What Cellphone



Motorola Flare GSM



This is the GSM version of Motorolaís ĎFlareí range of designer phones, and in spite of looking almost identical to its analogue stablemate (Flare L), is a quite different kettle of fish. Flare GSM (internally known as the 6200) is shirt-pocket sized, measuring only 140(h) x 58(w) x 28(d) mm; it tips the scales at 220 grams with the standard battery attached. It uses a full-size SIM card, which slides into a slot on the base of the handset, so that it ends up behind the keypad; thatís an impressive piece of engineering in view of the fact that the phone is only fractionally wider than the card!


Itís a love-it or hate-it kind of design, but definitely not one you can ignore, either visually, or aurally, thanks to better than average sound, and a choice of ten ringing tones.  The rounded triangular keys are reasonably well-defined, and the backlit LCD display is clear and easy to read. Thatís just as well, it has a large 255 name/number memory (100 on the phone, up to 150 on the SIM) and it packs an impressive array of advanced features, as well as almost all of the currently available GSM services, including SMS (short message service) paging, cell broadcast messages, call hold, wait and divert. The phoneís security features, set-up options and GSM facilities are accessed from a multi-layered menu. Itís not especially easy to navigate or use; it gets easier but itís worth keeping the crib card that comes with the instruction manual, close to hand.  


Once the standard nicad battery has been run-in it gives a full 14 hours standby time after three 4-minute calls. The battery indicator is not very helpful, though, thereís no level indication, it simply starts to flash about ten minutes before the phone cut-offs. Received sound quality is good, punchy without being shrill or tinny and this is maintained down to two out of five signal strength bars; below that the connection starts breaking up and it will drop the call with no warning. Transmitted speech quality is also better than average, only rarely does it betray its digital persona with tell-tale artefacts. Ignore the designer facade, this is a solid little performer with a range of features that shows what GSM is all about.



Ease of use                               ****

Features                                   ****

Transmission quality   ****

Reception quality               ****

Value                                        ***


Emission category: GSM Class 4

Features: full-size SIM, 255 name/number memory (100 on phone, 155 on SIM), name/location search, speed dial, auto-redial, call hold/wait/divert, SMS & cell broadcast, call bar, call meter, call timers, phone/PIN/SIM/security locks, DTMF signalling, multiple ringers and volume






R. Maybury 1995 2505



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