Motorola L7 SLVR Review

After the great success of the RAZR, Motorola have decided to use the award winning idea for a thin phone and as they remodeled the conception the SLVR line was created which consists of thin phones in a candy bar design. L7 is the most advanced SLVR for the moment, and besides it, the L2 and the L6 are members of the same line. In relation to the RAZR V3i, the L7 is smaller and thinner (11 mm for the SLVR and 14 mm for the RAZR), having the sizes of the keypad and the display reduced, and other advantages, such as the relocation of the memory slot to the right side, instead of next to the battery.

SLVR L7 has a bar design with a thin profile (11 mm), being larger than a closed RAZR, but quite smaller than an open one. Because of that the display and the keypad are smaller. It is made out of metal and high quality plastic, such as the front panel is entirely made out of plastic, but there are no remarks on that. The left and the right sides, as well as the battery cover, which covers almost the entire back of the phone, are made out of metal. Because of its thin profile, the L7 is easily handled with either the right of the left hands and the side buttons are comfortable to reach with either one of the hands. The little size and weight make it easy to fit in a narrower pocket. Sadly the phone is easily stained and fingerprints as well as grease spots stick to it, and cleaning them is hard. The surface of the RAZR V3i was easier to keep clean besides the external display area – luckily there is no such area with the L7. The phone is solid and there are no loud and irritating noises as well as the body is well fit – a stable metal construction with good qualities. An Unpleasant feeling is left from the SIM card holder, which is under the battery and is hard to put in place so that it holds the SIM card, but once put in place there were no problems such as the card getting out of place during usage.

The display is beautiful and comparatively large (1.8”), but smaller than the one of the V3i (2.2”). It shows up to 262 K colors with a resolution of 176x208 pixels and is bright and contrasting. Sadly at strong light reflections are seen on it, which makes it distinguishably harder to see the image its showing. Even that it remains usable since it is quite contrasting.

The keypad of the SLVR is in a bronze shade. The laser cut technology is used on it again, same as the RAZR phones, and it beautifully reflects the light that falls on it. Sadly the size of it is smaller than the one on the RAZR and the keys are a bit harder to press, especially the 2, 5 and 8 keys. The green and the red headphones are large and comfortable unlike the soft and the menu buttons, which are reduced in size and quite often mistakes are being done trying to press them. The D-pad as well is not as comfortable as the one of the V3i and it is more poorly lighten up – and outer and an inner circle around it unlike the V3i, where the directions and the central button are lighten up as well. The whole keypad is light up in a good looking blue and the labels of all buttons are easy to see in the dark. Unlike the V3i, only one shade is used here both for the buttons and the lines between them. When the external light is more, the lighting of the keypad does not come on, which helps saving the life of the battery. The buttons are adequate and pressing them is a bit hard, and the surface is lightly lifted, which can be difficult to use if you are not looking at them. There are 4 side buttons – 3 on the left side and 1 on the right. They are of grey metallic color and are comfortably arranged but hard to press.

On the right side besides the button for the camera are located a few more things. The miniUSB port for connecting to a computer or charging the battery is there as well as the microSD memory slot, which is covered by a rubber cover. The slot is a hot-swap which allows for changing cards while the phone is on. The SLVR keeps the memory available to the user from the first RAZR, and has the memory slot in addition.

Interface (Rating: 3.5 of 5):

The interface is the typical for Motorola with slight changes from the older models. The main menu is built by a number of 3x3 icons screens. The places of the icons can be changed and shortcuts for them can be set up. It would be more comfortable if the shortcuts were automatically programmed, so that every icon is linked to the corresponding key on the keypad (the one in the upper left corner linked to the 1, the next to the 2, etc.), which is used with other phones. The main menu could be viewed as a list as well, like some of the submenus are built. The whole menu view can be changed, using Themes. A little confusing is that the menu button not always has a function associated with it, unlike the soft keys, but overall the navigation through the menu is comfortable, logical and fast.

Recommended Stories

Phonebook (Rating: 4 of 5):

By default the phone book, with a capacity of 1000 entries, shows all available numbers, saved in the phone or in the SIM card. On one name there is one number (the numbers saved in the phone have lots of fields), and besides a full address, self pictures and melodies can be attached, which will notify when there is an incoming call from that number. There is a birthday field, but there is no way to automatically add a reminder for that date. The different contacts can be divided into categories, and a personal melody can be added to that category. The phonebook can be viewed one category at a time. After entering multiple numbers for one contact the user can decide if one of them to be designated as primary. Then depending on a setting, the primary number is shown in the main menu, and the additional numbers can be viewed by pressing right on the D-pad or all the numbers are shown in the main menu. The searching in the list is easy, as you directly from the keypad enter text, for which you can search in the saved contacts. The uncomfortable part to that is, that if a name has more than one words to it, you cannot search for them and you can only search by the first word, which means that you will not be able to search for a second name for example.

The phone book can be viewed as a list of names, or a list of names with pictures next to them. All entries in the list can be put in different order (by name, by email, by speed dialing number). On incoming calls, the name of the contact will show on the external display along with the type of the number (home/mobile/work). To answer you can simply open the shell (if you have the “Smartflip” option activated, which is used to answer automatically when the flip is opened), but the bad part to that is that you will not be able to reject the call in that situation. If the phone is open when a call comes in, you need to use the answer/reject buttons. If you close the shell in the middle of a call, that call will be disconnected, unless the speakerphone is turned on.

Organizer (PIM) (Rating: 3 of 5):

L7 SLVR does not have a very rich organizer, but it is good enough. It has up to 5 alarms and all of them can be active at the same time. Each one of them can be set up with a different hour as well as a different melody and ring level, and you can assign name to them.

The calendar can be viewed for the week or for the month, and different to-do events can be added for each day, with a reminder. Every day that has an event added to it is marked with a check on the calendar itself.

SLVR comes equipped with the same amount of memory as the original RAZR but also adds a slot for memory expansion. It is microSD and it is located on the right side of the phone, covered by rubber lid. Because it supports hot-swap, the memory cards can be switched without the need of powering down the phone. Pre-packaged with the phone is a 64 MB card, but it can be replaced by a higher capacity one.

L7's miroSD slot

Regarding the messages, everything is standard. Entering text is powered with iTap, which is quite comfortable and works fine with a variety of languages. Short pre-saved phrases can be used, as well as templates for multimedia messages, containing pictures for different situations.

Connectivity (Rating: 3 of 5):

A miniUSB port is available, which is also used for the charger and the headphones. Besides that, there are no other ports. For connecting and synchronizing with a PC you need to use the software that the manufacturer provides with the phone. Without any software whatsoever the phone is recognized as a mass storage device with most modern operating systems and files can be transferred directly from the computer to the microSD card. The phone can be charged through the USB cable as well while connected to the computer, which may keep you from carrying a charger.

Using Bluetooth we easily connected a wireless headset (Jabra BT250) and there were no problems using voice commands and dialing through the headset. There were no problems transferring pictures to another phone neither.

Internet (Rating: 3 of 5):

The phone has the standard WAP2.0 browser, and the connection goes through GPRS class 10. Sadly, the much faster EDGE standard is not supported, which would have been a good improvement in regards to its predecessor. The settings of the network are fairly easy made, and you have the option of saving settings for a number of different networks, so that when you change the SIM card, you will not need to change all settings.

Camera (Rating: 2.5 of 5):


The camera is located on the upper back of the phone, and it is hard to cover it with your hand while holding the phone. Under the lens are the signs “vga” and “4x zoom” which is digital. The camera can be turned on using the buttons on the left and right sides, which start the video recorder or the camera.  Through the camera menu the saved videos/pictures can be reached. An additional setting for the white balance is available and a self-timer as well which is accompanied by sounds.

The quality if expectedly low, but enough for multimedia messages, such as the size of the clips can be limited to both suitable for MMS and “Maximum” which is by no means an option limited by the available memory and an “endless” video cannot be recorded. On our tests the maximum length was 40 to 80 seconds with a size of the file around 480 KB. Maybe the buffer of the phone is not enough for larger files.

Fluorescent lamp
Low light

The pictures are with the typical for such cameras quality, where they are always slightly blurred and soft. The colors are not natural and the yellow overwhelms when there is not enough light. On the pictures taken on poor lighting there is lots of noise, which is clearly seen on indoors pictures.


Short video clips can be recorded, such as their maximum resolution is QCIF 174x144. The quality is on the expected low level, but is enough for multimedia messages. Sadly, the resolution is way too low and watching them on a PC is pointless.

Music (Rating: 4 of 5): 

The phone we tested was with the standard MP3 player and didn't include the iTunes player, which is used with the Motorola ROKR and SLVR L7, which was launched with Cingular in the US. It is supposed that when the V3i is made available by Cingular, it will have the iTunes player as well.
The MP3 player is the standard one for Motorola, which allows you to create playlists and arrange music into them. A great advantage is that the phone supports multitasking and the music can be put in the background, while the phone is being used and the menu is being accessed. MP3 files are supported, which can also be used as ringtones. Besides that in the Java applications there is another player (Music Digital Player) which supports more options, such as sorting by an artist/album/genre.

Digital Audio Player

Software (Rating: 3.5 of 5):

The support for JAVA MIDP2.0 gives you the option of adding different applications and games, created for that platform. Included with the phone different application are available, depending on the market of purchase. In our case besides the music player, a few games were included - Crazy and Rebels. The application “Safe” allows you to save different passwords and account numbers, protected by a password. The loading of the Java is medium in speed and you may have to wait when loading larger applications.

Bundled with our L7 was Motorola's version 4.02 Phone Tools PC synchronization software. In a nutshell, it allows you to synchronize your PC and phone, send text messages from the PC, and download content from the PC to the phone and vice-versa. The connection between the PC and the phone can be done via a cable, Bluetooth or Infrared.
The main interface shows your V3i, with all options located on the right.

Main Interface

The synchronization suite is used to synchronize Outlook calendar or Phonebook with your Phone. The user can select a full synchronization, or just select a few contacts, which can be moved between the PC and the Phone. In addition to just synchronizing the information, the PC Suite allows the user to edit, add new, delete or search the both in the phone and on the PC.

Synchronizing (To-Do and Phonebook)

Text Messages gives the user an easy way to send SMS to one or multiple users directly from the PC.

Sending Text Messages directly from a Computer


The Multimedia studio allows transfer, edit or compose photos, videos, ringtones or MMS messages. It is separated in several sections – File Transfer Studio, Image, Melody, Video and MMS studio. All of Studios have many samples, which can be used. Very nifty feature is the preview panel where the images, the sounds or the videos can be played or seen as if they have been uploaded on the phone.

Multimedia Studio
Images Studio
Melodies Studio
Videos Studio
Media Files

Overall, the Motorola's PC Suite is probably the best one on the market right now. It is very easy to use and has some advanced features, not seen in the rest of the bundled software packages.


The phone works fast and it doesn't slack while moving through the menus, excluding the ones with more content, like “images” for example. A slight slow down can be noticed while loading the camera/camcorder, but it is adequate. The Java loads slower than the V3i RAZR and the wait for Digital Audio Player is quite long and nervous.

The network cover is strong typically for Motorola and we didn't experience and problems with it, and during the test there was not a single dropped call.

The sound is clean and clear, and it sounds good, but slightly worse than the V3i. The same applies for the speakerphone and the melodies. They are good but weaker than the ones of the RAZR, and you may miss a call in a noisy environment, since the vibration is not that strong.

The battery of the phone is Li-Ion unit with 820 mAh capacity. During the tests the phone worked for about 3-3.5 days, or about 1 day more than the Motorola V3i, which battery is 710 mAh. The battery can be charged through the charger or through the miniUSB cable connected to a computer.


The SLVR L7 is a good start of the SLVR series, but even the fact that it is a top model, it has some unpleasant drawbacks. The main problem is the keypad, which is cheaper made and besides the fact that it is light up in one color it is not as comfortable as the V3i and there are more problems with it, especially with the D-pad. The display is smaller, but that is understandable because of the pleasantly small size of the phone, which maintained to loose some weight and is now only 11 mm. Having a pleasant music player with extendable memory, it is one good and of high quality multimedia stylish phone.

As always, if you are interested in becoming part of our review team, drop me an email at:

Motorola SLVR L7 with iTunes

Click button to see price:


  • Size
  • Stylish design
  • Music player with extendable memory through microSD memory card
  • Good battery life 


  • Worse under light and smaller buttons (in comparison to the RAZR), using which leads to some mistakes.
  • Easy to finger print the surface
  • Uncomfortable SIM card holder
  • Lack of service lights

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

9 Reviews

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless