Charging a Motorola Motofone F3

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

After a recent trip I seem to have left the charger for my mobile behind. I Googled for charger specifications but had no luck, so for the record: You can charge the Motofone F3 with 4.5v DC pin-positive. I have no idea if this is the actual output of the official charger, all I know is that it works. It’s easy to do if you have a multi-voltage power supply and a good collection of plugs for it! The supply I used was 500mA, which should be way above requirements in any case.

I was meaning to give a review of this phone model some time, but I doubt I’ll ever do it. In short: argh! That shouldn’t be surprising though, this is an ultra-simple phone. The only interesting feature is the E-Ink display, which is excellent – you can honestly read the display outdoors at night without turning on the backlight! That’s the only positive though, I though a dead-simple phone would be liberating but it really is just a pain in the backside. Keep in mind that I went from a fully-kitted out PDA phone (Motorola A1000) to the F3, about as huge a leap as you could make. (As far as I can see there are few PDA phones available even now that are compellingly better than the A1000, a phone from 2003 IIRC, in any feature other than battery life, and I’ve looked into this a fair bit as I’ve been trying to find an A1000 replacement – I await the release of Android handsets! I was almost tempted to get a Neo 1973 but no-3G was no-go for me.)

The main draw-back of the F3, aside from the lack of web and all those other modern features, is that it uses the SIM card for all data storage. This means the number of SMS messages it can store and the number of address records is tiny. The address records are also really simple, the usual for SIM storage. And, of course, there’s no computer interface (no USB, no blue-tooth, there’s a contact-pad that may be promising but that isn’t “out of the box.”)

The big plus of the F3 is that it is only 15 quid– I spend more than that a week on coffee. It’s the ideal travelling phone, robust and cheap. On the robustness front, I dropped a 30kg dumbbell on it (from only about 4 inches high, and by mistake!) and all it suffered was a minor dent near the screen.

I think that the potential of future models in this line is huge… but I’ll be going back to a feature-bloat model soon, I hope.