The 3.7in capacitive multi-touch screen has a 480 x 854 pixels resolution. It's a bit overly shiny in sunlight and a fingerprint magnet too, but it’s nice and bright and, overall, it looks gorgeous.
Great screen, but the keyboard could be more thumb-friendly
Some folk have been getting very excited about Android 2.0, but in truth, it's very much an upgrade rather than a reimagining. There's support for Microsoft Exchange email servers, which will make it more attractive to business users. Camera functions, such as digital zoom and flash have been added – not that they have to be utilised, as this depends on the camera the handset manufacturer chooses to use.
Other tweaks include gesture recognition – so you can draw pre-set shapes to act as shortcuts to particular functions – some improvements to the browser, a facility in contacts for displaying all available ways to communicate with anyone in your contacts book and an improved onscreen keyboard, not that there's much use for it with the Qwerty-packing Milestone.
Otherwise, Android 2.0 looks much the same – clean, intuitive, efficient – but a little neater, with smaller, better defined widgets and shortcut icons spread across its three screens. The unlock function is slightly different too, requiring a spin of a virtual wheel rather than a simple one-way brush to unlock the screen.
Google's Search city is a heightened search function you can access from your home page to search web or handset, and includes the voice search option, which worked very well. Call quality through the speaker was clear and rounded, with no hint of harshness. Volume didn't seem particularly loud though – so we’d have liked another notch higher to get us over the sound of heavy traffic.
Gesture recognition allows shortcuts to common features
Strangely, Motorola has chosen not to include its social networking system, Motoblur, which did so much to make the Dext distinctive. So you don't get a window pulling together all your latest social networking updates. And you can't automatically pull in your Facebook contacts and pics either, which is a bummer.
Android 2.0 is mostly a badly-hashed rework of Sense UI
I tried out one of the community builds on the Hero and couldn't see any real benefits to Android 2.0 over 1.5 with sense UI, apart from working with a couple of Google's more bleeding edge apps. I think HTC's main problem is working out how to either yank Android 2.0's wretched facebook integration and stop it clashing with their own vastly superior solution. There may be some improvements in the messaging app as well, but since it's still not going to be a patch on Handcent I didn't even look at it.
I mean it'll be nice to get it, but I'm not seeing any reason to fret about it not arriving for a month or two. The moto phones are a pretty good price/spec though - if they manage to produce something keyboard-free and less ugly in about a year I may well get one
Pretty damn good
i've been playing with mine for almost a week now, and it is awfully good. basically everything you would expect to be good is, so i'll only add the negatives i can think of;
- lack of sat nav. i know it's got moto nav, but it's only a trial so that doesn't count. i hope the google one gets released soon.
- apostrophe on the keyboard. it's an alt key instead of a default one. petty, i know, but i use apostrophes a lot. it does auto add them to some words, but not to others where it's usages dependant... like its vs it's.
- the bundled power cable is reeeeally short. it barely reaches from my floor to my bedside table.
err... that's all i can think of. it's just a really good phone. 85% seems a tad low to me.
p.s.- you can sync your facebook contacts with an app.
So this is basically a GSM version of the US-market CDMA Droid? How come the review (AFAICS) doesn't even mention this? The Droid is one of the best-known new models of smartphone in the world... That merits a line, doesn't it?
... look at it, it's dreadfully ugly. I mean, what were they thinking about with the gold nav pad, for god's sake?
Ultimately, as much as none of us like to admit it, if it doesn't look good then it won't sell.
It will soon be forgotten.
Motorola is the new in!