NYT’s Pogue: Motorola ROKR iTunes phone ‘great-sounding, reasonably priced and a lot of fun’

Motorola’s ROKR iTunes mobile phone’s “whole music-playing portion has been beautifully done; it’s a joy to use. When you’re ready for some tunes, you press a dedicated musical-note button – and boom, you’re looking at the familiar iPod main menu… You navigate and operate it exactly as on a real iPod. The album cover of the current song even appears on the 176-by-200-pixel color screen… [ROKR] packs a lot more power than you might expect. Battery life is excellent: one charge gives you 6 to 9 hours of talk time, 160 to 230 hours of standby time or 15 hours of music playback with the earbuds on,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times.

“The phone is loaded with other useful features. It takes above-average cellphone photos or even short video clips. You can voice-dial up to 100 numbers (that is, say “call Mom” to have it call Mom). The phone’s Bluetooth transmitter lets you use wireless headsets, although you can’t transfer music wirelessly. The built-in stereo speakers handle speakerphone calls, and also sound surprisingly good playing music when you don’t feel like using the earbuds,” Pogue reports. “In fact, the entire phone shudders in time to the music, as though driven by a gnat-size subwoofer… And speaking of good, goofy gimmicks aimed straight at the hearts of the under-25 set: you can set up the phone’s edges to pulse with colored, neon-style lights. It’s not just a random pattern; they actually blink in response to (and in sync with) sound, like the dorm room stereo’s bass.”

Pogue reports , “On the downside, the Rokr’s phone functions use the same software design as Motorola’s Razr phone, which is, ahem, not nearly as universally adored as the Razr’s physical design… If you’re looking for an iPod phone, in other words, the Rokr isn’t it; it stands no chance of living up to the hyperventilating hype of the last few weeks. But as an iTunes phone – the only one on earth that lets you carry subsets of your Apple store-bought music on errands and other short missions – the Rokr is great-sounding, reasonably priced and a lot of fun.”

Full article with much more information about the ROKR here.

Pogue also has a video report where he uses the ROKR here (Windows Media Player or Real Player required).

Related articles:
Apple’s iPod nano will make competitors whimper, Motorola’s ROKR inexplicably bland – September 07, 2005
Tech pundit Enderle: ‘iPod Nano is a hit,’ Motorola ROKR ‘simply doesn’t have enough Apple in it’ – September 07, 2005
Apple announces Motorola ROKR iTunes phone, Cingular partnership, iTunes 5 – September 07, 2005
Apple, Motorola & Cingular debut world’s first iTunes mobile phone – September 07, 2005
Motorola ROKR Apple iTunes mobile phone availability dates for Europe, North America, and Asia – September 07, 2005


  1. It’s a shame the ROKR only works with Cingular. IMHO, they are the worst cell phone service provider as far as customer service is concerned. When you can get the phone to work with T-Mobile or Verizon, only then will I consider getting the phone.

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