Motorola Dext Android smartphone
Well, hello Moto
Review Few would be surprised to learn that US brand Motorola has struggled of late. Since the flush of success it enjoyed with the Razr series back in 2004, Motorola has singularly failed to set the mobile world alight, seemingly watching as other brands grasped the smartphone nettle and raced to the future.
Motorola's Dext: better than we'd imagined
But now, the company thinks its saviour may be at hand. The Motorola Dext is a smartphone that focuses on social networking using its Motoblur service. This makes innovative use of cloud technology to put instant Facebook and Twitter updates on your home page and holds all your phone's info on a remote server, so you can access it anywhere and revise it instantly.
Motoblur features aside, the Dext runs the Android operating system, has a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, 5Mp camera, HSDPA 3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and a host of additional apps. However, for UK users, it's initially only available on the Orange network. The Motorola Dext is a fairly chunky device at 114x58x16mm and 163g. Still, its designers have made the effort to soften its brick-like tendencies by tapering the front edges dramatically. This actually feels a bit odd at first, since the top half sits slightly inside the bottom half, but it turned out to be quite a practical solution.
The front is taken up by a 3.1in capacitive LCD touchscreen, which easily manages the admirable trick of being sensitive enough to tell the difference between brushes and presses. Below it is menu button that doubles as a screen unlock button, plus home and back buttons.
No flash or lens cover for the 5Mp camera
Around the sides are a camera shutter and a shortcut button that allows you to set your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, flight mode and GPS settings as well as power off or on. On the other side is a mute switch, volume rocker and micro USB socket, with a slightly ostentatious 3.5mm phone jack on top.
Thanks for the info Boony. I checked today and MarkSpace, the makers of The Missing Sync, is planning to release a program that will sync the Android with a Mac. I used their program to sync a nokia n75 and a mac a couple years back, and it worked really well. I think Motorola would lure over lots of mac users, that may or may not have an iPhone, if they would develop a native mac app for syncing. Or better, if Apple would distribute the iPhone through other carriers other than AT&T here in the U.S.
Hi ngc - I have been using the DEXT for around 3 weeks now. I am also a Mac user, but alas Motorola do not have native support for it in the shape of calender syncing etc. You can plug the USB cable in and drag files to and fro, but syncing etc is currently a no no. Moto do offer windows support, which to be fair is pretty darned good.
On the other side, if you are a social media fiend (I use it to keep in touch with a whole bunch of old army buddies), then MotoBlur rocks. If you need syncing - stick with IPhone or other device that is Mac compatible, or dare I say it - buy a cheap win7 pc
Good luck with your choice of handset though.
JB posting AC
@ AC 13:26
As well as the other comments, if you're getting this phone you might want to download Locale from the market, which allows you to turn on/off 3G, Google syncing, wifi, etc based on time of day, location, etc. For example, I have my HTC magic set to use Wifi only when I'm at home - as soon as I arrive home wifi is fired up, but when I'm more than 500 yards from my flat the wifi switches off.
This means max connectivity, with minimum battery usage. I also use it for things like having my phone auto-switch to vibrate while at work. You can also have the phone automagically control the screen brightness and timeout (e.g., I have mine longer/brighter when I'm in the office, because I'm never more than 50 yards from a blackberry charger (which my Magic can use).
Also worth looking at is the Power Manager app, which adds additional battery usage cleverness, and is <ronseal>
I've had one for a week...
... and it's rather nice.
The battery life is about 4 days if you remember to turn off the WIFI but still have email/facebook synchronising on 3G. You can set it to 2G only and switch off the account synchronising. It supports IMAP email quite nicely too.
I like that I can vaguely keep up with friends on facebook without going to the website, I'm not a big fan, but quite of few of my friends (and strangely, my parents) seem to be.
I'm very pleased with it.
This is just the curtain-raiser
early reports on Moto's NEXT Android phone, the Droid, suggest it's a league further ahead of the Dext