Motorola Motofone F3 — Nice Phone

Reflections on using the Motofone F3

As I posted earlier, I disassembled my European version of the Motofone. However, someone on the net was kind enough to send me a Motofone from Mexico (which I paid for). After having outfitted it with a T-mobile card, enough minutes to last me through the year, and some electricity (for the battery, of course), I’m very pleased with it. There are some odd quirks — like the slow screen refresh, the constant display of the old cell companies name, a number showing up from time to time, and the lock not working properly (for whatever reason, the lock does not keep all key presses from registering on screen).

However, besides these small annoyances, it is refreshing to use a phone that is just a phone. No camera, no web browser, monochrome screen, easy to read numbers (texting, however… is slightly unbearable), nice shape, thin, the list could go on and on. It doesn’t seem as strong as Motorola would like to have you believe. However, I do believe the e-ink display is as strong as they say -> it appears to be bonded to a circuit board. Unlike LCDs, which use thin glass sheets, the e-ink display appears to rely on a very strong and durable substrate.

Reception is good, and I’ve been able to get 2 bars where I normally would have been cut off from the network.

Some other things….

  • Unlike my previous phones, this one does not beep every bloody time the battery goes down to one bar.
  • It lasted on standby with some phone usage for 7 days – good, but not super
  • As others have said, the battery cover is flimsy-feeling
  • Icons disappear. Unlike conventional Liquid Crystal Displays (think pocket calculators), when the screen refreshes, the lines between segments and icons disappear. Nice!

9 thoughts on “Motorola Motofone F3 — Nice Phone

  1. Carl Shapiro

    I want one!
    I’ve searched without success. Even ebay only has euro versions.
    Could I use your source?

  2. site admin Post author

    Hi Carl,

    Well, my source was only in Mexico for a vacation. If you know anyone who is headed down there, they should be able to pick one up for you. Sorry I cannot be any more of a help!

  3. site admin Post author

    It was Telcel. An online vendor should be able to unlock it. Since its release, several methods of unlocking it have surfaced. I used a vendor on eBay, who checked for me beforehand that he could get the code.

  4. dannyp

    Hi! Thanks for the disassembly post earlier this year. I appreciate this post as well.

    I’d like to respond to Carl though in the comments. I just bought one of these tonight from tiger direct. It’s labeled as the “European” phone, but in the stats it’s listed as the North/Central American GSM frequencies: 850 / 1900 Mhz.

    What I’m having problem with is getting a prepaid SIM in the states. I’m a bit hesitant to go through t-mobile or at&t directly because it seems they don’t offer anything but prepaid plans for their own cell phones. I don’t want to buy one and I’m not interested in a plan.

    Ideas on that one? Shoot me an email 😀

  5. torinese

    i dont know if is late but
    i do interested in info on motorola F 3
    i just bought one on E BAY sold to me as 900/1800
    i am not shure that is true
    there is two version and i dont know wich one i have
    can you tell by the label info?
    i did purchase a T MOBILE card and is working in USA
    planning to go to ITALY and i would not know until i purchase a new sim card

    thank you


  6. Casey

    You mention that the Lock doesn’t work with all key presses. I noticed on mine that I can dial ‘911’ and ‘112’ emergency numbers with the lock on. This is obviously deliberate, but what are the chances of you dialing 911 by accident with a locked keypad.


  7. andy

    “This is obviously deliberate, but what are the chances of you dialing 911 by accident with a locked keypad.”

    Well, it’s happened to me on 3 separate occasions since I’ve owned the phone. Definitely not a good thing. I’m trying to figure out how to disable emergency calling (while the phone is locked), but it appears so far that I can’t.


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