These days, it would appear that clamshell design phones, like this one, are perceived as 'uncool', and I cannot for the life of me understand why, since I have always regarded clamshells as best suited to the task. With a clamshell, taking or ending a call becomes almost effortless: simply a matter of opening or closing the phone. When a clamshell is open, it assumes the ergonomics of a 'proper' handset, with both the earpiece and microphone 'in the right place'... unlike the fag-packet-sized phone belonging to a girl I used to work with, who could often be observed sliding her phone up and down the side of her head as she alternately spoke or listened, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the microphone was sensitive enough to pick up her voice with the phone held against her ear! Closing a clamshell is sufficient to protect both the screen against scratches and the keypad against being accidentally pressed, so there is no need for a fiddly and inconvenient keypad lock, regular applications of 'cling film', or a case. True, clamshells are not the most case-friendly design anyway, but who needs one, especially when this particular phone has the added advantage of rock-solid, virtually all-metal construction, giving you even less reason to bulk up its ultra-slim, pocket-friendly dimensions? The V3i also offers excellent reception, goes for about a week between charges (though Bluetooth reduces the charging interval to about two or three days) and its design (if image matters to you, though it doesn't to me) is likely to become 'retro chic' rather than plain old-fashioned. Put all that together, and what's not to like?
I recently returned a new smart phone (my very first) to the vendor for reimbursement. I have deliberately omitted the make and model of the smart phone in question because it gave me no reason to doubt its excellent reputation - as a smart phone! Yet just a few short hours were enough to convince me that I wasn't keen on mobile Web surfing, etc. enough to forego the greater ease of (actual phone) use and all the other above-mentioned virtues of my trusty old Motorola V3i, at the time of writing still as good as new after five years, and hopefully good for many more. Instead, now that the 'uncool' V3i is becoming hard to find, I have just bought another one from Amazon as a safeguard against the day that mine ever packs it in!