Motorola F3

The first mobile phone to use electronic paper in its screen

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  • Motorola F3

    WOW Factor: The first mobile phone to use electronic paper in its screen

    Evaluation in my collection: BNIB – 10/10

    Life timer: 0m  |  Boxed: YES

    Release Year: 2006  |  Release Price: ~20 EUR

    About: The F3 (frequently known as the Motofone) was a GSM phone available in two band variants, and was released on 28 November 2006.
    The Motofone F3 was designed to appeal to the low-end market and developing countries, and was thus less functional, but also less expensive than most phones. Motorola made it appealing to developing markets and people with reading and visual difficulties by using only simple symbols and using speech synthesis to identify tasks in the menu.
    The F3 was the first mobile phone to use electronic paper in its screen. Motorola used the term ClearVision to describe the new display, which was manufactured using E Ink’s electrophoretic imaging film. The electronic paper main display allowed for the phone’s thinness (no glass), longer battery life, and outdoor viewability (paper-like reflectivity). It had a backlight for the keypad and a slit that projects the backlight onto the screen so the display can be seen in darkness.

    The characteristics of the display were fairly restrictive. The text display contained only two lines of six characters each, making the use of text messaging (SMS) and data services less practical than on standard LCD displays. The display used a fixed ‘digital clock’ style font, with no functionality for changing between upper case and lower case text. All SMSs sent by the F3 were received entirely in lower case, and each character of any SMS received by the F3 is displayed in whichever case made the most sense using the font. Also, the non-alphabetic characters were severely limited due to this display, as the phone could only provide support for the following characters:

    Comma (,) (periods . in incoming text messages are displayed as commas)
    Hyphen (-)
    Question mark (?)
    At-sign (@)
    Asterisk (*)
    (+), to write this character, hold down the 0 key
    No other non-alphanumeric characters could be entered, and on receiving an SMS any non-alphabetic character not listed above was displayed as a hyphen.

    Although the display could be restrictive when it came to text applications, the display was very energy efficient and conducive to extremely long battery life.

    Reviews when released: Trusted Reviews

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