Review: Motorola Cliq XT

Posted on 30. Apr, 2010 by in Product Reviews

Awhile back T-Mobile released a successor to the Motorola Cliq, the Motorola Cliq XT.  Like its predecessor it too runs Android, but with Motorola’s own spin on it; MOTOBLUR.  This was my first go around with MOTOBLUR and any device of the Cliq family at that.  Read on for my thoughts on both the device and personalized OS courtesy of Motorola.

Look/Feel- The Cliq XT is a phone that feels different in your hand, there is almost an oval shape to it that takes some adjustment.  To be honest, I am not sure if I have fully adjusted.  I find myself holding it awkwardly at times to type on it.  Odds are this is just my own hang up, as I have talked to other users of the device and they love the feel of it.  There is a track pad style button on the bottom of the device, which serves no purpose in my opinion.  Just like on the Nexus One, and even the Incredible it is nice to have the option to use another method for navigation on the device, but touching the screen is easier and feels right. Standard on all Android devices are the menu, search, home, and back buttons.  With dedicated volume, lock/power, and a camera key on each side of the device.  A 3.5mm jack for headphones, and has an impressive 5MP camera.  The camera quality was great, below is a sample picture I took with the phone this morning.

Screen- The screen on the Cliq XT is 3.1-in.; HGVA (320 x 480).  The quality is what I would expect from a screen with those specs.  There are times when the clarity isn’t as sharp as one would hope, but overall it’s good.  The touchscreen responsiveness is spot on, I didn’t have any issues with it not registering touches or the alignment being off.  Typing on the stock keyboard was actually one of the better experiences I have had on an Android device. Despite the awkwardness while holding it, I felt I could type faster on the Cliq XT than on the Nexus One.

MOTOBLUR-  This was the most interesting part of the device, and the main reason I wanted to get my hands on one.  When you turn on the device for the first time you are prompted to create a MOTOBLUR account, this allows you to access and set up all of your streams under one account in the event you get a new device.  Another advantage is the online portal for MOTOBLUR.  The portal allows the user to import their contacts, locate their device, and even do a complete data wipe wireless.  What did I think about MOTOBLUR?  It as confusing at times.  As some of you may know, I am an avid user of Twitter and love the interaction it allows.  There are widgets provided by the OS that allows the user to quickly see status updates, or “Happenings” as they are labeled on the device.  These can range from profile picture changes, to tweets from your timeline.  The same goes for Facebook, LastFM, Picasa, MySpace and PhotoBucket.  I only loaded my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I couldn’t imagine having all of those services connected at once.  The integration into the device isn’t obtrusive and you can limit how much information is displayed and communicated to you.  A great addition to Android and I am sure it will only improve.

Overall-  The Cliq XT with MOTOBLUR is a great device for teens and tweens or those who are hesitant to jump on board the smartphone bandwagon in fear of having a device that is too powerful.  As an entry level Android device it will get the job done  and done in a social way, of course.  I would love to see something higher than Android 1.5 on it as there are so many great features between 1.5 and 2.1 that it is missing.  I guess that is part of the price you pay when using a phone with a custom version of Android, they aren’t always the fastest to get the latest OS updates out.  You can find the Motorola Cliq XT on T-Mobile for $129.99 on a 2-year contract.

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