Motorola Tundra cellphone: Fine sound, rugged look

The new Motorola Tundra, $200 with a two-year contract from AT&T, is one of a growing number of cellphones that emphasize their toughness; "you can drop it, use it in the rain, or get it dirty," according to the manufacturer.

But more interesting to us in our preliminary lab tests on the Tundra was whether the phone would measure up to its claims of superior sound quality.

The Tundra boasts Motorola’s latest noise-reduction technology called CrystalTalkPlus, as we noted when the phone was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

We were unimpressed with the noise-reduction abilities of Motorola's earlier version of CrystalTalk, which can be found on the company's Moto Z9, RAZR2V8 and RAZR2V9 phones. But this time Motorola's claims are ringing true—at least for the Tundra. In our tests, it produced very good voice quality when talking, good when listening, in part because it did indeed reduce unwanted noise. That voice performance is noticeably better than that of most GSM phones in our Ratings.

We continue to test the Tundra and will post it soon to our full Ratings of cellphones, (available to subscribers). — Mike Gikas