by Christopher Lindquist

Hacking the Mortorola V710

Sep 27, 20042 mins

It was finally time to buy a new cell phone, so I read the reviews, shopped around, and plunked down my dollars on a new phone and plan. It wasn’t until I got home, however, that I discovered the level of discord surrounding what I thought was a simple phone purchase.

The phone is the Motorola V710. Small enough to really be a pocket phone. Bluetooth enabled. Calendar. E-mail. One megapixel camera. A nice bright screen. Training-free voice recognition. And still $200 or more cheaper than a full-on smartphone. Plus Radio Shack was offering all these rebates and discounts on accessories.

But the phone’s not as hot as it could be. It turns out that Verizon has disabledsome of the Bluetooth features, such as PC syncing (though there are reports of a firmware upgrade to fix this—at least partially—in November). And the pictures from the camera are pretty fuzzy, especially on the highest resolution setting (go figure). But it’s the Bluetooth thing that has generated the most carpal tunnel practice on the Web.

The Motorola V710 Resource site for instance, is crowded with V710 owners, some crowing about its wonders, others spreading tales of woe about their disgust with Verizon for tweaking the features of their phone. The anger level has even reached the point that there’s a bounty offered for anyone who can hack the phone to expose more features.

There’s plenty more talk out there, too. If you want to see what happens when you don’t deliver what some customers (at least your more techie ones) expect, check out PhoneScoops V710 forum and Howard Forum’s V710 Discussion.