Motorola DEXT Review

I just got my hands on a Motorola DEXT, thanks to the good guys at MobiCity. So go check them out for some great deals on Mobile Devices!

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.

Camera Test – Xperia X10 vs Motorola DEXT

Xperia X10
Motorola DEXT

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:

  • Front
    • Menu
    • Home
    • Back
    • Microphone
  • Right Side
    • Lock/Power
    • Camera
  • Left Side
    • Vibrate/Ringer toggle
    • Volume Rocker
    • MicroUSB socket
  • Top
    • 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • Back
    • Camera
    • Battery Cover
    • Speaker

User Interface

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).

Battery Life

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 🙂

Motorola DEXT from MobiCity for $559

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Thanks, great review to the important points. Some really great thoughts here, very comprehensive. I appriciate that!


I got a Dext from Optus about 4 months ago. It’s my first smartphone, so I don’t really have a benchmark, but my impressions are… The hinge is fine. There’s a little bit of wobble, but not enough to significantly effect day-to-day use. I’d compare it to the door on a Japanese car… it might not have the satisfying, lab-tested clunk when you close it like a European car, but it still closes. The screen’s useable, without being brilliant. Single-touch screens are starting to feel a bit ‘so last year’, and the edges of the screen are not always responsive.… Read more »


I dot the dext it is the shitest phone ever. It like has a mind of its own it calls ppl when it wants dosnt let me hang out most of the sreen dosnt work and I have onlt had ir for 3 months and it is in good condision.

Arnoldo Kohrman

Whilst I really like a physical keyboard, after dealing with the Samsung Captivate for about 15 minutes, it’s exhausting to move back. At this time I’m debating whether or not to go to Verizon for the Droid X, cross to Dash for the EVO, or stay with AT&T for the Captivate…selections, decisions.

Jackson Bonetto

Already been engaged in cellular communications as an RF engineer since 1982 when I worked for Motorola. Had Blackberrys for the last 8 years or so, but just pre ordered a Samsung Vibrant through T-mobile. Want a few new features and a brand new Os to play with. I’m dissatisfied that Tmobile has switched away the wi-fi compatability hotspot feature in the Samsung Vibrant, but I’m sure somebody will certainly figure out how to root it and add the feature back in. I am now having a wifi only iPad and want to wirelessly tether it to the mobile phone.… Read more »


OK well I’m pleased to say that I have new mobile 🙂 .. A nokia N97 mini and i love it, altho it is a bit hard to understand and do things .. lol ..

Basically i wasn’t happy with them sending the phones away to be fixed etc so I fought with them and WON !


buzz, you have no idea mate just how BAD these phones are ! .. I am just about ready to throw mine to the rubbish .. why should we continue to pay $ 29 a month (my cousin is on a $ 49 a month) for something that we can’t use ? I will uploading the video’s to youtube tomorrow if your interested .. pkgjmg is our channel name i think ? anyway don’t you worry i will be heading into the optus store first thing tomorrow morning and DEMANDING to speak to the store manager and take the dicussion… Read more »


Mum and I purchased our phones from the SAME store … Thought I would add the issues we’ve been having: Mum’s Phone #1 (31st May 2010) kept rebooting all the time Mum’s Phone #2 (3rd June 2010 – the replacement for phone #1) can’t END a phone call, not getting emails or notifications Jodie’s Phone #1 (31st May 2010) can’t END a phone call screen goes black not getting notifications for facebook screen goes into landscape without turning the phone and won’t go back to portrait Cousin’s Phone #1 – purchased from a DIFFERENT store, in a different SUBURB (3rd… Read more »


Hi, I have to say these phones are total crap ! .. I picked 1 up for me and 1 for my mum on the 31st May 2010 (which was a monday) the next day 1st June 2010, we were back at the store cause mum was having issues .. 3rd June 2010 – back at the store where this time mum’s phone was replaced after about 45 mins on the phone to Motorola .. My phone is playing up and so is my cousins ! .. My screen goes black when I try to answer or make a call… Read more »

John Smith

“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.”

I’m looking for a phone with a keyboard.

What phone would you recommend for someone with the above description? Would you recommend the droid over this? I was also considering perhaps the upcoming se x10 mini pro?

Marné Prinsloo

Nice review! I just found out about the camera quality. However, you do need to remind people that you only get HVGA video recording. For some people, this is important. I agree with you that the hinge can become loose after a prolonged use. But it doesn’t rattle. It is strong, but not firm against accidental slide. I however disagree with the age group though. Considering that I am in the 26-35 age group, I can disable Motoblur altogether and still benefit from other features of the phone such as the keyboard itself. And of course, there are other factors… Read more »


I actually have a DEXT and have had it for two from Optus. There is few things in this review I believe are not a true reflection of this phone. Let me provide my point of view. I feel the hinge on this phone is nothing but solid and firm against screen presses while the keyboard is in the open position. Definately better than the Nokia N75 whuch I have used. The other item I disagree with is parts of the concussion. I really like this phone and I’m not a social network mega user (I have a Facebook account).… Read more »