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  1. #1
    Gearhead70
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    I work at T-Mobile in customer care. Recently, we have finally had a chance to do what I've thought should have been standard procedure all along - test out forthcoming new devices firsthand in a classroom environment to get a feel for what the phone does and how it feels. We have test-driven 2 devices so far, the MyTouch 3G and the soon-coming Moto CLIQ. Today we got to try out the CLIQ.

    I was very impressed with this device. Its exterior may just be hard plastic with a high-sheen metallic paint, but it felt convincingly like actual metal. The entire phone has a feeling of solidity and good construction. Some may even find it surprisingly heavy for its size. It actually weighs about the same as a T-Mobile G1, though it is smaller. The slide-out mechanism for the QWERTY keyboard feels very well-built and locks into place with a satisfying thunk. It doesn't feel like it will wear out or break down anytime soon.

    On the exterior there are buttons for volume, camera, power (actually a multifunction button), Home, Menu and Back. Only the last 3 are on the front of the phone. The others are on the sides. Power and camera are on the right, volume buttons on the left. Home has a colored ring around it (red for the titanium phone, gold for the white) to differentiate it from the other buttons. There is also a sliding silent-mode switch on the phone's left side, allowing you to instantly go into "meeting mode" if needed. There are no external softkeys, nor Send/End buttons. All that is done using the touch screen.

    Speaking of the touch screen, it's nice. At 3.1 inch diagonal, it is very slightly smaller than the HTC-standard 3.2 inch diagonal screen on the G1 and MyTouch. I honestly could not tell a difference with the CLIQ in my hand, though I imagine it would be visible if you were comparing the phones next to one another. The CLIQ's screen is specced at the same 320 x 480 resolution as the HTC screen, but seemed noticeably clearer at default settings. Sharpness and colorwash look very good, everything is nicely defined. The screen is also nicely responsive and precise (even for the thick-fingered, which means me).

    The nice screen dovetails well with the 5-MP camera sported on the CLIQ. The camera performed very well in moderately well-lit indoor areas (I didn't have a chance to test it outdoors). Images were nicely defined and didn't show much motion blur. The camera autofocuses, which results in an annoying delay when the capture button is pressed. It may be possible to focus the camera before shooting so there is no delay, but if so I couldn't figure out how to do it. Video record also works well and has surprisingly decent sound playback. The external speaker on the CLIQ is pretty loud. Strangely, the camera has no flash - a significant oversight to my thinking, considering the obvious media focus of the phone. On the upside, there is a decent suite of image-editing options available.

    The CLIQ's keyboard felt excellent. I like it much better than that of the G1, even though the keys are closer together. Each key is convex and fairly large. They also have a nice tactile click when pressed. This is also true of the 4-way directional pad with a center button, located on the left side of the keyboard. This placement puzzled me at first, since it almost seems to be designed for left-handers (that doesn't bother me since I am left handed). After some thought, it seemed clear that the touchpad's placement was gamer-centric, since most video game consoles and handhelds have the movement controls on the left. I like it, though I wonder if many developers will do anything with it, since it is thus far a unique control feature among Android phones. The pad felt competent for navigating websites and menus, if for some reason you didn't want to use the touch screen. Some might prefer a trackball, but the pad worked fine for me.

    From the software perspective, the CLIQ is an Android phone, but you wouldn't immediately guess that unless you looked closely at a couple of things. Motorola, like HTC with the Sense UI, has totally re-skinned Android with their own custom service called MOTOBLUR. Designed primarily as a social networking integration interface, BLUR seamlessly merges feeds from Twitter, Facebook and MySpace into a single messaging center on your home screen. The widget that manages all this is called Happenings. Rather than having to check and update each of these social apps separately, BLUR sends updates from all your contacts across any or all of the 3 social sites on which you have a connection with them. Similarly, you can update your status on all 3 sites simultaneously with BLUR rather than having to do it individually. This interfacing also extends to your phone book; when a contact calls you, rather than just seeing whatever custom picture you've saved for them, you'll also see any recent social site updates they have posted as well as any recent messages or e-mail you've received from them. If it sounds neat, that's because it really is; however, though I did not experience this firsthand, there are some issues. First, use of other social sites (like FreshFace) can apparently disrupt the functioning of Happenings - I don't know the details of how. Also, to social networking newcomers, I can easily see the constant thought-stream of site updates being a little overwhelming. Fortunately Happenings is a selectable widget. You don't have to run it, though it's such a focus of the phone that I think you'd sort of be selling yourself short if you didn't. Regarding the conflict with other sites, I'd be pretty surprised if Motorola or Google didn't come up with a patch fix for that within a few months.

    You can also customize the home page with news feeds or other website updates; this too is easily set up through BLUR and pushes direct to the phone when updates appear on the selected sites. Similarly, BLUR has the expected push e-mail client. Boy Genius mentioned something about this not being very consistent, but our training staff has been working with CLIQs for the past week to prepare for this class, and none of them mentioned having that problem when I asked them. The CLIQ can also sync with your Outlook Exchange server to let you both see and answer work e-mails, and have quick access to your work Outlook Calendar. Microsoft Quick Office is also onboard (or a free download, not 100% sure on that, but definitely available). Unfortunately you can't actually modify any Office documents, but you can view anything and everything (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc). Modifying office docs may be possible later or with a charged download from the Android Marketplace.

    Another nice feature of BLUR is server-side backups of all your contacts and social networking information. If your phone is lost, you can use its onboard GPS to locate it via the MOTOBLUR website; if you see the phone is miles away from you (probably meaning it has been stolen), you can instantly wipe the phone's memory from the BLUR website. However all your info isn't lost - place your SIM card into another CLIQ and sign in using your account info, and the server side backups will restore everything. Not a bad little security measure.

    Since it is Android-based, the CLIQ has full access to the Android Marketplace, meaning you can get all the same cool apps available to the G1 and MyTouch 3G. The Marketplace is still having growing pains, and isn't nearly as well-rounded or complete as Apple's App Store, but it is nice. More and more, phone makers are realizing that their devices are great application launchpads - BlackBerry is already in on the act and Microsoft will be soon.

    Navigation with the CLIQ seemed functional and reasonably fast. Websites loaded up smoothly enough and multiple applications ran with little to no lag. This was a big improvement from the most recent videos I've seen of the CLIQ, which must have been based on pre-production software. I would still have liked for this device to have a faster processor than 528 MHz, but the user experience doesn't seem too negatively impacted by it. This is almost certainly a result of the phone's decent RAM allocation, 256 MB (compare to 128 on the G1 and 196 on the MyTouch, counting the baseband decoder in the latter case). The CLIQ also has 512 MB of ROM and comes preloaded with a 2 GB micro SD card. It can support up to 32 GB on micro SD in case you're worried about media memory. The CLIQ also streams YouTube and other video sites very smoothly over T-Mobile's 3G network. I presume it could do so over EDGE as well, though it might take longer to load the video.

    Overall I found the CLIQ a very enjoyable phone to pick up and use. It does seem targeted at social networkers, whether it's the young-&-social jet set or business-people who use Twitter and other social sites to keep their customers in the loop. The business applications do seem like a nice touch. There are a few flaws here and there, but I found myself thinking this is probably the Android phone for me. Neither of T-Mobile's prior offerings have captured my fancy the way the CLIQ did. I like the construction and the software.

    Please note that much of what I've seen and reported here conflicts directly with Boy Genius Report's take on the Moto CLIQ. BGR stated the keyboard had no tactile feedback for instance, which is quite simply false. I can only assume BGR had access to a pre-production version of the phone with some of the hardware kinks not quite ironed out. The version I played with today also had more finalized software than has been previously available, which may have further influenced BGR's review. I am sure they were honest about what they had to work with, that simply wasn't the final production version, which I used today.





    See More: Motorola CLIQ Hands-on Review
    Last edited by tavenger5; 12-05-2009 at 06:22 PM.
    tavenger5 and BigJames523 like this.




  2. #2
    tavenger5
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    Re: Motorola CLIQ hands-on

    Thank you for the detailed outline! I'm glad to hear that the keyboard actually does have tactile feedback!

    I added some pics to your post. Did you happen to get any pics of your own of the phone?
    Last edited by tavenger5; 09-29-2009 at 10:32 AM.
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  3. #3
    Gearhead70
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    Re: Motorola CLIQ hands-on

    Sadly no. I'm not sure if I would have even been allowed to try, though there's plenty of media available of this device already. Thank you for adding in the images!

    Right now it looks like pre-orders will begin in October for the CLIQ, with a possible launch date of late October or early November. I read recently that November 11 may be the official launch date for both the CLIQ and the forthcoming BlackBerry Bold 9700 for T-Mobile, but there have been no official internal announcements yet.



  4. #4
    sunggokho
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    Re: Motorola CLIQ Hands-on Review

    Hi! Sorry for posting on a wrong thread, its just that I couldn't find the right one for me.. My question does not relate with this unit.. Mine is iPhone. My concern is that, I have it for more than a year and until now I still don't know how to transfer photos from iPhone to Laptop. Does anyone here knows how? PLease tell me, there are lots of photos that needs to be transferred to my laptop.
    And another thing is, I don't know how to activate the internet on my iPhone. If anyone here knows how? Please post the information, directions, instructions or anything that i needed that could be of help. I lost my manual a long time ago at somewhere I could no longer recall. I haven't enjoyed fully the features of my iPhone until now.
    Please help me in this, anyone. Thanks in advance.



  5. #5
    phonearticles
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    Re: Motorola CLIQ Hands-on Review