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Motorola Renew W233 review

5.4/10 AVG.
RATING



5.4/10
Informr score
The Motorola Renew W233 currently has an Informr score of 5.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 19 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

If you are looking for a pre-paid option then the Moto W233 Renew might be your pick. This cheap and cheerful phone offers MP3 player functionality and internet access. It's a decent budget phone that is a suitable choice for older kids.


Operating system
Custom
Processor
Unknown
Screen Size
1.6"
Camera
No


What the Critics Are Saying...


MobileBurn

Built with the environment in mind, the Motorola W233 Renew's recycled plastic housing is surprisingly sturdy. The build quality, as well as Motorola's CrystalTalk noise reduction technology make this an excellent choice if you simply want a good phone for mobile calling. The microSD card slot and b...

- Ricky Cadden, MobileBurn


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Motorola released the Renew W233 on January 9, 2009.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola Renew W233 user manual here.


Motorola backs up the Renew W233 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Renew W233 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Motorola support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Motorola's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Screen Size
1.6"

The Motorola Renew W233's screen size is 1.6 inches with 128 x 128 pixels resolution.

Processor
Unknown
OS

The phone runs on the Other operating system (OS).

Camera
No

This model has no built-in camera. Sorry, no selfies.

Storage
No

Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD (up to 2 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
Unknown

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Motorola's performance ratings are 19 days standby time, 540 minutes.

Renew W233 Specs

Overview
Release date January 9, 2009
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
GSM:
850/1900 MHz
Data:
GPRS
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System Other
Processor No
Internal Flash Memory No
RAM No
ROM No
Digital compass No
Flightmode No
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.26 W/kg
Body: 1.58 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity No
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 540 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 19 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Material Unknown
Colors Green
Dimensions [H x W x D] 11.1 x 4.5 x 1.5 cm (4.4 x 1.8 x 0.6 in)
Weight 83 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (STN)
Colors 65k
Resolution 128 x 128 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 1.6 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Standard / 12-key Numeric
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry T9
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity 500
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing No
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client No
Email Protocols No
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 2 GB)
PC Synchronization No
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Dual lens
No
Zoom
No
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3
Radio No
Video Playback No
Video Playback Formats No
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 2.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps No ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments -
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Motorola Renew W233 Reviews
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Critic Reviews


MobileBurn

Green-minded cell phone

from MobileBurn

Built with the environment in mind, the Motorola W233 Renew's recycled plastic housing is surprisingly sturdy. The build quality, as well as Motorola's CrystalTalk noise reduction technology make this an excellent choice if you simply want a good phone for mobile calling. The microSD card slot and bundled stereo headphones enable the W233 Renew to function as a portable music player, albeit with limited functionality. Full support for T-Mobile's MyFaves service, in addition to a capable, yet limited web browser play in favor of the Renew, as well...

More

Built with the environment in mind, the Motorola W233 Renew's recycled plastic housing is surprisingly sturdy. The build quality, as well as Motorola's CrystalTalk noise reduction technology make this an excellent choice if you simply want a good phone for mobile calling. The microSD card slot and bundled stereo headphones enable the W233 Renew to function as a portable music player, albeit with limited functionality. Full support for T-Mobile's MyFaves service, in addition to a capable, yet limited web browser play in favor of the Renew, as well.

The Motorola W233 Renew, from T-Mobile, measures in at 111mm x 45.8mm x 14.7mm (4.4in x 1.8in x .6in), and only weighs 83g (2.9oz). The Renew is estimated to offer 9 hours of talk time, while standby time is rated at 18 days. I was easily able to last through 3 days of moderate usage, with several phone calls and a few hours of music playback. Based on its performance and solid build quality, we at MobileBurn.com give the Motorola W233 Renew a solid 'Highly Recommended' rating.

Read full review

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User Reviews


Basic Phone

If you're not expecting anything at all, just a phone you can call with and send basic text messages with, buy this phone. It's really cheap, a plus because it's recyclable. I had it for 5 months and bought a new phone. Good for people who are starting a first-time phone plan.
Amazon

Very Good if You Want a Very Basic Phone with Speaker Phone

from Amazon
If all you want is a very basic phone to make phone calls, along with a very good speaker phone, this is an excellent phone. Battery life is very long. Call quality and speaker phone quality is very good. And it's not expensive. I really hate the ugly green color, but I wanted a cheap phone with a good...More
If all you want is a very basic phone to make phone calls, along with a very good speaker phone, this is an excellent phone. Battery life is very long. Call quality and speaker phone quality is very good. And it's not expensive. I really hate the ugly green color, but I wanted a cheap phone with a good speaker phone, and this phone works excellent for that. I've been using it for a year now. Less

Basic, Cheap and Boring

I bought this phone after mistakenly swimming with my "good phone" in my pocket.. (it was a bad day all around). Anyways, it was cheap and in stock. No bluetooth, poor features, No way to turn off the key guard feature. Good battery life, phone clarity is fine. Not much in the way of options, ringtones...More
I bought this phone after mistakenly swimming with my "good phone" in my pocket.. (it was a bad day all around). Anyways, it was cheap and in stock. No bluetooth, poor features, No way to turn off the key guard feature. Good battery life, phone clarity is fine. Not much in the way of options, ringtones or features. Texting is painful, the letter selecting is counter intuitive and takes forever. I have had this for 3 months now and am already shopping for a replacement. Less
Amazon

Looking For a Simple Phone? Look Elsewhere! The W233 Is More Trouble Than Its Worth!

from Amazon
The firmware on this phone is like something out of the 1980s. Nothing works properly. And by the time you find out, it will have already screwed up your life. 1) DO NOT get this phone if you want to store or backup your text messages or your contacts. There is no way to do so. Motorola Phone Tools...More
The firmware on this phone is like something out of the 1980s. Nothing works properly. And by the time you find out, it will have already screwed up your life. 1) DO NOT get this phone if you want to store or backup your text messages or your contacts. There is no way to do so. Motorola Phone Tools is not compatible with it. And when you breathe a sigh of relief when you see an option for "Move message to SIM", you will have a heart attack when you see that the Sent Folder (Outbox) does not have any of the same options. This means that you can backup only your inbox but not your outbox or any other box for that matter. 2) Imagine having a 200 text messages and having to delete them one by one on an extremely slow phone. There is no way to select multiple texts. 3) There is no way to sync anything stored on your phone with your computer. And I do mean "ANYTHING". 4) None of the menu options are consistent- its like a 5th grader designed it. The inbox has options that the outbox doesn't have. The delete options for call histories mean different things in different menus- and you will only know when its too late. 5) The manual doesn't cover the use of 60% of the features. 6) The default message center settings are set to save text messages to the SIM, but they save to the phone instead. (Even when the SIM is empty and has tons of space). I needed to store my text messages for legal purposes. When I called Motorola, they told me that there was no way to backup text messages. 7) The volume from the handset is not bad, but when you plug in a headset at maximum volume, the volume will be very low- low enough to make you miss out on half the conversation. 8) Frequent loss of signal unrelated to provider or sim card. Phone will randomly go to "Emergency Service". You will have to turn it off and on again to get your signal back. 9) The missed calls will say that you received 8 calls but only show 2 caller ids--- which means that you don't know how many times each caller called. 10) Call histories erase and rewrite over each other, despite numerous calls from same person. 11) Excessive menu options and confirmations to delete anything- whether it be a call history, text message, contact. Imagine clicking 6 keys just to delete one message, and then having to do it for 100 different messages. 12) Phone locks the keypad too quickly and there is no way to change the settings. You will spend half your time unlocking your phone. 13) The predictive text for text messages is worse than the Nokia I had in 1995. It doesn't learn. It takes forever to insert punctuation. CONCLUSION: Stay away. This phone will drive you absolutely bonkers. It's like they never tested it with real users. Less
Amazon

It is, indeed, a phone

from Amazon
It makes phone calls. It receives phone calls. It can also send and receive text messages. It has tetris. It's easy to turn on and off. It was cheap. The case is made of recycled plastic so that's nice. I like the color of the case (green so you remember that it's an "enviro-friendly" device)....More
It makes phone calls. It receives phone calls. It can also send and receive text messages. It has tetris. It's easy to turn on and off. It was cheap. The case is made of recycled plastic so that's nice. I like the color of the case (green so you remember that it's an "enviro-friendly" device). Sometimes, the phone freezes when dialing and you need to take the battery out and put it back in again to reboot it. The good folks at T-Mobile tell me this is normal. I don't believe them. Although it says mp3 on the front panel, I was never able to get it to store music. Another reviewer figured out how to do it but you'd be better off having a separate mp3 player rather than bothering with it on this phone. It definitely is a nice, sturdy little beast. I got it to replace a much fancier but unfortunately, more delicate phone. I've had it for over a year and the battery life seems to be diminishing. When it becomes unusable, I look forward to replacing it with a less environmentally conscious phone with some fun bells and whistles. Less
Amazon

if you just want a cell phone, this is the BEST!!!!

from Amazon
call clarity is exceptional and better than any I've ever had. Prepaid with tmobile is also wonderful. For the whole year it's cost me $40.00!!!!! I am thrilled with the phone and the service.
Amazon

Buy it for 'just a phone'

from Amazon
Motorolla makes a big deal that this phone is environmentally friendly; made from recycled plastics and other materials. Truthfully, I believe them. In fact, the packaging it came in is probably the least EV friendly thing about the product. Here you have a basic GSM phone. You can goto another websi...More
Motorolla makes a big deal that this phone is environmentally friendly; made from recycled plastics and other materials. Truthfully, I believe them. In fact, the packaging it came in is probably the least EV friendly thing about the product. Here you have a basic GSM phone. You can goto another website that Amazon's editors 'redacted' from my review, and that site actually has REALLY good tech details on this and any other phone. It would only make sense if they actually provided a fraction of the detail that you can get the scoop on, but their approval process on notes apparently needs better oversight. So instead I'll focus on actually using the phone here. This phone doesn't actually support any syncing of any of its applications, like its organizer. It DOES have a microSD slot (2gb). The literature from Motorolla isn't very clear, but there are 2 drivers for this phone, both can be downloaded for free on their website. One is for 'power charging' thru USB, the other is for accessing the phone as a data device (pc only). This lets you copy music MP3s, MID, and a few other formats over to the microSD card on the drive. (You could also just use a card reader ahead of time, which I would recommend, as the phone is very slow, usb1.1 slow.) It comes with a 2.5mm stereo earbud/handsfree headset, ac charger, sim card, and ...that's about it. You have to buy a microSD card if you want to play MP3 because the phone has no usable internal memory you can access. Physically, it's your basic candy bar phone. Call sounds clear, reception holds pretty well. The LCD is bright and vibrant even in direct daylight, but it is very laggy (ghosting response time is probably above 100ms). The buttons are VERY firm and 'clicky'. I prefer this as it resists accidental dialing in your pocket. A standard mini-usb jack is on one side for data/charging and the 2.5mm jack on the other. The speakerphone is very loud and clear. Software: The music player has no extra features, like eq, but the scan/seek, shuffle, play and volume are simple and responsive. It has a picture jpg viewer. It includes 2 full-version games of Sudoku and Tetris (both versions by EA) instead of crippled demo-games. The calender scheduler is easy to read, the alarm clock is straight forward... Ask me for more details if you want, but this is a really decent 'phone-first' cell phone that has an mp3 player. Cons discovered after 2 months of ownership: Either I have a bad unit, or the quality of firmware programming for this phone leaves much to be desired. 1:Even if the phone is set on VIBRATE ONLY, it will still chirp a tone out when the battery reaches 'low.' Thats a majorly dumb oversite of the firmware programmer. If you want a phone to be quiet, that doesn't mean "except for the battery getting low, go ahead and make distracting noises then." 2:Battery performance very erratic. Talk time battery life is predictable, but all other uses good luck at predicting it. It will drop from full battery to one battery bar inexplicably. 3:Sometimes when powering on, the phone doesn't load the MicroSD slot, requiring a power cycle/reboot. This means it also forgets all your ringtones that are on the card. 4:When the media player finishes a song/playlist, it emits a terrible subsonic noise. I wouldn'tve noticed it if I didn't have it plugged into a big stereo when playing. It goes away when it changes menus. 5:The keyguard time-out isn't adjustable... happens too quick for me. 6:The t-9 entry method isn't selected by default, and you have to pick it EVERY time you make a new txt. If you buy this for 'Just A Phone' you'll be ok. But all the extra features they gave it to give it some value are so buggy... Less

this phone is great for some one, that works in construction !

and the mp3 those work , format the mini sd card in the phone, then insert it in computer and transfer music into music file after put it back into the phone and it works !.... it's realy loud ...
Ew. Relatively good looking style and affordable price are overcome by poor call quality (generally cheap speaker/mic equipment). I get buzzing, loud clunking upon connections, muddy voice tone from third party. Not to mention the keypad freezing almost every time I use it. Definitely a cheap phone -...More
Ew. Relatively good looking style and affordable price are overcome by poor call quality (generally cheap speaker/mic equipment). I get buzzing, loud clunking upon connections, muddy voice tone from third party. Not to mention the keypad freezing almost every time I use it. Definitely a cheap phone - cheaply made. The features offered are simple and reasonable enough, but it would be nice if they worked all the time. Less

Defective.

I purchased my Motorola Renew in late July. By February, the charger had died. By April 1, the screen mysteriously died (solid black with orange "cracks"). I can still make and receive calls, providing I can blind-dial, but that's all. I use my phone very rarely (50-150 minutes a month, fewer than 10...More
I purchased my Motorola Renew in late July. By February, the charger had died. By April 1, the screen mysteriously died (solid black with orange "cracks"). I can still make and receive calls, providing I can blind-dial, but that's all. I use my phone very rarely (50-150 minutes a month, fewer than 10 txt messages), and treat it very gently. The blatant defectiveness of this product is in sharp contradiction to its eco-advertising: a product can not be "green" if it's a piece of junk that requires replacing in less than 9 months. Less

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