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By Andrew Gould 31 October 2008

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Motorola used to be the dominant name in the mobile phone sector. After all, they pioneered the things. But for quite a while things seemed to go a bit pear-shaped. People really didn’t know what to make of the Motorola phones of the late nineties and early two thousands. The hardware has never really been the issue, but their menu structures always seemed to be more closely related to a maze than a menu.

But then someone at Motorola decided to drop some vowels from their model names and introduce some new ideas.  The SLVR and RAZR were very popular, but will the next poorly spelled word be?

The ROKR E8 is a slightly bulkier beast than the SLVR or RAZR brand, but it’s an entirely different creature all together. The ROKR has no buttons to speak of, but a haptic touchpad (the first to be implemented in a Motorola phone).

The ROKR only presents the user with the buttons needed for the job at hand. So when you listen to music you only see the music player buttons and if you use the camera, there are only camera controls visible. We cannot begin to tell you how
impressed we were with this haptic feedback system. It truly feels like you’re pressing buttons, when there just are no
buttons to be pressed.

The ROKR E8 has a host of clever design features that really make it stand out in the music player crowd. The earphone input is a normal mini-jack, which is great if you want to use your expensive earphones. We do, however, wonder why the ROKR only comes with 2GB of internal storage (expandable to 6, using a micro SD card), if it is supposed to be a music player. There are a few other issues, like the screen being a bit small and the web-browser not really being up to the task, but on the whole this is by far the best offering from Motorola for quite a while.

PROS
The haptic feedback system is impressive and the earphone input is a normal mini-jack.
CONS
It only comes with 2GB (expandable to 4GB) of internal storage and the web browser is not very good.
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