Motorola WILDER

Featurephones still have their fan base even though we are now in the midst of an age where smartphones can be said to be taking the phone market by storm. Motorola WILDER is one such featurephone that is pretty affordable even for a featurephone. Let’s find out if it’s really a bargain by diving into its features.

Design

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Although the Motorola WILDER hasn’t got the specs its sibling Motorola Defy has to offer, the design on the back of the phone is however very similar to each other. The Motorola logo in the middle of the back panel as well as the tapered edges for instance is the similarities we mentioned. It’s also going for younger users with the saffron or classic gray band around its sides which makes it attractive to the eye. The Motorola WILDER has only got a 2.8 inch resistive touchscreen in comparison to the 4 inch screen that comes with smartphones these days but it’s not bad for this phone. A unique design feature with this phone is the second monochromatic OLED display right below the main display. It shows the date, time, signal strength and other things that need be to notified to you like missed calls and new messages. It also doubles as a ticker that displays the title of the track or video being played when the screen is off. To unlock the main screen, there’s a dedicated button on the top. The home button is found on the bottom left of the front of the phone and its shape gives the phone a design edge too. It’s also large enough making it good for users with fingers of any size. However, being a featurephone, on the back you will find a camera which is only 2MP. Overall we are impressed with design since it’s not only thin and light but at the same time it’s also durable. However, just a tiny disappointment is the fact that the protective rubber lid over the headphone jack and the microUSB port on the phone is hard to open, but we suppose that’s what you get for a dust and splash resistant phone.

Features

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The following numbers might be a shocker, but bear in mind that this is a featurephone. The Motorola WILDER has a basic Qualcomm processor. The 64MB of RAM and the 128MB ROM aren’t exactly mind blowing either. In fact, this combination led to a phone that ran really slow. This became very apparent when running the Java apps on the phone.

The Motorola WILDER is running on Brew MP the same OS found on the HTC Smart, so there’s no smartphone OS here either. There are some basic apps provided like the calendar, games and social networking apps. Nevertheless, you can get a bunch of other apps since there is a Java client provided. There are three main menu pages with the default apps on them, and the other apps are all in the Apps folder. It was also really easy to find what you want thanks to the well structured menus. This phone’s phonebook is great as you can put a bunch of details about each contact. In the calendar app, you can also make notes either under one of the given categories like birthdays or create one of your own. The To-do list app and Notes app helps keep you very organized. The lock screen on the Motorla WILDER displays both time and date and you can get directly go to the messaging or phone apps from there. No physical keyboard means we have to count on the virtual one. It was not all a bed of roses with this one as it was extremely uncomfortable to use as the keys were crammed, but it was not least due to the screen size as we have seen better virtual keyboards before.

The Motorola WILDER as we had mentioned earlier has only got a 2.8 inch resistive touchscreen which comes with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. It’s obviously not even close to the numbers you get with smartphones, but the resolution is acceptable given the screen’s size. The viewing angle you get from this phone is not bad but images do get washed out under bright sunlight. There is another screen here that we have to talk about though, the second monochromatic OLED display. Since it serves as a notification indicator, the 0.7 inch screen is not always on to save battery. It’s not really that bright, so viewing it on a sunny day it going to be a pain.

A dedicated camera button on the right of the phone was a welcome inclusion on the Motorola WILDER. Although the camera is only 2MP Motorola didn’t just leave it there for good measure. They actually gave it an interface that allows for changes in the white balance plus other effects as well. However, as you would have expected, the photos taken with this camera were not at all good. Although this camera actually comes with video recording, we wouldn’t recommend it as the QCIF recording is only at a rate of 15fps and can only be viewed on a really small screen.

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The NetFront browser in the Motorola WILDER provides for a normal internet surfing with no Flash support or zooming. Nevertheless, pages do get resized on their own to fit the 2.8 inch screen. The CPU that we have doesn’t help much as due to its disappointing speed, scrolling through websites was a really slow affair. The data counter that keeps track of your usage was something that’s pretty neat. Nevertheless, the phone does come with Opera Mini as an alternative to the NetFront browser and it was quite fun to use in comparison. The Motorola WILDER does come with EDGE 2G support as well as Bluetooth, but sadly no Wi-Fi radio.

Call quality with the Motorola WILDER wasn’t half bad actually. The volume was good enough and the voices were also clear in the earpiece. Our friends on the other side weren’t too impressed as they said our voice was muffled and unclear. Background noise was also evident they say. The 910mAh battery was great for one or more days of use. It is rated for close to 10 hours of talk time and this is where this phone can ask questions about its smarter rivals.

Pros and Cons

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The Motorola WILDER is dust and splash resistant which means you will be able to bring it with you to your grave. It’s also affordable.

The keyboard should have been better seeing that it’s the only option. Motorola WILDER’s camera could also have been better.

Conclusion

The Motorola WILDER will take on anything that you throw at it, even a pail of water. Maybe that’s pushing it, but you get the point. It’s an affordable Motorola phone, so it’s one featurephone to be considered.

Motorola MILESTONE XT720

Introduction

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The Motorola Milestone XT720, also known as the Droid in the US, has given positive results so far with its features. Widely advertised to be Motorola’s camera phone extraordinaire, this touchscreen phone has a traditional candy bar form with some exciting styling, a WVGA resolution screen and an 8MP camera on the back with auto-focus and a Xenon flash. It runs on Google Android.

Design

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The Motorola MILESTONE XT720’s shiny front panel is so reflective to the point that it can be mistaken as a mirror. The back panel is different from the front where it adds grip and has a solid feel. While being only 10.9mm thick, this phone feels hefty for a touch screen handset of this size. With its styling, the MILESTONE XT720 feels larger while holding it than its specs proclaim. The front of the phone is occupied by the capacitive screen. While it is large and beautiful with a resolution of 480×854 pixels, the display being sharp and bright, the vivid colours and viewing angles make it a pleasure to gaze at. Although the pixel density won’t be rivalling that of the Apple iPhone 4, against other Android devices, it is the king of the mountain, beating even the HTC Desire and the Samsung Galaxy S. As previously mentioned, the mirror-like screen shows fingerprint smudges very easily and while it isn’t very noticeable when the screen is illuminated, when on standby, the evident smudges don’t look good at all. Despite the glossy screen, the Motorola Milestone XT720 is usually viewable outdoors, except under very bright direct sunlight.

Below the display lie four capacitive Android buttons, the phone speaker and the microphone, as well as indicators of the camera and gallery at the bottom right (right below the camera button). On the top of the Milestone XT720 is the 3.5mm headphone jack, a (mini) HDMI port and the power button, with the volume up/down control, camera button and gallery button on the right. Under the back cover lies the battery, a 1390 mAh Li-Ion battery. The microSD card slot is hot swappable; all you need is to take off the back cover to access it without removing the battery. The phone’s left side has a micro-USB port while the loudspeaker, camera and xenon flash are all located on the back. This Milestone is much thinner, thanks to the removal of the keyboard.

Features

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However, its performance changes everything. The European release, which packs a 550Mhz processor under the hood is seeing slowdowns occurring more often than we expected it to on such a feature loaded phone. Some of the best publicised things in the phone, such as the screen and camera, are barely given the power needed to give users a smooth experience. The menus stumble quite a lot and flicking between home-screens is more often than not, laggy and indifferent. The camera also starts slowly. While the European release of the Milestone XT720 is flawlessly usable, the lack of subtlety mentioned above gives other premium Android smartphones the advantage in terms of usability. It seems that Motorola have picked up on criticisms regarding the processor which has led the US release getting a boost to 720Mhz, although sadly too late for the European Motorola-Fans.

The Milestone includes face detection, image stabilisation, the ability to set the ISO between 100 – 800, multi-shot mode and a series of scene modes like macro and portrait for its camera. The Motorola MILESTONE XT720 excels as a working phone. With excellent noise cancelling, the call quality is very clear, both when receiving and making calls. With very good reception, we’re pleased to announce that this phone is very pleasing to talk on.

Pros and Cons

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The Motorola Milestone XT720 has come a long way with its superb call quality and truly wonderful music experience. With its bright and sharp screen, 8MP Camera with Xenon flash and HDMI output, it seems as though it can hardly do anything wrong.

However, its slow processor ended up affecting many aspects of the phone, especially the European model. There is also the issue of the camera overcompensating for the images and the designs of capacitive buttons below the screen are not very optimal. The glossy screen shows fingerprint smudges after even a short use which may irritate certain users. The erratic HD video capture may also be a deal breaker for some.

Conclusion

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The Motorola Milestone XT720 is awesome but it’s still lacking the “oomph”. Its abundance of features means it will never disappoint, whereas a couple issues reduce it to commonplace when it could’ve been something awesome. The slow camera and agonizingly erratic HD video capture, stumbling when scrolling the menu and changing home-screens all make the European Milestone XT720 feel very underpowered for a new generation smartphone. However, it does deliver in providing a broad set of features which could be worth the sacrifice in subtlety. Lacking the smooth user experience that we’ve come to expect from other phones such as the HTC Desire and/or the Apple iPhone 4, we would certainly recommend either one of these as alternatives to the Motorola Milestone XT720. If you are in the market for an Android alternative with a decent camera, you may want to check out the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 as well.