Motorola ROKR E1 questions answered

Motorola ROKR E1
As promised, we've got some answers for your Motorola ROKR E1 questions, we tried to hit as many of these as we could:

What is the quality of the stereo speakers? Is the stereo separation in the built in speakers significant enough for it to actually sound like stereo, or is it pretty much pointless?

The speakers are great (for a cellphone), but it's hard to get a decent stereo effect from them since they're less than two inches away from each other.

Bluetooth stereo headphones?

Won't work with them, sad to say, the ROKR E1 doesn't support A2DP or any other stereo Bluetooth profiles.

Sound quality?

Sound quality is superb, among the best we've heard in a musicphone.

Song transfer time?

It took about 42 minutes to transfer 100 songs. The ROKR only has USB 1.1, so it takes an unreasonably long time to copy stuff over.

What happens when you get a call? Does auto-resume work as advertised?

Yup, it does automatically pause when you get a call. Doesn't actually auto-resume when your call is over, you do have to click to have the music restart.

How much memory does the phone have?

It comes with a 512MB TransFlash memory card and a piddly 5MB of internal memory.

Does it sync with iCal?

It syncs with both Address Book and iCal. The E1's datebook can be a little (read: a lot) tough to find.

What is iTunes like synching over Bluetooth?

You can't sync iTunes over Bluetooth.

Can I load more than 100 songs on the memory card?

Yes, you could use a card reader to copy more than 100 songs to the card, but iTunes on the phone won't play them. You'd have to use the phone's other media player.

Is there an unlocked version available?

Not to our knowledge.

Can it sync photos with iPhoto?

Not that we could find.

Can you use songs as ringtones?

No, and it's a little frustrating, too. They probably did this so that Cingular could protect its ringtones business.

My question is what the hell is the rest of the OS like? Does it have a scheduler? A calculator? An alarm clock? Does it have profiles that can be set automatically at different (a feature I loved about my SK2 that I broke without insurance on it!!!) times of the day?

The rest of the OS is pure Motorola, i.e., it's incredibly pedestrian. It does have a scheduler, a calculator, and an alarm clock. It does not have profiles.

Can it receive email? 


What kind of address book does it have?

A basic on that's similar to those found in other Motorola phones.

How do you play, pause, stop, rewind, FF songs?

There are two softkeys on the phone, you use the same key to both play and pause songs. You use the mini joystick to fast-forward and rewind, and you can also use that joystick to play songs while you're navigating your collection (just keep clicking to the right).

Can you rate the songs?

Not as far as we could tell.

We got this one wrong, turns out you can: one a reader wrote in to tell us that, "You can rate songs on the ROKR. While a song is playing, press in on the little joystick (like clicking the center button on the iPod) to switch to the rating view. Press up/down on the little joystick to increase/decrease the number of stars. Ratings are synced back to iTunes." Thanks!

Can you bypass the 100 song limit by making one very very very very long song?


Can I plug in regular headphones with a 3.5mm jack?

It comes with an adapter so you can use it with regular headphones.

How is the transition from menu to menu? Quick and seamless or kind of slow?

It's far more sluggish than it should be and occasionally is only barely acceptable.

Does the phone have a flight mode/profile that allows the media player to be run with the phone bit switched off (such as with the W800)?

Yes, it does.

How is the other MP3 player that is built into the ROKR?

The UI is pretty sucky, to be honest, but at least there isn't a cap on the number of songs you can listen to.

How does that other MP3 player interact (if at all) with the iTunes functionality of the phone?

It doesn't at all.

Is it easy to transfer MP3s to the phone outside of the iTunes function?

Not sure how you'd define easy, but you can pop out the TransFlash card and directly copy MP3s from a PC using an SD card reader and a TransFlash card adapter.

Would you buy one of these phones?


And now for some pics:

Motorola ROKR E1
Cingular Media Mall main menu.

Motorola ROKR E1
iTunes main menu.

Motorola ROKR E1
The ROKR E1 can display album art while you're listening to a song.

Motorola ROKR E1
Receiving a call while listening to a song.

Motorola ROKR E1
The ROKR E1's other media player.

Motorola ROKR E1
From the back.

Motorola ROKR E1
ROKR E1 with the battery case remove.

Motorola ROKR E1
With the battery removed.

Motorola ROKR E1
Now with the TransFlash card popped out.

Motorola ROKR E1

Motorola ROKR E1
ROKR vs. the Treo 650.

Motorola ROKR E1
Legal biz.