Are you tired of using the heavy brick type phones? While useful to those who can afford them – such as executives on the go, Motorola has taken the promise of cell phone technology to consumers in rural localities. Ideal for ranchers, truckers and others outside of major cities, the promise of affordability and portability in the eighties has finally arrived in 1992. The Motorola Bag Phone 2900 Gold Series is targeting to a large consumer base – mainly sales persons – accustomed to office phones and pay phones.
While I was testing this Motorola Bag Phone contained is fashionable leather bag, many thought I was toting a large print King James Bible.
Surprise! Completely contained inside were not only a phone with large numeric buttons, but also a transceiver and battery pack.
This particular Motorola Bag Phone 2900 Gold Series handset features a generous sized LCD color display – 1 ¼” x ¾” – with indicator status codes. They include InUse (call in progress), NoSvc (handy to let you know that a cellular signal is not available) and Roam (to access other cellular systems outside of your carrier’s access points).
What I like is the built in speaker at the base of the alphanumeric keypad to hear the adjustable ring volume. Surround the alphanumeric buttons are various function keys. These functions include a MSG button for viewing missed calls, tagging names with stored phone numbers and up and down buttons for scrolling through your stored phone numbers.
All of the alphanumeric keys have a “reflective print” for easy identification during dusk hours for dialing. The slim profile makes the phone easy to hold and comfortable for long conversations of 15 minutes plus.
What truly makes this bag phone portable is the power supply connector using a 12-volt automotive outlet. Keeping this phone charged in the car and combined with the built in flexible rubber antenna that folds up and down neatly into the bag provides stellar talk time.
Motorola has packaged together a lightweight phone in a bag that provides a whopping 2 hours of talk time and 2 days of standby time, which is more than enough time to hold lengthy conversations.
There is a handy pouch to hold a handful of business cards, notepad and a pen to capture all of the important messages.
As for the technology behind the phone, analog 800 MHz networks service the powerful 3 watt phone, which by the way is the highest transmit power allowed by law.
Look for these bag phones to be much more affordable in the months to come. As the economy of scale takes place with more options in bag phones forthcoming from Motorola and other manufacturers, coupled with widespread carrier adoption and availability of cellular towers, I would suspect that salesman, busy moms and other mobility users will embrace the flexibility and the freedom of not having to use pay phones.
MSRP: $200 for the Bag Phone by model and depending on minutes (contract may vary). Check you local carrier for availability.
What I Like: Lightweight portability, comfortable grip, easy dialing. Generous power for up to 2 hours of talk time.
What Needs Improvement: Availability of do it yourself permanent car installation kit.