Motorola W315 running on Verizon’s INpulse pre-paid service. This phone surprised us in many ways; for something that costs less than dinner for two at a fast food restaurant, the W315 has a decent set of basic features that make it a good deal for the user who just wants to make calls.
Those who are looking for more advanced features are going to be disappointed, though; there is no camera, no music or video playback support and no real email support. And there is no support for mobile web browsing; the W315 doesn’t have a web browser. As such, it’s never going to replace a BlackBerry or other high end phone; those who use their phones for business are going to turn up their noses at this cheap phone. But for the user who doesn’t want or need cameras and the like, the W315 is a surprisingly good phone that won’t break the budget.
It is also worth noting that the W315 could support features such as web browsing or email; similar Motorola phones on other networks offer these features. But Verizon decided to disable these features, presumably so they didn’t undercut their more expensive phones.
One thing to bear in mind with a pre-paid phone like this is the cost of calls: you pay a bit more per minute on a pre-paid plan than you do with a monthly plan (between 2 and 10 cents), but you also pay a sizeable daily fee as well on most true pre-paid plans (some carriers don’t charge these fees, but all of Verizon’s pre-paid plans include this). Depending on which InPulse plan you go with, you pay between $0.99 to $2.99 for every day that you use the phone. That means that if you make a short call (or even get an incoming wrong number call) or send a text message, your balance goes down by between one and three dollars for this daily fee. This is where phones like the W315 may turn out to be less of a deal in the long run than you might think; your prepaid balance can quickly get eaten up. And the preapid balance expires as well; refills of less than $29.99 vanish after only 30 days. Oh dear; this is going to be another short page, as the W315 doesn’t support playing back music or videos. It’s not that the W315 doesn’t support these features (other versions of the W315 can play back music), but that Verizon decided to disable a lot of these features for the pre-paid version of this phone.
Accessing Music Software (0.0)
The only built-in music player is a simple application that can play back the sounds stored in the phone’s memory. But this is pretty useless as you can’t download any new sounds or songs to the phone.
Dedicated Music Controls (0.0)
There are no dedicated music controls.
Music Software Functionality and Organization (0.0)
There is no way to play back or organize music beyond the simple sound player.
Online Song Downloading (0.0)
Although Verizon offers their own online music downlaoding service called VCAST, this is not supported on their pre-paid phones.
There is no support for streaming audio on the W315.
Podcast Support (0.0)
You can’t download podcasts to the W315, and you can’t listen to them if you copied them from a PC. If you want to catch up on the latest adventures of the TWITs or listen to podcasts from the BBC, you’ll need to use something else.
Music Sync with PC (0.0)
There is no way to synch music with a PC or a Mac.
Music Formats and DRM (0.0)
Unsurprisingly, the W315 doesn’t work with any sort of copy protected music. Or any sort of non copy protected music either.
Music Interruption (0.0)
Seeing as the W315 doesn’t play music, it’s no surprise that incoming calls aren’t a problem.
Video Software Access (0.0)
The W315 can’t play back videos.
Video Controls (5.0)
The W315 doesn’t have any video controls.
Video Software & Organization Score (1.5)
There is no way to play back or organize videos on the W315.
Video Sync with PC (0.0)
There is no way to synch videos with the W315 from a PC or Mac.
Video Formats (0.0)
No video formats are supported.
Video DRM (0.0)
No DRM video formats are supported.
Video Playback Smoothness (0.0)
The W315 can’t play back video, so it gets a 0 here.
Online Video Downloading (0.0)
The W315 can’t download video, so it gets a 0 here.
Video Streaming unscored
There is no support for streaming video.