Omio News Blog

Blog Archives

Motorola DROID 2 Gets Early Hands-On, Still Does What iPhone Doesn’t?

Pre-empting a heavily hyped Wednesday reveal, Android And Me blog has managed to snare an extensive hands-on with the Motorola DROID 2, the American manufacturer’s swift sequel to their strongest Google-powered handset to date.

Changes are more pronounced on the interior, but the side slider form factor has remained for the DROID’s (known as the MILESTONE in Blighty) second incarnation. Despite swapping the retro Tia Maria inspired black and gold accenting for a far more modern silver, the DROID 2 looks near identical (on the right in the above pic, we’re 80% sure of it!), removing the slightly redundant d-pad from the original for a more spacious keyboard layout.

Internally an iPhone 4-equalling 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM speeds up proceedings, and the exhaustive set of tests that Android and Me has put the DROID 2 through definitely suggests it is twice as fast as the original (3D graphs never lie).

However, with the iPhone catching up to a few of the features that Motorola leaned on for their original ‘DROID Does‘ campaign – including multi-tasking and the addition of a 5-megapixel camera – it’ll be interesting to see whether this smartphone sequel has what it takes to topple the highly anticipated iPhone 4.

With the recently revealed DROID X seeing an imminent US release, not to mention the MILESTONE XT720 in the UK, Motorola seems to have both the business and consumer markets in its sights with their next generation of high-end Android devices.

Whether this fiercely competitive area actually has room for this trio of boxy entrants remains to be seen…

Motorola Milestone XT720: Hands-on Photos!

Well, we’re up bright and early at Motorola’s morning briefing to bring you the first shots of the Milestone XT720, their latest slender Android handset boasting an 8-megapixel lens and the first Android phone to come with a Xenon flash. The XT720 also has a host of multimedia functionality including: video recording of 720 pixels and  HDMI port for hooking up to your TV, bundled 8GB memory card (upgradeable to 32GB). The screen is a 3.7″ WVGA (480×854) display so whether you’re browsing the web or your media gallery, you’re eyes get a treat.

Check out our photos below!

There it is, chilling alongside the new Motorola FLIPOUT. More news on this exciting Android snapper-phone when we get it!

Motorola Milestone XT720 Unveiled: Xenon Flash Makes Android Debut



The Motorola Milestone XT720 has just been made official – an 8-megapixel packing Android monster that promises to ‘eliminate the barriers to consumers for creating and consuming media on the go’.

A keyboardless version of the original Motorola Milestone, the XT720 originally popped up on our radars a while ago as the Motoroi - an attractive Asia-only Android offering, with today’s announcement confirming an arrival onto our shores soon enough.

The specs are certainly some of the strongest we’ve seen in an Android device – 3.7-inch WVGA display, an 8-megapixel camera with 10x digital zoom, 720p recording and a xenon flash, as well as an HDMI port to show off those directorial mobile masterpieces and an 8GB memory card in the box.

The XT720 will be running on Android’s latest 2.1 software, meaning the suite of Google’s mail and navigation services – as well as the app-rich Market – will all be available. Hopefully a bump up to the forthcoming ‘Froyo’ update is also on the cards…

Whether the XT720 will sport the multitouch functionality of the original Milestone is yet to be confirmed, but as the Motoroi proudly touts pinch-to-zoom, we hope it’ll also make an appearance here.

Release dates and pricing are still on the way, but the Milestone XT720 is yet more proof that Android and Motorola are here to stay in the mobile world, and they mean business!

More details and handset hands-on pics to follow!

MWC 2010: Motorola Booth Tour – All A MotoBLUR

We are all pleasantly surprised at Motorola’s return to relevance in the mobile game, betting the farm on taking the Android OS close to their bosom and coming back with a bold bunch of phones, as well as decent customisation with the MotoBLUR interface.

Whilst we hear that the US manufacturer might have already been tapped up to make the next Google phone in the form of the Shadow, but we were focussed on the present at Mobile World Congress and Motorola certainly had some decent phones to show.


Whilst the idea to offer a stream of instant messages, tweets and status updates directly to a handset’s homescreen or widget might have been refined (and rinsed) by the competition, but MotoBLUR still offers the original ‘phone with social skills’ experience on Android.

The Motorola DEXT was present and correct, a forerunner that lacked a bit of flair in execution and build quality, but still served as a great proof of concept that Android widgets could perform equally as well as blanket customisation to Google’s operating system.



Building on that social networking heritage was the Motorola BACKFLIP, seeing its first European airing here at Mobile World Congress.

The idea takes the experience from the DEXT’s slider to a reverse-hinged clamshell device, adding a touchpad behind the display for unobscured scrolling.

A gentle tap on the pad serves as a click, whilst the keyboard and build quality have both been tightened up significantly.

The insanely quirky form factor and novel touch method of the Backflip may not be copied by the rest, but certainly demonstrated Motorola’s individuality yet again.



The Motorola QUENCH presents yet another form factor – the single candybar – for use with the MotoBLUR social synching service, chucking out the QWERTY keyboard and offering a responsive touchpad at the bottom of the device.

Specifications are largely the same as for the original DEXT, with a 3.1-inch display, Android 1.5, 3G and HSDPA. Browsing is a bit better than expected, with multi-touch support and YouTube integration.

A 5-megapixel auto-focus camera is also carried over, this time with the addition of an LED flash.

Rounding out the selection was a few handsets (such as the Motocubo, below) that have only seen release in the far flung corners of the globe, but show Motorola’s insight and innovation in the form factor of hardware.

What was most immediate about Motorola’s stand at this year’s Mobile World Congress was the difference that twelve months has made for the company. Last year, there was barely a single handset on display, and a focus on enterprise solutions and audio cancelling technology.

This year was a vibrant display of Android handsets, a proud demonstration of a calculated risk in Android that has paid off a little, if not in spades.

With the recent news that the business will split into two separate entities, perhaps this new found freedom will see Motorola’s mobile division return to those halcyon RAZR phone days. Their turn out at MWC was certainly a good start.

Motorola Milestone Confirmed To Receive ‘Eclair’ Android Update “In The Next Two Months”, DEXT Too

Motorola Europe has just reiterated the good word out of CES, that both the new Motorola Milestone and socially-savvy DEXT will both be receiving updates to the current v2.1 ‘Eclair’ build of Android in due course.

Not only that, but the interim tweak to Google’s operating system that U.S. DROID fans are currently enjoying is also on the way to our (and German) shores, according to Motorola Europe’s Facebook fan page:

“Attention Android lovers. The 2.01 update is on its way for all Milestone users. The Android 2.1 upgrade for Milestone is also on its way and will be ready in the next 2 months. We can confirm that DEXT will get the Android 2.1 upgrade as well.”

Between this and a recent announcement that Vodafone’s HTC Magic will see Sense -  namely the slick user interface seen on the Hero – it’s great to see manufacturers giving support to Android early adopters and new converts alike.

Source: The Unwired

Motorola MILESTONE SIM-Free Release Date Revealed, Pricing

Motorola-Milestone-Android-Phone-GSM-DROID

It seems like the Motorola MILESTONE will be making it to the UK by the end of the year in SIM-free form, according to a bevy of online retailers.

Usually the first port of call for mobile phone early adopters, eXpansys have the Android 2.0-equipped handset down for a 7th December launch and retailing for £449.99 SIM-free, whilst Clove are taking pre-orders for the device at £424.35 with the same imminent release date.

There has still been no official word on the MILESTONE coming to British shores from Motorola themselves however, despite a German launch earlier in the month, and the monolithic mobile available on O2 and Vodafone over there.

A quick search on Google shows Motorola has gone so far as to even deny the phone’s existence on the British site (where it appeared briefly), expect them to do the honours with a proper reveal at a later date.

We can only hope to see some Motorola MILESTONE deals by the end of the year, although a December SIM-free launch and little chatter from the networks means a Q1 2010 pay monthly release is far more likely…

Source

Motorola MILESTONE vs iPhone 3GS Comparison: Apple’s Best Against The Android Beast!

droid-vs-iphone

With the Motorola MILESTONE finally touching down in Europe and opening up for SIM-free pre-orders in the UK, we thought it a fine time to pit the Android-wielding monolith against the current celebrity of the smart phone sector, the Apple iPhone 3GS.

Can the DROID (as it is known in the US) back up its angular styling and Android pedigree by putting Motorola firmly back on the map, or will the Cupertino cutie claim another scalp with that gorgeous user interface and licence to print money that is the App Store?

Let’s find out!

The first category, and the MILESTONE compares surprisingly favourably to the svelte iPhone 3GS, despite sharp features and a black and gold finish that gives Motorola’s comeback caller a distinctly 80′s vibe.

A touch longer than the 3GS, the MILESTONE is narrower at only 60mm against the 62.1mm of the iPhone.

Given that it packs a 4-row full QWERTY keyboard, it’s miraculous that the MILESTONE only gives away 1.5mm in depth to the curvaceous rear of the latest iPhone.

A far closer round than predicted, the MILESTONE gets an honourable mention but Jonathon Ive certainly earned his money in designing a near perfect form in the iPhone, with the 3GS looking just as good as ever.

Winner: iPhone 3GS

————————————————————————————————————————

Weight:

Ah. Not so close here.

The Motorola MILESTONE might look good but it is carrying a lot of extra baggage, tipping the scales at a hefty 166g. The iPhone 3GS might have gained 2 grams over the 3G model, but is an entire 30 grams lighter than the boxy Google phone at 135g.

Whilst the iPhone attempted to erase the memory of the unwieldy smart phone with rounded edges and shiny metal, the MILESTONE drags us back into pocket-bursting PDA territory. The addition of the keyboard gives Motorola’s device the best of touch and physical type, but at the expense of a lot of additional weight.

Travelling light is definitely the way forward.

Winner: Apple iPhone 3GS

————————————————————————————————————————

Screen:

The additional height of the Android-toting MILESTONE pays off as it houses a glorious 3.7″ TFT capacitive touchscreen, displaying at a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. This places the iPhone’s otherwise impressive 3.5″ effort into the shade, with the 3GS outputting a more modest 320 x 480 pixels.

This means that Android really shines on the MILESTONE, with text and web browsing looking rich and crisp, as well as videos giving a smoothnes, a level of clarity and an absence of blurring during faster scenes which we haven’t seen since, well, the iPhone!

Both may support multi-touch, but this doesn’t mean pinching to zoom with abandon as Android 2.0 doesn’t support it, however both do have auto-rotate for landscape use, and a proximity sensor to prevent accidental ear-dialling.

The MILESTONE manages to surpass the iPhone on one of its most alluring points, then throws in another input method – a full keyboard with 5 way navigation key to seal the deal.

A convincing win on some entrenched territory.

Winner: Motorola MILESTONE

————————————————————————————————————————

Camera:

The iPhone 3GS still suffers from Apple’s “well, it’s good enough” mentality, a 3.15 megapixel effort which is indeed good enough. Enhancements over earlier models include touch and auto-focusing, 30 frames per second video recording and a mini-editing suite.

Whilst these are additions which would hardly deserve mention on a mid-range handset, these graduate the iPhone’s previously disappointing camera into being useful. After dark is still a no-go, as a flash is still painfully absent.

The MILESTONE has a standard camera by smart phone standards – a 5 megapixel snapper with autofocus and dual-LED flash – still performing far beyond the iPhone’s workmanlike effort.

Without even mentioning the MILESTONE’s higher resolution D1 video recording, Motorola romps home on yet another category!

Winner: Motorola MILESTONE

————————————————————————————————————————

Battery:

All about the numbers here, and whilst Apple states 5 hours of 3G talktime and 300 of standby for the 3GS, the MILESTONE is talking a lengthy 6.5 hours talktime with 350 hours of standby. Both run on standard Lithium Ion affairs, but you don’t care, you just need to know that the MILESTONE seems to stick around longer than the iPhone.

The less said about battery-guzzling apps, the better…

Winner: Motorola MILESTONE

————————————————————————————————————————

Memory:

Whilst fixed to either 16GB or 32GB depending on the model of iPhone opted for, the Motorola MILESTONE comes with an 8GB card out of the gate, but with support for up to 32GB microSD cards. Removable memory offers the opportunity for swappable cards and tons more media-filled fun than the iPhone’s rather rigid effort.

Winner: Motorola MILESTONE

————————————————————————————————————————

Connectivity:

Both are linked up to the nines for connectivity, GPS, USB ports and Bluetooth come as standard, but the iPhone hits a stumbling block as the latter is only for headphone connection as opposed to the transfer of data between handsets.

Also, the 3GS is supposedly all about speed, and yet the 3G connectivity is slower than the MILESTONE’s 10.2 Mbps connection.

This is a little moot as just like home broadband speeds, mobile 3G connections never hit their zenith, but it is interesting to know that the MILESTONE has more potential than the 3GS…

Both devices have great browsers, but the lack of Flash support on both is conspicuous in its absence on the 3GS and the MILESTONE, but they both work around this pretty well.

The lack of a pinch-to-zoom on the MILESTONE puts the iPhone experience ahead, yet the huge 3.7″ display on the Moto-phone means more of the web to see at one time, and the high resolution screen makes it crystal clear. It’s a close thing, but personal preference might be the best judge on the surfing front.

E-Mail and messaging is capably handled by both, with support for push and Microsoft Exchange meaning both are as comfortable in the bistro as the boardroom.

Cute touches like Voice Search and YouTube integration show that Google knows their internet pretty well, and it shows in the quality of the Android experience.

Might have to call yet another one in favour of the DROID!

Winner: Motorola MILESTONE

————————————————————————————————————————

Media:

Apple’s heartland.

iTunes. The App Store. Downloading podcasts, making playlists, buying music and watching movies – the experience is certainly not without fault, but it is beyond compare as far as phones go.

The iTunes desktop application provides seamless syncing of music and media, the degree of customisation that apps deliver to the experience means that you can immediately get a sense of a user just by what they have on their homescreen…

The Android Market is a noble effort with many cool applications, and the MILESTONE has a perfectly serviceable media player, but nothing comes close to the pointless and beautiful CoverFlow, the brilliantly laid out menus or the ease of obtaining new music on an iPhone.

A resounding return to form at the end of the iconic Apple device.

Winner: Apple iPhone 3GS

————————————————————————————————————————

Verdict:

Whilst the iPhone has a seemingly unassailable position in the mobile market, Motorola has seen an almost phoenix-like resurrection by embracing a new operating system and delivering a truly strong handset on all fronts. The Motorola MILESTONE is hard lines, a brash and bold device that makes a confident stance against the androgynous iPhone.

Surpassing the iconic handset in almost all departments on paper, and with the speedy internal architecture to provide a great user experience, the MILESTONE may well be an alternative to the HTC Hero for the anti-iPhone brigade. A handset that provides a different experience, and one that is better in a lot of ways, but most importantly one that doesn’t make one feel as though they are missing something by not having an iPhone.

In this day and age, that’s possibly the biggest compliment against Apple’s behemoth that you’re going to get, so take it and celebrate, Motorola MILESTONE!

Gameloft Issues Press Release, Pledges Hi-Def Gaming For Android Phones

motorola_droid_hands-on-thumb-550x550-27506Eager to play down recent statements, Gameloft have issued a press release unveiling plans to launch High Definition gaming on forthcoming Android phones including the Motorola DROID/MILESTONE and Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10, as well as cementing their support of current generation Google-powered devices.

Earlier this week, Gameloft’s finance director Alexadre de Rochefort spoke of scaling back investment for the fledgling platform, citing iPhone sales as being 400 times higher than on Android Market for their games in the last quarter, as well as a lack of assistance from Google in the promotion of titles.

Whilst the press release places a great deal of emphasis on referring to the ’2nd generation’ of Android phones, it seems as though Gameloft are attempting to clarify their intentions of maintaining a presence on the operating system, at present as well as in the future.

In that case, is Gameloft easing off on Android investment or not?

This latest announcement does little to play down rumours that Gameloft may concentrate their efforts on iPhone apps in the immediate future, with a view to ramping up development on Android once the platform has a bigger slice of the smart phone market, and a wider range of handsets available to consumers.

Motorola MILESTONE On Vodafone In Germany, SIM-Free Pricing Revealed

Motorola MILESTONE

Whilst we lose both the cool name as well as the ability to get lost in new and interesting ways as the Motorola DROID is renamed the MILESTONE and loses Google Maps Navigation when crossing the Atlantic, at least we (well, Germany) are starting to get a choice of networks.

The Motorola MILESTONE adds Vodafone to its list of retailers, after being released with little oom-pah on O2 Deutschland earlier in the month.

Pricing is as expected for a high-end smart phone, with the Android-powered device shifting from €99 (£89) on a new contract (mit SuperFlat Internet!).

The SIM-free price tag is a little more wince-inducing at €499.90 (about £450), but worth popping the lederhosen on for if you’re eager to get your Google phone fix.

With a 5MP camera plus dual LED flash, Wi-Fi, robust messaging functionality, a slide out QWERTY keyboard and the shiniest new ‘Donut’ build of Google’s operating system on board, the DROID seems to be garnering a wealth of attention that overshadows even the forthcoming XPERIA X10 from Sony Ericsson.

Perhaps this is due to the device being the first to run Android version 2.0, whilst the X10 is a step behind with already-seen Android 1.6, albeit having gone under the mother of all makeovers in their Nexus UI.

Without the TomTom-bothering beauty of Google Maps Navigation and a refreshing anti-iPhone stance, will there be nearly as much interest in the black and gold monolith in Blighty?

Perhaps Motorola’s reluctance to mention even a peep regarding a UK release date bears this out…

Source

Motorola MILESTONE: Android Phone Set For European Launch

Motorola MILESTONE

A European version of the Motorola DROID Google phone revealed last week in the US has also arrived on retailer sites across Western Europe, now daubed with the name ‘MILESTONE’.

Available in November on the O2 and Vodafone networks in Germany and Italy respectively, the Motorola MILESTONE sports some interesting new features that separate it from the iPhone-botherer on the other side of the Atlantic.

The MILESTONE’s spanking new Android 2.0 operating system seems tweaked to access features not found on the US DROID, namely pinch and zoom support.

Multi-touch is certainly a welcome function, and will certainly be put to good use when browsing the web on the 3.7″ TFT display.

However, Motorola’s new Android phone has been confirmed to not be shipping with the impressive Google Maps Navigation software that debuted on the DROID, instead opting for a proprietary MOTONAV service.

We hope that Maps Navigation for Europe is in the works and on the way!

Core features like the 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, slick slider form factor and push mail support remain intact, but the memory card included has been trimmed from 16GB to 8GB.

The price on O2′s German site is €481, but everything seems fairly quiet regarding a UK Motorola Milestone release date, let alone pricing…

What Moto giveth, Moto also taketh away. Great GPS or pinch to zoom, which feature would you prefer to see on the MILESTONE?