Let’s get into it!
The Motorola DEXT is a QWERTY slider running Moto BLUR which brings all your Social Networks together into Live Widgets on your homescreens, as well as syncing all your contacts together.
- Good looking, seriously
- Social Networking pro, great for keeping in touch with nearly every social media outlet
- Excellent loudspeaker quality
- Very usable physical QWERTY keyboard
- Weak hinge, not very sturdy
- Not a blazing fast UI
- Android 1.5
- Small display
The Motorola DEXT has a 3.1″ capacitive touch screen, which is smaller than most of the Android Devices around today. It also only has 65K colours at the moment with 256K to be unlocked by the future Android 2.1 update. The display packs 320 x 480 pixels which makes icons _pretty_ clear, given the screen size.
The screen is very responsive and is only restricted by the lag in the UI caused by the 528MHz Qualcomm CPU.
With the display being limited to 65K colours, it’s major weak spot is displaying gradients. It causes them to be very choppy. Motorola have countered this problem by carefully designing their UI to not include gradients where possible, but still deliver on great looks. Props to them for that.
The screen is visible when under sunlight, but with the screen being a bit of a fingerprint magnet with no screen protector installed, it makes things a tad harder.
The DEXT packs a 5MP Camera which is great for taking shots with friends to upload to Facebook or wherever, as the shots are far from professional looking. But hey, this is a Social Networking device, and the Camera serves this purpose.
One thing it does lack is a flash, which leaves it completely useless in dark situations.
The Camera lens (on the back of the device), is also uncovered, meaning it also gathers fingerprints. So you may find yourself cleaning it every now and again. But it’s not really noticeable when taking a photo.
Result? The DEXT has very vibrant colours, but once scaled to full size, it’s complete blur (Moto BLUR?) & noise. Which makes it perfect for a social networking phone, as you only need smallish pictures.
Video quality is pretty poor, but take into consideration it only shoots in HVGA.
Design & Keyboard
At first glance, the DEXT reminds me of the HTC Touch Pro2 (pshh Windows Mobile). It very curved, not a lot of hard edges going on, which makes it a breeze to hold. It’s quite heavy, even a little too heavy for the average “social networker”.
The only major let down & grumble I have about the design is the flimsy hinge in which the screen slides out on to reveal the QWERTY keyboard. It may just be the review model I have, but the hinge begins to get loose (reminds me of the HTC Dream) and the screen will begin to move around with a simple touch. A shame considering the hinge on the Motorola Milestone was superb.
The back of the device has a grate type pattern which allows you to have a firm grip of the phone, so how you could ever drop it, I don’t know. The back cover comes off to reveal the battery, MicroSD slot & Sim Card slot, in a very Motorola V9x layout. The MicroSD can be swapped on-the-fly without changing the battery.
Under the display you’ll find the physical full QWERTY keyboard. If you’re coming from another phone with a physical QWERTY you may have a bit of a field day trying to get used to it. Otherwise it’s very tactile and good to use. The keyboard has 4 rows, 3 taken up by alphanumerical keys, the bottom row taken up by “ALT”, “Search”, Space, “SYM” & Back keys. To the left of the keyboard sites a 5 way D-Pad.
Hardware buttons/etc locations:
- Right Side
- Left Side
- Vibrate/Ringer toggle
- Volume Rocker
- MicroUSB socket
- 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Battery Cover
Ah yes, the UI. This is where the DEXT really shines. Without Moto BLUR, this phone would just be another smartphone in the crowd. Moto BLUR brings all your social networking sites into one place. You can read people status updates, twitter updates etc, all from the live widgets on your homescreen(s) or from the “Happenings” App.
You can also post your status updates to multiple online social networking sites, simultaneously. Moto BLUR also allows you to sync all your online friends into your contacts (all important Display Pictures included).
Around the UI you find it will have a spot where it will lag, where in other spots it will be extremely fluid.
Motorola have made very few visual changes, so you can very easily tell it’s Android, unlike HTC’s Sense UI or Sony Ericsson’s Rachael UI (UIX).
The DEXT with medium use can pump out a full day of battery life. With minimal use, you could easily stretch two days. Extreme use, a couple of hours at most.
If you’re in need of being connected to the online social networking sites 24/7, this phone is definitely for you. This phone revolves around being connected all the time, so it’s certainly not the phone for a business person or someone who only uses their phone to read a few emails, browse the web every now & then or send a couple of texts.
Without discriminating; this phone is aimed at people aged 14 to 25 (the age where everyone needs to know what you’re doing, all the time *sigh*). The reason being, this phone is mainly built around Moto BLUR, which is all about social networking. You can use it without Moto BLUR, but it brings it back to a normal, yet sluggish, Android Device.
Screenshots can be found here
As usual, any questions let me know below 🙂