It can be said that Motorola just got its groove back. The Droid is probably one of the best phones out there, followed by the Devour, and they’re constantly releasing a few good models every few weeks, which is better than some manufacturers can say. They’ve hit on a strong formula: build a nice phone, put Android on it, sell a few hundred thousand. Repeat. While the CLIQ XT isn’t Motorola’s best phone, it follows Moto’s not-so-secret recipe without shaming the chef.
The CLIQ XT is a candybar touchscreen phone with a 3.1 HGVA 320×480 pixel display. It weighs as much as the iPhone (130 grams) and is almost exactly the same size as Apple’s ubiquito-phone. It supports US and international GSM networks and costs $129 with two-year contract.
The device comes with a 2GB micro SD card and lasts about 24 hours on one charge with cautious use. Standby is 19 days, but I saw battery failure at about three days.
No so bad
In all, this phone is not so bad. It’s much better than the previous CLIQ, a top heavy abomination with a keyboard, and MOTOBLUR runs quite handily on this model, unlike the previous version. Because I’ve been reviewing so many MOTOBLUR-capable handsets I love that the device stores my email and social networking preferences in the cloud. If you rarely upgrade, you probably won’t notice this but it’s a nice feeling, akin to slipping into a warm bath of unhardened yet cooling Jell-o.
On the whole, the device performs as you’d expect it to. The networking is fast, the mapping works well, and SWYPE – a keyboard style that allows you to “swipe” letters to type longer words – works perfectly for data entry. There are four buttons on the bottom and a touch sensitive directional pad. Volume buttons are on the left side and the camera and power buttons are on the right.
I used the phone for a bit and was pleased that all of the default widgets, especially the social networking stuff, handled themselves even against the onslaught of my online social life. There was no lag in the windows and all of the Android apps worked fine.
It also comes with an purple back plate, for the fashion-conscious, which points to a teen/young adult focus.
Not so good
To be absolutely honest, I can’t find anything wrong with this phone. It’s a little mundane and a little clunky but it works. If anything has taken up the Sidekick mantle in the non-expert smartphone arena it’s been Android and this is a perfect example of what happens when you pair Android, a nice overlay, and non-adventurous hardware design. Friends, this is one of the first Android feature-phones.
Is this worth the price of admission? Sure. If you’re looking for a nice, standard Android phone, you could do worse. It’s a strong, if slightly unexciting, phone that would look great in a teenager’s purse.