Motorola's PEBL U6 is the second model in Motorola's high-end "four-letter word" line, following the super popular RAZR V3. The PEBL takes some of the same materials and technologies used in the RAZR, and packages them into a completely different kind of clamshell handset. While the RAZR is all about thin, sharp angles, the PEBL is more about design, making use of soft curves and smooth lines throughout.
Screen shots from the PEBL.
The graphite black finish on the smooth, rounded exterior of the PEBL U6 manages to appear very glossy while still having a visual texture to it. The effect is very cool in person, but the downside is that the phone is an absolute magnet for fingerprints. But that's just the cost of high fashion, isn't it?
The PEBL's biggest claim to fame is perhaps not its shape and look, but its unique opening mechanism. A series of custom hinges, a dampening device, and some magnets allow the PEBL U6 to be opened up one-handed in a very smooth, elegant manner. When holding the device, you simply use your thumb to pull the top cover towards the bottom of the device a bit, which releases the magnetic latch that keeps the spring-loaded opening mechanism at bay. At that point you simply move your thumb out of the way and let the spring do its job. The motion is smooth and slow enough for the device to maintain its balance.
Once open, the PEBL's unusual keypad is ready for use. The directional controller and its center select button are very typical of mobile phones, but the rest of the keypad builds on some of the unique design elements we saw in the RAZR's keypad. The PEBL's keypad and softkeys are completely flat. The actual buttons are hidden behind a single sheet of metal that has a bit of give to it, allowing finger pressure to make its way to the switches underneath. Thin strips of translucent material let light filter in from behind, just as they do on the RAZR's keypad. The net result is a very distinct-looking keypad that probably sacrifices a little too much functionality in the name of fashion. Individual keys are simply much easier to find and press, even if they don't look nearly as sharp.
The inner workings of the PEBL U6 seem to be stock Motorola. The handset comes in two variations, each of which supports three GSM frequency bands and EDGE data. The North American version supports the 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 Mhz bands. The internal display is a 262k-color unit with a pixel resolution of 176x220. The battery should be good for over 6 and a half hours of talk time, or up to as long as 10 days of standby time according to Motorola. Bluetooth support more than makes up for a lack of infrared connectivity. The only aspect that seems a bit dated is the PEBL's VGA camera. For a high-end handset like the PEBL, you certainly would expect more resolution in the camera.
Other highlights include 5 MB of internal storage that can be used for MP3 or MIDI ringtones, photos and video clips, and downloaded Java games and applications. The addition of speaker-independent voice dialing and voice commands are welcome, and the PEBL's relatively low weight of 3.7 ounces (110 g) makes it quite pocketable.
- Unique design
- Automatic opening mechanism
- Low-resolution camera
- Difficult keypad
Motorola's PEBL U6 is a unique handset. Where it goes, stares and longing gazes will follow. It might not have the full range of high-end features inside, but for the see-and-be-seen crowd, it probably has everything to get the job done.
--Reviewed by Michael Oryl, editor in chief of www.MobileBurn.com
Customer Review: A cute cheap phone
I break my phones without blinking so when i broke my LG vu, I was done with buying expensive phones. This phone is great. It's unlocked so all you need to do is put in your simcard and your phone is ready. The hardware is great. It looks adorable and the slide to flip action makes me happy ^_^. I only use my phone for calling and texting so i didn't mind that the internet won't work. Saves me the extra bits it would cost if i accidentally presed the web button.
If you broke your phone and you don't want to buy a used phone. get this one. great price for a working phone.
Customer Review: Really very nice Phone
The green color on the web page has a more 'sage' look, the actual phone is slightly more yellow-green, and metallic, which came as a disappointment, however, I really like this phone - it is a beautiful design inside and out. I have only used standard texting and call features, but it is very robust, easy to use and to notch design.