Whether or not you like this phone will depend on your personality, how you use your phone and how much you use your phone. My V3 (1st generation) was supplied by Orange in 2005 and is now 9 months old. I'm an ex-Nokia 8210 and Sony Ericsson T610 user.
I bet the reason you're considering this phone because it looks great. There's no need to go into it's looks because it's self explanatory. It's construction is solid enough with almost no plastic, feels well made when handled and so far nothing has worked itself loose although I was concerned about the fragility of the "clam shell" (flip-up) design having owned "candy bar" phones in the past. However, I wouldn't recommend dropping the phone too many times or kicking it across the car park.
The call quality was clear and good but the camera average (it is not a megapixel camera).I believe one is better off with a proper small portable camera to capture images anyway.
To understand how the phone relates to your personality and usage, my perception of the phone's 2 main weak points will have to be covered first.
1. Less than intuitive phonebook and text messaging interface. The phone is less user friendly than a Nokia or Sony. However, all the essential functions of the phone (phonebook, text, recent calls, dialled numbers etc) are quickly accessed without much fuss. But the fact that you cannot store multiple phone numbers for a single contact under just one name is disappointing. If you're like me and don't have too many friends because you spend too much time on the computer writing reviews, then it's not too big an annoyance but if you have an extensive list of contacts, your phonebook will be a very long list because each mobile, office or home number for one contact ends up as a separate line in the phonebook! The predictive text input is also not as user friendly as a Nokia. So if you text heavily, you'll grow a few grey hairs each time you send a text. There is also the very occasional minor bug in the operating system whereby the phone continues to say it's charging even though it's been disconnected but this resolves if you switch it on and off again. Otherwise, no major inconvenience although I have heard others with complaints.
2. Battery life is relatively rubbish (bearing in mind my battery is 9 months old). You can't get something for nothing so the slim, flat, small design means a battery of similar proportions. With light use (see above re: friends) I have to charge my phone every other day and I can foresee the need to charge it everyday should I make more regular calls. The Orange package did not include a car charger. This coupled with a short battery life means I don't leave the house without decent charge on the phone.
This is where your personality and phone usage comes in. If you value style and pose factor, are not fussy, adapt easily, are willing to learn how to use the phone, are not easily irritated and are a light-ish phone user, then you will probably get along fine with the V3 because you will admire the aesthetics of the phone more often than you will use it. However if you're somewhat easily irritated, have limited patience, don't like change, use the phone lots for both talking and texting, then you might find that short battery life and less than ideal interface will be more of an issue than the phone's good looks. This is probably the most important deciding factor when it comes to choosing this phone.
The features I found useful in the phone were:
The fact that MP3s and pictures/photos were easily uploaded into the phone via the USB cable making the phone easy to personalise and customise in terms of MP3 ringtones and wallpapers. Bear in mind you can’t go nuts uploading stuff onto the phone because it’ll eat into your 5MB built in memory which may be handling your texts or contacts. Most phones now will handle MP3s and the lot.
The large display.
A voice recorder was useful seeing as they forgot to provide a notes/notebook input application/facility.
Bluetooth (it has no infra red capability)
However, I would have liked:
An FM radio/tuner although you’d be better off with a dedicated MP3 player with in built tuner.
A flash or lllumination coupled to a megapixel quality camera.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, if you think you’ll love the looks of the phone so much that it’ll be a pleasure to see it each time you take it out of your pocket/handbag and at the same time tolerant enough to accept some of its flaws then you’ll probably not regret getting it. If however you’re set in your old Nokia or Sony Ericsson ways, don’t want to put up with imperfection and use the phone a lot, then I’d suggest you try another handset. Don’t forget to try it at the shop. Don’t just take my word for it..