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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Motorola MOTOROI XT720

‘Time’ is an ace at playing puzzle and board games experienced until recently by Motorola. There were many of us apparently watching the US company clinging to the market cliff, trying to survive and get back to its original self. Yes, it did and what a re-introduction it was! They restored their image with an army of DROID’s, MILESTONE’S & CLIQ’S ready to axe the grind. We would call the Motorola MILESTONE (MOTOROI) XT720 a perfect example of 360° market turnover, shocking the wits of rival companies like Samsung, Apple and HTC. It packs in an 8-megapixel camera, trades in a QWERTY free interface, and punches in a 720p video recording all ably supported by the father droid – Android 2.1.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

MILESTONE XT720 breaks free from archetypal moulds coupling the asymmetric face design with a camel hump on the back. Diversely opposite looking to regular smartphones the smoothened slab on the front, angled with a sudden projection on the side renovates the phone completely. Even the grasps feel different and definite; metallic on the top and a firm rubberized body bottom.

By no means is the phone featherweight tilting the scales at 160 grams. Dimensions account for 61mm x 116mm x 11mm assuring a large screen size yet a compact hold for regular use. Its extremely bulky design is not portable or of much help during calls (unless you use an external hardware device such as a Bluetooth). However the build, provides the grip to operate all other web and multimedia functions.

Since, a full touchscreen dominates the front face; the physical buttons are cornered on the side. Find a microUSB port, volume keys, 3.5mm head jack, camera control buttons, lock/unlock buttons and most importantly the HDMI output port.

Given that the hardware lacks any physical buttons on the front, we were sometimes left gritting about wrongly pressed buttons. Nevertheless, it is forgiven for the experience of 3.7" display putting up an unforgettable show of images, videos and web pages.


The camel hump back may seem intriguing at the start but with time, we got used to it. The 8-megapixel camera lens with Xenon flash is on the corner of the backside with a slide out battery cover. Positioned behind the battery cover is the microSD card slot, a somewhat tricky place to hold a card.

Features (/10)

Motorola is collaborating with Android operating system for its MILESTONE series with this one boasting of 2.1 Éclair version. We keep our fingers crossed for a 2.2 Froyo update at the earliest. Similar to other Android running phones, MILESTONE includes the regular Google functions such as Search, Calendar and Gmail. There's always an access to the Android market for free download of apps.

A slight twist with the MILESTONE XT720 is its interface, drastically different from its MOTOBLUR siblings. The change is not some major makeover and includes some shortcuts to shot put you back to the home screen. A five panel customizable home screen makes up the default interface of the phone. If you want to customize the menu, just pull up the arrow at the bottom of the screen revealing a full array of menu options. Again, there are quite a few Android apps pre-installed counting popular Google applications like YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, etc and for the remainders the market is a tick away.

The interface sits on 480x854 pixels, 3.7-inch gigantic display, and is crisp enough to view videos, images and web pages. There is no pixilation of images/videos nor does it disappoint in the web-browsing department. However, would we put it on higher pedestal than Samsung AMOLED and Retina display of iPhone 4? Certainly not! The screen puts on a brave front indoors, but goes for a toss when exposed under direct sunlight. Sadly, you compromise with the fact that the lighting situations will decide the fate of the icons visibility.

There's something about the display that's not to be missed. The magnifying glass features used as a cursor while reading the text pinpoints to the exact location and is helpful since the physical buttons are absent.

Another important aspect of the MILESTONE XT720 is its 8-megapixel camera and 720p video footage. Motorola puffs up its chest on these two selling points. We certainly agree with Motorola's stand seeing that the camera is really very, very good. Its Xenon flash, auto focus and potential to get up close to objects earns it its brownie points.

The HD video recording deserves a similar applause. The footage was well groomed and played smoothly with no bumpy rides. For both the camera and video, a point to remember is these features are embedded in a phone and not comparable to high-end digital cameras & camcorders.

Connectivity (/10)

Connectivity is a complete package with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth, 3G and GPS all on-board. The phone is capable to handle external memory up to 32GB that is expectedly good enough to load an adequate amount of multimedia files.

Performance (/10)

Motorola has perked up the processor of the MILESTONE XT720 to reveal a 720MHz TI OMAP3440, upgraded from the 600MHz TI OMAP 3430 chucking the earlier MILESTONE. However, not being a 1 GHz plus processor the performance grade does drop from time to time with a sluggish navigation or the need for a manual closure of applications during multi-tasking.

The battery life was optimum living for more than a day with email and social networking sites constantly streaming in the messages and status updates. Nevertheless it is advisable to carry the charger on the go, may you find yourself faced with an embarrassing situation.

Call quality was top-notch keeping both callers and the called parties with smiling faces. The phone incorporates CrystalTalk technology in the phone acting as a noise cancellation barrier for external noises. Similarly, the hands free impressed us with audio loud enough for a two-party conversation.

Value for Money (/10)

The Motorola MILESTONE XT720 had inched closer to perfection if not for its sluggish navigation. The market is brimming with similar smartphones available with a Froyo version of Android. Whilst the XT720 gets past many of its functions with good scores, it fails to topple smartphones like Apple iPhone 4. We would advise to give a little exercise to your brain and think seriously about the HTC Desire and Apple iPhone 4 before handing out the plastic money.

Pros

• Gifted 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash

• 720p video recording with HDMI output

• Great screen size and design

• Improved battery life compared to original MILESTONE

• Motorola CrystalTalk technology (noise-cancellation)

• magnifying glass cursor control

Cons

• Sluggish screen

• Low screen visibility in direct sunlight

• Improved software doesn’t do much for the performance

• Touch-sensitive controls sometimes get to your nerves

• No flash support

• Only 60-day GPS trial

Price

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Opinions

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Rating

Style: 8.3
166
Technology: 8.6
172
Efficiency: 8.3
165

Total votes: 352 | Hits: 12050

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