Priced at just £330 SIM-free, the Milestone is a good alternative to more expensive handsets such as the iPhone. This could be just the ticket for those looking for a powerful Android multimedia device.
Great screen; good camera; useful business apps; HD output
Disappointing battery life; dropped calls; keyboard could be better
3.7in 480 x 854 WVGA TFT, 160g, 60.9 x 115.95 x 10.9 mm, up to 32GB microSD, 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM, Android 2.1, 8-megapixel camera with digital zoom and Xenon flash
The Milestone XT720 is one of Motorola's flagship Android devices, running on version 2.1 of the operating system and coming with some impressive hardware specifications.
Standout features include the 3.7in WVGA TFT multi-touch screen with a resolution of 480 x 854, an 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash and the ability to house a 32GB micro-SD card. The handset ships with a decent sized 8GB card.
Continuing Motorola's trademark quirky design, the Milestone has a little kink on the right hand side, and fits snugly into the palm of the hand despite weighing 160g.
The screen is crisp and clear, comes with a mirrored finish and responds well to input. There are four touch-screen buttons at the bottom activating the menu, home, back and search functions.
Call quality is generally clear, but during 10-minute-plus conversations we did experience three to four dropped calls in our tests. We put this down to our review unit as the SIM is used regularly in a BlackBerry 9700 without problem.
Android-based Motorola devices have seen rocketing sales in the US and it is easy to see why with this interface. It's easy to navigate, and Motorola has included five home screens that can be customised easily.
The main home screen displays eight application shortcuts and two widgets comfortably. Shortcuts linking to the numerical keypad and messages remain locked at the foot of the screen even when navigating between home screens, which is very handy.
QuickOffice, NotePad and the ability to synchronise email including Exchange and corporate calendars are likely to be most useful for the business customer.
Viewing documents, PDFs and PowerPoint presentations in QuickOffice is simple, and the applications synchronise with email clients such as Gmail to allow attachments to be downloaded quickly.
Motorola has also included basic apps on the device such as Facebook, Gmail, Gtalk, Google Maps and YouTube, plus its own Motonav navigation app and My Sign which allows users to create custom gestures to initialise programs, albeit with varied success rates.
The ability to connect to the Android Market provides access to over 100,000 apps and counting.
The Milestone XT720 comes with a mid-range 550MHz processor, but was exceptionally quick in our tests and there was no notable difference between this and handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC HD7, both of which are powered by 1GHz chips.