Motorola touts "

Motorola says its new 'Crystal Talk' technology improves the quality of calls hampered by background noise, an Associated Press report said.

The effectiveness of the feature is up in the air, the Associated Press report said, quoting analysts.

But the marketing advantage from such a claim could benefit the world's No. 2 handset maker at a time when it could use all the help it can get, the report said.

'I think it's important and significant to brand basic voice,' said Avi Greengart, a handset analyst for research firm Current Analysis, was quoted as saying.

Even as handsets move towards brighter screens, higher-resolution cameras and faster connections able to download music and video, there remains a strong desire to get the basics of a phone down, the report said.

Demand would be high for a device that alleviates the need for consumers to slam their phone into one ear and plug their index finger into the other in an attempt to block outside noise.

Call quality isn't traditionally a marketing message used by the handset makers, but Motorola could use a shot in the arm, the report said.

A feature like improved call quality could do a lot for customers justifying a higher price for a new phone, the report said.

'If they can convince people to pay more for Crystal Talk versus a non-Crystal Talk phone, they win,' Greengart said. 'I think it's a brilliant strategy.'