The recent release of the Motorola ROKR phone might have been the most widely anticipated, and strongly debated, release of a cell phone ever. Obviously this is because of the inclusion of iTunes, and the association with Apple. After reading so many terrible reviews, I admit that I had pretty much written it off.

Yet the battery in my old cell phone was dying, and I never liked that phone anyway, so instead of just looking for a replacement battery for a crappy phone, I started looking for a nicer, newer phone. And lo and behold, here I am with a Motorola ROKR in my hand.

Thing is, it seems as though most folks are comparing it (unfavorably) to an iPod. But to me, that misses the point completely. I am comparing it to the other cell phones on the market, and I love it! It’s a wonderful, excellent cell phone, which also happens to have iTunes. It’s like having a Shuffle integrated with your phone, and you get the display for free. It even shows the album art, and in that sense, it works better than my iPod that cost $399 two years ago – my iPod doesn’t even show the album art.

The neatest thing is that pausing music for incoming calls actually works. Not long ago I was imagining this ability – and now it’s here. Music pauses automatically for incoming calls, and then you resume it when you hang up. Finally. No more pulling out the headphones to take a call, kind of a nuisance when you’re riding a bike.

In conclusion, look at this if you are getting a new phone anyway. No, it is not a phone worthy of the Apple name, nor does it bear the Apple name. It’s a Motorola phone that happens to support iTunes pretty well.

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.