Futuristic monoblock from 2005. Motorola SLVR L6

While other mobile phone manufacturers continued to produce “pot-bellied” but rather beautiful phones and communicators, Motorola decided to go into design and make their phones in the form of such “blades”. A very thin design by those standards, a beautiful case made of premium materials, a corporate keyboard style and good displays – that’s what Moto could offer the buyer in those years. One of my colleagues in the shop recently smashed Motorola V3 (not V3i) in his video, saying that in terms of firmware, everything was terrible with Motorola. This is what we have to deal with today’s hero – SLVR L6!


Motorola phones have always had their own indescribable style in the development of phones. Their design has always been markedly different from what we have seen on the market before. If other manufacturers brought their own flavor to the standard monoblock layout, and Nokia sometimes released very unusual fashion devices, then Motorola briskly experimented with design. Recall, for example, a tadpole budget employee:

Or the legendary Moto C350 from 2003. The attentive reader will notice that already here the Motorola had some notes of the proprietary blade design. The phone was expected to become a bestseller: coupled with a relatively low price, it offered polyphony, some built-in memory, a color display, java games and an interesting streamlined design that fit perfectly in the hand.

However, Motorola continued to lag somewhat behind the mastodons of the mobile market: Nokia, SE and Samsung. It is worth noting that SE also had serious problems with profitability throughout its existence – since they invested in the development of iron (and the “sonerics” worked on their own chipset, and did not take TI Calypso like LG / Hyundai / some Motorola), which was enough powerful. SE focused on the power and multimedia functionality of its devices: the ability to install java applications, the ability to minimize them, quite large amounts of memory by those standards (tens of megabytes), Bluetooth. And Motorola decided to take a different path: “judge by the cover” – they thought and decided to start making thin smartphones with a very nice blade-shaped design. This is how the RAZR and SLVR lines appeared on the market.

Nokias and Siemens were real fat compared to the thin Motorola.
Nokias and Siemens were real fat compared to the thin Motorola.

RAZR is a topic for a separate discussion, this is a legendary series of clamshells, in which not only V3 deserves attention, and then its version with MicroSD support – V3i, but also a Linux smartphone V8. In 2004, “razors” were considered flagship models and it’s not just about design: even in those years, the device had a fairly large display with a resolution of 176×220 (while the rest continued to sit at 128×160), MP3 support, a camera with the ability to record video and a bunch of different “chips” in the firmware.

The phone proved to be very successful and sold for many years. What can we say – it is also sold now in the form of refabs (when the original filling is placed in a brand new Chinese case) on all sorts of aliki and jumah. However, there were also opponents of this device, who scolded it for a relatively weak CPU, very frail support for j2me, and also because of the buggy firmware.

The SLVR series was an adaptation of the RAZR design to monoblocks. Of course, Nokia also tried to do something in a similar color and design, for example, the business class 6230 model:

But Motorola immediately focused on the thickness of the final device, did not use the then fashionable joystick to make the keyboard look in line with the theme, and the keyboard itself was flat and with a barely noticeable button travel, while remaining embossed and retaining the possibility of touch typing.

The “Silvers” worked on the basis of the same platform as the RAZR – the same Motorola firmware, the same chipset, only the design has changed. However, despite the fact that many scolded Motorola for the dampness of their firmware, do not forget that Motorola has always been for unification, just like communicator manufacturers. Instead of proprietary connectors, Moto decided to use the most common MiniUSB cables that could be bought at any store or radio market. And if the conditional Samsung made money by selling cables, as Apple does now, then Motorola sold … synchronization software! There was a basic version on the CD for synchronizing contacts and multimedia, but as far as I understood, in addition to Moto Phone Tools, there was also MotoTools, also from Motorola.

Firmware was a separate topic for conversation. “Motors” lend themselves perfectly to a variety of modding, and the tradition has gone on since the release of the E398. There were no custom firmwares! But one of the most popular topics: increasing the volume of the sound, color music and other whistles that could highlight then the user of such a nishtyak. Moreover, the “motors” were flashed with the most common USB cable, while Nokia were sewn only through FBus special. programmers (slightly earlier Nokias were sewn using an FBus cable, but this did not work on fresh ones), “sonerics” – using their proprietary cable, and Samsung had a whole zoo of iron. and again – a branded cable. A little later, “elves” appeared – the ability to launch native programs, by analogy with those on Siemens and Sony Ericsson. Such modding turned the phone into quite a smartphone!

I got this nishtyak in a lot for 1400 rubles: someone was selling mobile phones for 200 rubles / piece in an unknown condition, and I decided to pick them up for content. Of these, there were SE K200, SE Xperia Neo V, Moto L6, Sagem My-E77, SE Xperia Txt Pro, MC60 and one more device. Our device turned out to be not only working, but also with a native battery and a cap! Of course, it would be better to change it into a fresh case, but since all the functions of the device work, we will watch it right as it is!

Look at the device

In general, in my articles I showed quite a lot of different platforms from various phone manufacturers: Nokia S40/S60, Chinese shells, SHP, Siemens, Sony Ericsson. The only thing missing is outlandish Alcatel and SAGEM, but the latter are getting harder and harder to find.

The “motor” interface, like the SE, was noticeably different from the generally accepted standard on the market: if in SE, instead of a reset button, a “back” button was added, then in Motorola a “menu” button was added, which often works instead of the left soft key. In general, the system interface is colorful and intuitive, but the device is really by no means fast! After loading, while searching for a network, the device can easily freeze for one or two seconds, but then everything returns to normal.

But the organization of the interface was unusual. Several main menu items, plus sub-items in the form of dialog boxes. Moreover, the menu was animated – which was relatively cool in those days. For example, Nokia, especially the budget ones, still didn’t have animations in the menu. And at the time, having some kind of animation was cool!

But this only applies to the main menu. Unlike “sonerics”, the rest of the interface is not animated. For its age, the device was positioned as a multimedia combine: there was even MP3 support (in fact, one of the first), plus a separate music player. Yes, primitive, and there was very little memory for those same MP3s, but then many still continued to throw “slicing” tracks into WAV on their Siemens! Is it worth saying that the same slicing in mp3 weighed much less?

Plus, midi tunes were still in use, without any vocals. Of course, the bitrate of sound files was limited to 192kb / s, the processor simply did not have time to decode heavier files, creating pauses between them. And was such an opportunity needed with a memory of a couple of tens of megabytes?

Moreover, the device had a good speaker. However, the old ones know that in fact the main music player on the “motors” was not the one in the explorer, but the one in the ringtone selection menu! After all, he played much louder! The reason for lowering the volume from the factory was: at high volume, the speaker “sat down” too quickly, and they listened to music on them like a good trip!

Do not forget about the gifs of those years. Once animated MMS were akin to beautiful vector stickers in our today’s cart. But then, even just looking at some animations was cool: the C350 became my first phone in my life, at the age of ~ 5-6 years.

But how can you forget erotic gifs? It was possible to stare at a 2-second gif for several minutes where a girl flaunts, ahem, charms and even shares it with friends!

The device was distinguished by the support of fresh Bluetooth. The infrared port was slowly becoming a thing of the past, but some manufacturers continued to install it in their devices for compatibility with older devices. And immediately with headset support! It’s interesting to see the Bluetooth nicknames of those years. I put myself “Uchiha Itachi” or something like that, despite the fact that I’m superficially familiar with anime 🙂

Of course, the device had support for MIDP 1.0, which allowed you to play early mobile titles and surf the Internet. Unfortunately, MIDP 2.0 will be released very soon, which is incompatible with MIDP 1.0 / 1.1, and games with applications will be made specifically for the second version, however, some toys could still be played on “motors”. But still, most of them crashed with an error: in those years it was the norm for each vendor to make their own packages with the extension of the functionality of java applications. Therefore, bobby carrot will not work here.

Gaming performance was average, but these lags are only visible to “modern” eyes. Previously, such small friezes were not noticed at all and were considered the norm.

But there was support for some multitasking. Of course, the music could not be played in the background, but pausing the application and calling someone is fine. In my memory, only “sonerics” had such a chip, but there the application was not just suspended, it could continue to work in the background.

3D games will not work here: despite the seemingly existing support for M3G, GoF hangs on the loading screen. And this is the picture we will see in many games that have not been adapted for “motors”.


The device visually turned out with both advantages and disadvantages. In general, everything is good and quite convenient. Yes, the system is not fast, it cannot compete with Soneriki and, in a sense, Nokia, but it fulfilled its task. Users of flagship devices were deprived only of poor support for j2me, but this had a particularly severe effect closer to 2008-2009. And so, in general, the RAZR and SLVR devices turned out to be very successful and popular: it’s not for nothing that they have been produced for so many years and a whole cult has built around them!

Nowadays, its use is prevented by the SIM slot: you cannot install NanoSIM in it in any way 🙁 But if there is still an active “large” SIM somewhere – why not? What do you think?

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