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Detailed Review from a Member

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by RinTinTigger, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. RinTinTigger
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    RinTinTigger Premium Member Premium Member

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    Hey guys and fans,

    i have the honor to publish and translate a Motorola Droid/Milestone review,
    by a german member of Droid Forum - Covering all Verizon Droid Phones & the Motorola Droid.
    He did a very detailed review and i thought you might be interested in what he wrote.
    Its our fellow MustangGT500

    Here is what he wrote (translation by me):

    "The Milestone - a stone of many miles done"

    [​IMG]

    In this review i want to get a little deeper into the motorola milestone, the smartphone with the best ambitions to take the crown of em all at the moment. Beeing pushed so hard, by so many, it created huge expectations everywhere. Expectations being matched by a company, that wasnt on the bill anymore for a long time! Motorola was declared dead by many others, publishing products in a non-state of the art. The Razr was a phone doing well on the market, but its design, making good sells, was used in too many phones by the company. And then, long time no see concerning innovations, new designs and hardware. The comeback should be the Milestone. But is it the desired comeback? We gonna see.

    1.] The Targeted Audience: contra iPhone

    Motorolas ambitions where huge. The droid should be the iBeast slayer, beeing sold in the US with aggressive "Droid does" ads. Though the name Apple was never mentioned directly, it was clear who Motorola was going to attack.The Milestone was not only supposed to do all the things, the iPhone does, but even a lot more.
    A lot of reviews with the subject of touch-smartphones, the iPhone has being reffered to, as the one to be beaten. For the first time, there was a smartphone that really was able to do so. Though Android is not exactly the same like a neat and slime apple os, gathering users in a little golden cage, one has a good learning curve on it. But the user learning about android will be rewarded with a decent OS and nearly the same touchscreen capabilities.

    2.] Heart and Soul: Android 2.0
    On the inside of the Milestone, the new green google android is beating, with the codename "Eclair", pumping life into the hardware. Right from the start, this OS is a little overwhelming, a little difficoult to handle, especially when you come from Symbian. But as soon as you dealt with it for a little time, you feel the programmers intelligence and thoughts on the os. A short intro on to the "desktop": You boot the phone and get to one of the 3 available fully personalisable honmescreens there are. On those you can put widgets, little apps, usable without redirections, as well as folders or shortcuts. The freedom of individualisation for everyone is given by the android market, googles app store, with an ammount of 20K apps and widgets. No matter if you want informations showing, picture frames, weather, news and newsapps, Stickies, musicplayers, voice recorders or torch light apps, there is nearly everything one can wish for. The widgets can be placed wherever you like on the homescreen and vary in size. But thanks to the 3 homescreens, there is enough space to use your favorite widgets and apps.

    On th top of the screen there is a notification bar. Beside the standard apps like a clock, battery and radio, it informs you about all kind of events like calls, short messages, emails, new installed apps, downloads, IM's, WiFi info and much more.
    If you tap your finger on that bar, you can pull it down to the bottom, opening kind of a menue giving you the details of the notification.
    It shows you very detailed and optically prepared, who sended you an SMS or who called you, what download completed or who wrote you an IM.

    If you tab your finger on the little triangle on the bottom of the screen, kind of a main menue opens and shows you all installed apps. A dedicated button on the bottom of the phone opens the settings menue, where homescreen language and all other settings can be done. You can also swipe through the homescreens by moving the finger from one side to another, depending on what screen you want to go.

    Rundown to the simple, Android offers by stock: Homescreens, "Main Menue"/App Menue, Notification bar and settings. No encapsulated menues, ll set up verry logically. But all in all a starter can be slayed with all those possibilities in the beginning. Verry well done is the menue showing the battery usage by programs and the uptime after unplugging the phone. Navigation through the menues is rather fast, only the swipe function and the notification bar pulldown are laggy sometimes but its not annoying at all. The painfull "Click me once ...or twice?" from symbian is to be found here.
    -to be continued-
  2. RinTinTigger
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    RinTinTigger Premium Member Premium Member

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    Everythingis held rather limited in the menues, using only white text on black ground.
    Also limited is the software the device is being sold with. Besides SMS, contacts an dialing, which is an absoulte must for daily usage, there is a 60-day-trial of "Motonav" navigations on the Milestone. Also Google services like the search and maps are given as well as a browser, a buzzer and some widgets. Furthermore you get an email client and the android market to get more apps and other stuff. The mandatory media gallery to browse through selfmade and other videos and pictures, a small mp3-playr and Youtube are completing the package. AND THAT IS IT! A verry minimalistic basis, providing pros and cons. Some might be good for creating their own OS with widgets and apps, others want a fully featured system to start right away.

    But there is no reason to throw in the towel. Allthough android is rather young, there are 25K apps on the android market, and still growing. More than 60% are free apps, installable via one click on the market. Downloading and installing only takes secounds, depending on size and connections - just great.On the tab "Downloads" in that market-app you will find your installed software and available updates for them. On the market you can search software categoriesed in games and apps. Very simple to use. All downloaded apps are first getting to the previously named "main menue" or app menue.

    The device got two types of memory. a 512MB ROM-chip and an 8GB Micro SD, its beeing shipped with. Apps are ONLY installed on the ROM-chip. Optional, apps can deploy their graphics or audio data to the SD card, but only a few developer are using this possibilty. 350MB of the 512MB ROM is beeing used by the system itself, that is why the user only has around 154MB memory for apps. This is not a problem because most of the apps are only some KB large. But gamer will be unsatisfied with that fact. There are very good 3D games, using the VRSGX GPU to its totals, but they are around 20MB large. So that makes space short for those apps. Hopefully google is going to fix this issue, so that without developers thinking of that, there will be enough space.

    The modular setup of the Linux derived system is thrilling as well. You can replace every app, no matter if its a gallery, camera, navigation or musicplayer by another app. Not only downloading installing and using an app once, but the system allows you to set the option to ALWAYS use the desired app as default. For example: You download the alternative browser "Dolphin" and you will be asked if it is the standard browser. if you say yes on this, all requests referring the internet will be handled by "Dolphin". But also going back to stock browser is no problem.

    3] THe Hardware: Go for GOLD

    Go for gold, that seemed to be motorolas motto on that device. The hardware specs seemed to be out of a hardwarefreaks dream.

    - Ti Omap 3430 CPU 550 MHz
    - Power VR SGX 530 Graphics, 434 MHz
    - 256 MB RAM
    - 3,7" Multitouch-capacitive Display, 854x480 Pixeln
    - 5-Megapixel-Kamera with autofocus and DUAL LED-Flashlight
    - WVGA-Video, 720x480 Pixeln
    - WiFi
    - Bluetooth
    - GPS
    - 3,5 mm-headphone jack
    - 8 GB Micro-SD (can be up to 32GB)
    - QWERTZ Tastatur

    On that specs the milestone has beaten the iPhone by ages. The single components are amazing and thanks to the ultrafast processor, movies, surfing and gaming are really fast on this device. Games do profit from the dedicated graphics processor, beeing in the range of a first gen xbox. the GPS module is one of the best i ever found in a cell phone. Without big delays i got connection even in the last corners of my house. The wifi module earns probs for high ranges. Websites are being displayed just like they are on a pc - horizontal scrolling is not necessary thanks to the screen resolution, which is twice as good as on state of the art symbian touchscreen devices by the way.
    One huge critics on the milestone was the camera, but all in all it is a good working one. only in bad light conditions you get real bad pictures. Unfortunately there is a bug knocking out the autofocus. But the Update soon to come on 2.0.1 will fix this. Videos are great concerning the images and the audio. A Milestone was created when it comes to Quality. Everything is very solid, no noises, no loosen things on it.But you are paying for it with 170 gramms of weight. Recharged and synched is the device with a MicroUSB connector in version 2.0 highspeed with 7MB/sec.

    -to be continued-​
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  3. RinTinTigger
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    RinTinTigger Premium Member Premium Member

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    4] The device: a n overview:

    [​IMG]
    [resolution on milestone and n97 (230400 px / 409920px)]

    First of all, probs to motorola for NOT using the RAZR desing again, it now is reduced to a minimum, calssic, stylish, hard, high class.
    Being held black using gold on the camera button, speaker grids, DPAD, and cam inscriptions the device shows a nice decent contrast. The 4 white buttons are displacing themselves a little from the rest of the device as well as the logo. The slid out keyboard is held in white, being illuminated in the same color and have symbols and special characters in Gold. The display dominates the front of the phone and there are only 4 buttons, back, menue/settings, Home and search. Something missing is a button to pick up or end calls, but that is not anoying because its being realised quickly via the touchscreen.

    On the right side there is the dedicated camera button and the volume rocker, controling volume of calls, media or game sound. The headphone jack is on the top of the device to carry it in the pocket without problems. On the backside there is the camera, not hidden behind a protector or anything. But the glass covering the lense seems pretty strong as well as the disply glass.

    5] the device in daily

    [​IMG]
    [the browser is convincing fast and has a high resolution with fluent scrolling]

    the 1400 mAh battery, that is shipped beside the quickstart booklet, headset, charge/synch cable and the 8GB Micro SD shows up as very lasting. The device is running around 2-3 days in stand-by mode. With a strong usage of energy demanding apps and features such as games, navigation via GPS and browsing, the battery surrenders after around 18hrs. But that is good for all the functionality, the device offers. The qualtiy of calling is ok, rather muffled with some clear moments but ok for usage anyways. SMS and texts can be written really quick and even the hardware keyboard is of good use if you adapt a little to it and has a good point of pressure. It offers directly accessable extra characters like the question markt, full stop or @, allthough the way to go for the right hand is a little long to hit all characters. But practice keeps in shape.

    The device still has some software bugs here and there. But those can be fixed. Hardware problems cant. But if you look for a new smartphone, the milestone will be a good choice for nearly anyone, looking for some high-end features, like multitouch, fast websrufing without using apple!


    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010