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Motorola Motosmart Mix XT550 4" screen Quad Band, GPS, WiFi Unlocked Phone (Black)

  • Android
  • Touch Screen
  • 3.2 MP
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Motorola Motosmart Mix XT550 4" screen Quad Band, GPS, WiFi Unlocked Phone (Black)

Product Description -


The Motorola Motosmart is the company's super cheapie Android handset that can be bought SIM free for a little over £100. That's a very low price for a smartphone from a big name manufacturer. However, it' not exactly short of competition with the likes of the LG Optimus L3 and very impressive Huawei Ascend G300 all hovering around the same price level. So does the Motosmart offer anything those phones don't, or is it just another low-cost let down?

Design
Design wise the Motosmart isn’t a particularly attractive phone, as it looks overly square and angular. It only has a 3.5inch screen, but Motorola has made this look even smaller by adding a thick bezel around the edge. It's so thick, in fact, that the phone feels overly wide when you hold it in your hand. We're not particularly keen on the slanted cutaway element Motorola has used on the bottom lip of the phone either, and the thin sliver rectangle that frames the central element of the phone has a tendency to glint annoyingly and distract you from what you're doing on the screen.

Say what you like about Motorola's sense of design, you can't accuse it of churning out generic slabs. Most Moto handsets have a few design quirks that set them apart from all the iClones -- and the Motosmart is no different.

First up, there's a shiny silver bevel at the edge of the touchscreen, which flashes as you tilt the phone. It's different, certainly, but it can get distracting after a while.

Next, there's some slanted plastic on half of the phone's chin. It makes the handset look a tad wonky but it's literally a (slight) twist on the standard slab form.

Finally, turn the phone over and there's a big silver grille on the back, sitting below Moto's spangly, Batman-esque logo. The silver-on-black theme continues with the front speaker, power key and volume rocker

There are some positives though. We like the rubberised finish used on the back of the handset and the classy looking grills covering the earpiece and rear speaker. Also the phone feels very, very solid for a budget model, putting even some high-end handsets to shame in this department.

The Motosmart isn't the thinnest smart phone I've ever wrapped my digits around, measuring 11.2mm thick, but nor is it super-chunky. It doesn't feel uncomfortably heavy either, so you shouldn't worry about being weighed down when it's tucked in your pocket.

Build quality feels rigid, no doubt helped by the Motosmart's backplate being made of metal (rather than plastic). The entire rear has also been coated with a soft-touch, slightly rubberised material, making the phone easier to grip.

There are two external ports on the device: a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top edge of the phone, next to the power key, and a micro-USB port on the left-hand edge. There's also a volume rocker on the right edge. Inside, next to the removable 1,400mAh battery, you get a microSD card slot to expand the 165MB of on-board storage.

On the front, the Motosmart has four touch-control keys: a menu key, home, back and search. I found these keys responsive to my taps -- although the menu key seems pretty under-used, rarely summoning up anything.

Features
The layout of the buttons is pretty traditional, with a power/lock switch at the top and a volume rocker on the right hand side. There are four nice and responsive touch buttons at the bottom of the screen, for menu, home, back and search, and the headphone jack is placed at the top while the microUSB port is found on the left hand side.

The Motosmart has to make do with a small 3.5inch screen that's got a pretty limited resolution of 320x480 pixels - fine a few years ago but things have moved on. While it's okay for stuff like emails and text messages, it's a bit of a bind when you're using the Facebook app or Web browser. The limited amount of space and pixels available mean you end up doing a lot of scrolling and zooming, especially compared to the much better, and higher resolution display, found on the Ascend G300. Viewing angles aren't great either, as it has that weird shimmer that a lot of the screens on budget phone exhibit when you twist them around in your hand.

Camera
On the Motosmart's rump you'll find a 3-megapixel camera sans flash. My expectations of this tiddler of a lens weren't high and, sure enough, results were pretty poor.

Shots often came off the camera with a highly blotchy look -- as if an 'impressionist painting' filter had been applied -- such as this snap below of purple flowers.
Even when the subject I was snapping was in focus, images typically lacked crispness and had plenty of noise in shadier regions. With no flash, you can't add more light to improve results either.
Add to that a lag of around a second when you hit the shutter before the shot is taken. I've seen more slothful camera-phones, but it's laggy enough to mean you can miss out on the pose you were trying to capture.
So, in short, if you're after a really basic camera to get snaps of your Facebook buddies' daytime antics, the Motosmart's lens can suffice but don't expect amazing photographic feats -- unless you're actively trying to achieve an impressionistic look.
The Motosmart can capture video at up to 30 frames per second. Again, footage has a distinctly blotchy look, but as basic YouTube fodder, it just about passes muster

Battery
Sad to say, battery life isn't a strong point of the Motosmart. If you have the screen brightness dialled to max, it's possible to exhaust a full charge in a few hours, so heavy users are in serious danger of running out of juice before the day is done. Even moderate use may be too much for the Motosmart. That's a poor show for a budget blower.

Dialling down the brightness will help lengthen life a little but it's a shame you have to worry about battery performance on a budget device, as one of the advantages a lot of cheaper phones have is you get decent battery life.

Motorola reckons the phone will survive for up to 6 hours as a telephone, or up to 500 hours on standby (if you're not using the device at all). The company doesn't specify how long it will last playing video or audio, which is quite telling. And the size of the cell -- 1,400mAh -- is slightly less capacious than the battery Sony has stuck in its tiny Tipo, which only has a 3.2-inch screen. Moto seems to have scrimped with the Motosmart's battery.

I seriously question whether the Motosmart would last anywhere near 500 hours on standby. I left it unused in a bag and after about a day it was completely dead.

Package Contants
Motorola MOTOSMART MIX XT550
MOTOSMART MIX XT550 Battrey
Cell Phone Charger
USB Cable


Model

Form Factor
Bar Phones

Connectivity

Wireless Radio
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
Compatible Carrier & Service
AT&T 2G, T-Mobile 2G/3G, Rogers/Fido/SimpleMobile
Wi-Fi Support
IEEE802.11b/g/n

Function

GPS Integrated
Yes

System

Operating System
Android

Display

Touch Screen
Yes

Camera

Camera
3.2 MP

Battery

Talk Time
9 - 11 hours

Quick Info


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