Motorola Pro+ Qwerty Android smartphone
The best of both worlds?
Review Motorola’s been keeping its hand in with an interesting variety of Android handsets of late. The Pro+ is clearly designed for business rather than fun, which is fine, but next to the top-end, revitalised Motorola Razr, it’s not in the same league.
Doing the business: Motorola's Pro+ Android smartie
Following on from the original Motorola Pro earlier this year, it offers a newer version of Android and a slightly improved screen, but not a great deal else, though the all-plastic body feels sturdy enough and the rubberised plastic back feels comfortable.
Complementing the Qwerty keyboard data entry is the 3.1in capacitive touch screen. It offers 640 x 480-pixels (up from the Pro’s 480 x 320) which seems good on paper, but at first glance it didn’t look as sharp as it should, the colours didn’t appear as vibrant as you’d expect and it all seemed a bit lacklustre really.
Not the slimmest, nor the fastest
But a quick glance at the settings made it clear that the auto brightness control is set a little low – great for the battery, but disappointing to look at. Setting the brightness to ‘high’ revealed that it can be extremely bright and sharp when you want it to be. Sensitivity is OK, I’ve certainly encountered worse, but it’s not up there with the best, and needed a double tap occasionally to respond.
Now I like a good Qwerty keyboard as a rule. Unfortunately, this isn’t one. The 35 keys have BlackBerry-style ridges but don’t seem to have the ergonomic ease of the Canadian keyboard maestro’s best efforts. These feel a bit awkward under the thumbs and aren’t particularly easy to find without looking, but you'd no doubt become familiar with it over time.
The keyboard shaping will look familiar to BlackBerry fans, but the layout isn't so easy to operate single-handed
Also, the number keys are arranged in the standard line across the width of the phone, doubling up with the top line of letter keys. It might be the standard line-up for computer keys, but it makes it harder to dial a number with one hand – it would have been better with a numeric keypad layout like the latest BlackBerrys have been using.
Next page: Slow mover
Only Android phone with non-sliding qwerty?
Perhaps you missed the HTC ChaCha?
Theres also the Samsung Galaxy Pro and the LG Optimus Pro.
Agreed, this does seem a rather jaundiced take
You can't compare it to the Razr, that costs well over £100 more.
Also the numbers are ranged across the top of the keyboard because you use the screen to dial.
I'm also not quite sure how a 258dpi screen can be called lackluster. OK Motorola has set the default brightness a bit low but on an enterprise handset that's not a wholly stupid idea with an eye on battery life and seems to pay dividends.
Couple of things I like to have seen covered - how much of the 4GB is free for apps and how do alternate launchers like Go Launcher EX work on a screen that shape? I'm guessing that with a better launcher this handset is a bit of a cracker.
ps..."you'd no doubt become familiar with it over time"....you mean just like every other keyboard under the sun?
This deserves at least 80% given the price!
I found this review a bit harsh.
Granted, 512MB of memory, a single 1GHz processor and 5MP camera is on the weak side given the latest crop of smartphones. The latter point is of lesser importance to me because no phone camera could rival my 12MP dedicated camera (a Panasonic).
But, for God's sake, this is the only Android smartphone with a non-slide QWERTY keyboard like the Blackberry. And given the price - a mere C$350 + taxes (total: C$400 without a contract)! - this is a great deal. Add $25 to unlock, and you are ready to enjoy this unique form factor worldwide! By comparison, the latest crop of smartphones I was referring to earlier cost nearly double (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S II at C$600 + taxes).
The review says one thing right: the battery life is great. One day and a half of intensive use, maybe. But in my normal (less intensive?) routine, it lasts 3-4 days easy.
So, coming back to the above title, if you judge this smartphone on its qualities (e.g. VGA screen, battery life, serious apps and admittedly nothing more than decent performance) relative to its dirty cheap price, I would say it deserves at least a 80%.
may be they should buy Rim and get a prettier design.
To me almost all these smartphones miss the main point of their existence. I hate greasy, scratchable, un-tactile touchscreens for dialling, and I don't want a miniscule QWERTY keyboard.
I want a PHONE with a PHONE keypad, you know, with numbers on it. As far as I can see the Blackberry Pearl3G is the only smartphone out there that answers this description... not a problem for me just now as I've only had mine a year and hope it lasts a good bit longer yet, but surely I'm not the only one who wants this?
Predictive text has worked well for over a decade now - it's fine for firing off the odd email when out and about, and I'd far rather 12 buttons I can actually find to press individually than fight with the needle-in-a-haystack struggle you end up with when trying to cram a full QWERTY keyboard into a tiny phone.