Review – Motorola Milestone XT720 India
It began with the Motorola Milestone or the Droid as famous in the U.S. Later for those who disliked the disappointing keypad of the Milestone, Motorola announced the Motorola Milestone XT720 or the Milestone XT720 their new flagship for the Indian markets.
The phone has a fresh new design, comes with a great camera and runs Google’s Android 2.1. It seems like a great android powered handset but is Motorola successful enough to make this phone compete with the latest Android phones available in the market, let’s find out.
Firstly, it has a smart looking box and when you are done admiring it and open the box it will reveal the well designed Milestone XT720. Next up in the box is the USB Data Cable used for transferring data and charging the phone, then a power adapter which can fit into a wall socket and help you charge the phone using the Data Cable and when not around your computer, earphones which are not the best and for those who need better music quality will have to purchase better ones. Finally, it has the HDMI cable which allows you to stream HD video content from your phone to your HD capable Monitor or TV.
You are wrong if you are thinking that this phone is just a keyboard-less Motorola Milestone. The design of the Motorola Milestone XT720 features a silver mirrored exterior with smooth finish and curved edges on the front and a rubberized dark blue finish with hard edges on the back. A protrusion on the lower left part of the phone provides easy access to camera, camcorder and gallery through the touch sensitive buttons which work in landscape orientation. A closer looks suggest that the phones design is very similar to that of a digital camera. On the top you will find the 3.5mm audio jack and the power button, while on the right side edge you have the volume keys and on the left edge you have the micro-USB port and the HDMI port under inconvenient rubber covers. The back has the 8-megapixel camera along with Xenon flash and opening the battery cover reveals the microSDHC card and SIM card slot.
Interface and Features
The Motorola Milestone XT720 comes with pre-loaded Android 2.1 Éclair and the Android 2.2 Froyo update will make its way to the device later in the future but the dates are not yet announced. Just like every other Android phone the XT720 has the great Gmail, Contacts and Calendar integration. The Android Market now offers free as well as paid apps in local currency and it comes with the default webkit-based Android browser.
It does not include MotoBlur UI which we saw on the Motorola Backflip and the interface is slightly different than the original Milestone. It now has dedicated green and blue buttons on the lower right and lower left of the screen which act as shortcut keys to phone and messaging apps. It has other basic changes but the customization from Motorola is not as heavy as in regards to the MotoBlur interface.
Pre-installed apps include a new Radio app, an improved gallery app, Motonav which is turn-by-turn navigation system and the Moto Phone Portal which helps you backup and access your data, without installing any software on your computer.
The phone also has a brilliant 8-megapixel camera wit Xenon flash, but more on that later. Inside include WiFi, HSPDA, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity. Just like with any other Android device it is very essential for the user to have WiFi access or 3G service (3G from private network operators will soon be available in India, Tata DoCoMo has announced that it will go live in Diwali, while Vodafone will soon be announcing their plans). It has 256MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM, with a built-in accelerometer.
While testing, one of the biggest and the most annoying issue with the phone occurred when you get a call while using a heavy application. At this point the phone hangs, leaving you no option but a hard restart of the phone by removing its battery and putting it back in. It also crashed a couple of times, and that was mainly because of heavy usage and multitasking. I have not yet faced this problem on any other Android device so I am not very sure whether this is a common problem or was it just that particular unit. Another thing I was really disappointed with is the glass finished screen which makes it really hard to see in bright day light even on the highest brightness. While on the bright side, the touch feedback seems to be much improved than that on the Motorola Milestone.
In terms of performance I really hope that the phone would have been much better. It is powered by a 550Mhz processor while the 1Ghz Snapdragon or a processor of a similar clock speed would have been the right choice for the device. Although other hardware on the phone is great, it feels like the entire system lacks some power and does not allow you to do all the things you to do with ease and efficiency.
Performance wise this phone loses some point but the multimedia side of the phone is truly amazing. Unlike the 5 megapixel camera on the original Motorola Milestone, the Milestone XT720’s 8 megapixel sensor makes it a great phone. It has Xenon flash and the ability to record 720p HD video which can be streamed directly to your HD TV using the HDMI port on the phone and the HDMI cable available with the device.
The camera can capture great snaps of your precious moments and it includes features like face detection, image stabilization and ISO ranging between 100 – 800. The mechanical shutter is another great add-on while the ability to touch and drag the focus makes this one of the best Android camera phones out in the market. The camera has various modes including the multi-shot mode, macro mode, portrait mode and others which you will find on an average digital camera.
Picture quality is really impressive even in the dark and videos are not at all disappointing. The phone’s camera is a great replacement to many compact digital cameras, sadly there are times when you may ending up capturing high grain or high noise images.
If you compare this phone with the original Milestone you would be surprised to know that it is a big improvement. However, I personally feel that a redesigned physical QWERTY keypad would have been a great add-on and the phone really needs more power for better performance.
Although, the Milestone XT720 is an improvement to the original Milestone, it is a slight disappointment when it comes to comparing the hardware with other Android phones available in the market. But if you want to stay Android friendly and experience a really great camera on your phone then this is the best option you have.
The Motorola Milestone XT720 is available throughout India through various retailers for a price of Rs. 27,500.
If you have any suggestions, inquiries or just want to share your experience with the phone feel free to leave a comment below.