Great call quality, easy to use, light, small, good reception, nice feature set, great bargain, sleek design, great external monochrome display, no annoying cheap camera.

Cheap clamshell design, internal display not the best, no IrDA, sometimes "buzzy" when talking

My opinion
I always find the user reviews helpful so I though I'd write one. Overall I'm really impressed with this phone for the price. I really wanted a Samsung phone; a few of my friends own them and they are very sleek looking and seem to have nice screens and features. The e317, however, for Cingular received many bad reviews so I thought I would spring for something else. Also, I got the v180 for free which was a major plus. My main requirements for the phone were external caller ID, good reception, and small size so i can put it in my pocket.

First the Pros:
The phone is nice and light and fits easily into my pocket. The reception is as good as my previous phone....which seemed to have better reception than most. The only place it doesnt really work is in the lab I work in which is in the basement of a brick building...not too surprising. Even with one bar, the v180 seems to work fine. ALso, the call quality is exceptional. The speaker sounds better than my coordless phone at home. calls are clear and easy to understand. furthermore, the monochrome display is very very easy to read (nice and big numbers) and the backlight is easy on the eyes. I dont like external color screens because they waste battery and turn "black" when not in use. the monochrome screen remains on so you can see the time and signal strength (among other things) always.

the phone has a nice set of features as well. it comes with speaker phone, voice dial and a datebook...a pretty nice feature. the ringtones are pleasent as well....plenty of ordinary rings...i dont like those cheesy song ring tones. Its equipped with a 2.5mm mic/earpiece jack...the e317 samsung had some proprietary connector which means you have to buy their ear piece....2.5mm is the standard. i also think the phone is aesthetically pleasing and looks professional, not like a toy. finally, the battery life is exceptional. after the first charge, the battery lasted 5 straight days without a recharge! Also, this phone has no cheapo integrated camera; a plus in my opinion.

Now the Cons:
The phone is made of rather cheap plastic as others have mentioned. I dont think it would survive very many drops. The buttons do not feel solid either. The internal screen is not very good and hard to read in direct sunlight. when i first got the phone i was impressed by the colorful screen b/c i had never had one....upon seeing other models (LG, Samsung, etc) I feel that the motorola screen is pretty poor....this said, I dont really need a great screen for anything, it works just fine for my needs. I would rather have solid calling ability.

As far as calls go, on occasion, the speaker gets "buzzy" but i dont know if its the phone for the service provider (Cingular). The speaker volume is plenty loud but the speakerphone feature could be louder. Also, i would like it if the ringer was a bit louder.

The last con I will comment on is the tendency for the external display to gather dust on it underneath the case. This is kind of annoying but can be fixed simply by removing the snap-on cover and cleaning the screen. I do this about once a week.

I've read a few reviews of people complaining about dropped calls. This, most likely, is not a result of the hardware but of the network in your area and how the phone handles intermittent signals from the tower. Cingular gives a 30-day money-back guarantee so I would take advantage of that if you purchase this phone through them and experience the same problems.

The Bottom Line:
If you want a camera, buy a Nikon. If you want a phone, I would say this is a good bet for the money. It works as a phone very well and is small, lightweight and sleek looking. I only wish Motorola would take the exact same electronics and put them into an even-smaller phone that feels a bit more solid in the hand. Overall, however, I feel that the v180 is quite a nice pick for GSM users.

See More: Motorola V180 review