Advantages Good Build Quality, Android 2.1, Xenon Flash
Disadvantages Poor Camera, Laggy Homescreen, Slow CPU
|Look & Feel|
|Durability & Robustness|
|Battery standby time|
|Value for money|
|Range of features|
Ok, so lets jump straight in with the immediately noticeable feature on this phone. Firstly is the 3.7" capacitive TFT Screen. It has a mirrored finish too. On the back, it has an 8MP camera with a Xenon flash. 8MP is alot for a mobile phone but is starting to become the norm with smartphones these days. Xenon is one of the brightest types of flash so you can't go wrong here! On the top of the phone is a mini HDMI port. Included in the box is a mini HDMI to HDMI, so you can plug the device into your TV or external moniter and view video's or photos.So we will now talk about the full external features. Above the screen in the top left corner are three sensors, including an ambient light sensor and a proximity sensor too. On the bottom are the four standard android buttons; Menu, Home, Search(not on all android devices) and the back button. On the top, we have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is also becoming standard on smartphones now. Next to that is the lock/power button. On the back, it has a very nice feel to it, a smooth finish, which makes it very pleasing to hold. It has the previously talked about 8MP camera with flash, and the speaker. On the right hand side of the device, we have the volume rocker, camera button and also a button to change between camera and video. This button can also be used to view the gallery. On the remaining, left hand side, we have a micro USB port.
On the whole, we were dissapointed with Motorola's homescreen/lockscreen effort. We still get the virtually standard lockscreen with "slide right to unlock, left to change silent". On the homescreen, it's all the same too, apart from the green and blue buttons located at the bottom of the screen. When we were using the handset, we noticed alot of lag on the homescreen when scrolling left to right, and also on the app menu. Even after closing down all the programs in task manager, it still lagged just as bad. We are still not sure why Motorola left out Moto-Blur, as we think it is very handy and works very well. Beleive it or not, the speaker on the front is very loud, and you can hear it in almost all circumstances.Overall, call quality on the XT720 is very good, as it is very clear and will not give you any trouble.
Now, moving on to the technical specifications. The 3.7" Screen is WVGA and is 480 x 854 pixels. We think this is fine, as it does it's job and is very easy to read, in sunlight and indoors. The CPU is nothing to shout really, at a low 550 Mhz, but the built in graphics processor (!) makes up for it a little bit. It's a PowerVR SGX 530. It is also a quad-band phone, so it should work in most places around the world. Inside, it has 250MB of ram and a greatly dissapointing 150MB of internal storage. Since it runs android 2.1, it does not have the ability to save apps onto an SD card, so the amount you can download is limited greatly. We thought this was a huge drawback. The proximity sensor. We touched on it earlier and it basically sensors when you put the handset up to your ear when your in a call, and blanks out the screen. This helps to avoid touching the screen with your and therefore clicking things you dont want to, or even ending the call! We were dissapointed overall with the tech specs of this phone. We would have liked to have seen at least 1Ghz processor, and lots more internal storage.Combining these together makes the handset quite a good gaming platform. We took a look at a variety of games, but focused in mainly on raging thunder 2 lite. The action was very smooth and had a decent frame rate. Every now and then, it had a miniscule lag for half a second, but picked itself up straight after.
We already mentioned that Motorola havent changed all that much within the operating system, but they did include Moto-Nav, and a free 60 day trial. This is a turn by turn navigation app with voice overs, and it works so well. Unlike most mobile phones navigation software, the maps are already pre-installed on the phone, so it doesnt actually use any of your data/mobile internet, therefore making it completely free. Until the trial is over that is. One of the nice eye-candy feature is that you can view buildings in 3D! But when using the software normally, the user interface looks very cartoon like, so making it look cheap and tacky. However, looks aren't everything, as the software itself is very nice.The phone on the whole is very easy to use, as it adopts the android platform, which is very user friendly. However, we found that when using apps or games that are landscape, we accidentally click the capacitive buttons at the bottom quite a bit, which can get fustrating. Motorola could have gone round this by making these buttons hardware buttons, or resistive, but it would have been a challenge, so as not to take away the beauty of the device.
The camera app is very easy to use, and can be accessed either on the homescreen, app menu or using the button on the right hand side of the phone. Just like the iPhone 4 or 3GS, you can tap to focus anywhere on the screen. If you can't get used to this, you can easily change it back to auto-focus. There is a large amount of settings with the camera app. To access these, click the menu button then click settings. In this list will be face detection, image resolution, ISO, picture stabilisation, panorama resolution and also video time, video resolution and the review time. There are also a selection of different "scenes" that you can select based on the light/movement of the picture. There is auto, portrait, landscape, sports mode, night, sunset and macro which is useful for taking closeup pictures. I can change the flash to be on, off or auto,the brightness of the photo itself before you have even taken it, and of course the different modes. We have camera, video camera, timer, panoramic, self portrait and multi shot. Out of all the different functions, our favourite is the panoramic. To use it, you start by taking a picture, move it in any direction and a little image on the screen will tell you how far to move the phone to make it in the right place, then automatically takes the picture.The phone is in fact marketed as a camera phone, but we completely disagree with this. We think there is lots of room for improvement. Although the flash is very good, the camera still tries to light up the darkest of subjects, which is obviously going to be bad from the word go. You get these horrible black lines going accross the screen which completely ruin the picture, and when recording HD video, it jumps every so often and does not make a truely worth 720p HD video recording. I guess the 24fps doesnt help either... Overall, we were very dissapointed with the camera effort that they made. So yes, they SAY it's HD and 8MP but it certainly doesn't show, at least not straight away anyway. Also, you cannot use the flash during video, as its a Xenon flash, and it will burn out if kept on too long.
When we received this phone, we were hugely excited, and we had a go on it and it seemed georgeous to use, but as sooon as we got down to the nitty gritty, it started to fail. It is infact marketed between the mid and high range, however it doesn't quite cut the mustard to be a high range phone. This may just be us, abusing it, and using it as many others wouldn't, but you don't want to be using a device which doesn't live up to it's potential. As previously mentioned, the camera is, well to put it straight, diabolical. We were expecting great things from this, but we got loads better results from other smartphones, such as the iPhone 4.OK, so here are the scores for the Motorola Milestone XT720.
Battery Life6/10 (Normal usage = about a day and a half, excessive usage = about half a day)
Overall, I think we can all say there is plenty of room for improvement, and is certainly not as polished as alot of other android devices, but it certainly has it's positives too, like Moto-Nav for example. It's UK retail price is around £350, which some people, like us, may think its a tad steep for a phone of this specifiton, but hey, you can't get everything!
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The Motorola Milestone XT720 smartphone makes high-definition video recording and playback easy, with HDMI and wi-fi connectivity. The 3.7-inch...
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