It all began with the RAZR. Since that phone rocketed to stardom, Motorola's been addicted to giving its handsets increasingly cryptic four-letter monikers – think ROKR, RIZR and the I'm-mad-me KRZR.

Now even its home phones are at it. So say hello to the LIVN, a DECT phone with built-in answering machine.

Niggly navigation

The LIVN defiantly bucks the trend of landline phones getting smaller to match the size of mobiles – it's big and chunky. And although it sports a colour screen, it's only 1.4in and isn't as sharp or crisp as the ones you're treated to on most mobiles.

There are also a few issues with the buttons. They're serviceable enough, but problems arise when the curious circular four-way direction pad is called into action. Dial a number and you have to finish by pressing left on the circular pad, while to end the call you need to press right.

Simple enough, but there's something counter-intuitive about there not being any separate buttons to make and end calls.


Operational quirks aside, the LIVN does have the bells and whistles of many current handsets. There's a slot for your mobile phone SIM so you can easily transfer numbers, text-messaging powers and enough memory for 250 stored phone numbers.

The answering machine is contained in the LIVN's base, a separate black box that connects to your phone socket. This has playback buttons across its torso, while a handy red LED tells you how many messages there are waiting for you.

There are two handsets in the box, but you can add up to four more to a single base station – handy if you own an Elizabethan mansion.

In all, Moto's move into home phones is far from a disaster, but the LIVN isn't the sexy, standout phone you'd expect from the company that made the RAZR. Its size makes it a little less comfortable to hold than its competitors, but we can see the smart piano-black styling finding plenty of fans.   


Stuff says... 

Motorola LIVN D811 review

The LIVN looks good and call quality is fine, but it isn't the most innovative or intuitive home phone we've used