also disabled most BT services on their first BT phone (SE T608), so it seems to be a CDMA provider trend. There's also a lot of talk that CDMA & BT don't play nicely together, and dramatically effects BT range on those phones, which I've experienced as well. I can walk all over my apartment with my V600 and headset, but couldnt go more than 5 feet with my old Sprint phone.

Bottom line, if Bluetooth is important to you, GSM is the *only* way to go, and GSM coverage in Rochester is great now. Most all of the Cingular phones with BT work well, and if smartphones do it for ya, Cingular will soon be releasing the Treo 650. It's the same as the 600, but with BT and a few other minor improvements.

I also just got this phone last Friday. I found a $10 program that allows me to sync my address book through the bluetooth on my mac. The program is OnSync, and can be found at versiontracker.com.

I also have found the battery life to be rather short on mine... It lasts about 2 1/2 days max for me, and once it loses that first bar it's got about another 4-6 hours before it's dead. Other than that I love the phone! I had the Nokia 3650 before so it's quite nice to have a much smaller and lighter phone.

The only think I haven't figured out, is how to send the pictures to my computer. Is the only way through e-mail? my 3650 allowed me to transfer it to my desktop through bluetooth.

Hayes, thanks for the pointer to OnSync...I'd forgotten about it!

I've been able to browse the phone as a generic Bluetooth device on the mac, and that's given me direct access to the pictures folder on the phone. Transferring images (and videos and sounds) has been easy. In fact, I used that capability to upload a short (8 second) MP3 that I was then able to use as a ringtone, saving me the $3-4 that it would have cost to download a poorer-quality polyphonic version.

Liz,

Can you give me details on how you did this. I have tried and have not had any luck to be able to transfer files between the mac laptop and phone.

thanks

It was pretty straightforward. I used the "Set up Bluetooth device" wizard built into OS X. To set up the initial pairing, I had to go into the Tools-->Connection-->Bluetooth menu on the phone and use the "Find Me" option to make the phone discoverable (that lasts 60 seconds). I was able to get them to pair perfectly, and it's worked fine since then. Once the pairing is established, all you have to do is select "Browse Device" from the Bluetooth menu.

I got a "BA" version of the V551 from the Cingular store two weeks ago, with the 24 hour battery drain problem. It drained without ANY calls, emails, screen use, in 24 hours. Finally took it back today. They gave me an "AA" version phone (I suspect it's used, reconditioned). The rep said it was new, but really she was just saying whatever didn't risk a controversy.

Anyway, I'll see how the "new" phone does with battery life. MY V400 lasted for days. I know this is not a battery conditioning issue, it had experienced several cycles with no change. Hope I don't have to go through this again!

Liz,

I have done that part, but when I go to browse the devise it gives me an error message saying folder can not be accessed. Are you using OS 10.3.x or 10.2.8.

Thanks for the advice.

Liz and Hayes,
I was wondering if you could tell me how you setup OnSync w/ the v551. I've got the BT file exchange covered, but i'm getting connection issues w/ OnSync. I'm assuming it has something to do w/ the BT Serial utility... I'm running 10.3.7 - Thanks
-Matt

is there a Sync program for windows operating system?

I also just got the V551 and I am having the same battery problem. I called Cingular and they are sending me a new phone, I don't know yet if that is good or bad.

Has anyone every transfered pictures between two bluetooth phones? I would really like to get my pictures off the phone I have.

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