Word from Motorola is that the Milestone is being touted as more of a business phone, though we'd have thought the lines between the two have long been very blurry, and business users use social networking just as much as anyone else these days. There are Facebook and Twitter apps aplenty in the Android Market of course, but it's a trick missed, we think.
An on-screen keyboard is available in tablet mode
Besides the business bods synchronising with Exchange and Outlook, Google user account contacts and calendar information, as well as e-mail, of course, can be mirrored on the Milestone. Motorola Media Link comes on the accompanying CD for syncing music, pics and video – you can sync your email with a Mac, but not your contacts and calendar. There's also the Moto Phone Portal, which uses the cloud to update your info using the web and swap between phone and Windows PCs, but not Macs.
The new Android browser takes advantage of the multi-touch functionality so you can do the iPhone-style pinch-to-zoom thing (or double tap for quick zoom) and the action is beautifully smooth. Web pages are well rendered and navigation was swift, whether using HSDPA 3G or broadband over Wi-Fi.
The 550MHz processor may also have a part to play in this – we never noticed any lag with the menus or when playing videos either, even when we had several apps running at once. And overall, the battery on the Milestone, lasts about a day and half with moderate use.
The 5Mp camera has a reasonable spec, with a dual LED flash, auto focus, 4x digital zoom and macro mode. It starts quickly in about three seconds, but it has to be said, it doesn't quite cut it in the quality stakes. Images suffer badly from light saturation and capture easily blurs unless you hold it extremely still.
A 5Mp camera, but Android phones continue to deliver underwhelming snaps
Colours tend to look flat and lifeless, while noise creeps in all too readily and isn't really as sharp as we might have expected from a 5Mp shooter. It might be able to boast a couple of megapixels more than the iPhone, but we couldn't in all honesty say it takes better pictures. Video drops the quality even more and while we wouldn't be ashamed to use it to post on Youtube, we probably wouldn't want to shout about it either.
Next page: Sample Shots
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!