Monday, June 6, 2011

Review : Motorola Milestone XT720

This is my first blog in 2011 :-). I went quite for a long time owing to various reasons. Primarily I lost my interest in blogging. May be due to very simple fact that I am sick of composing the blog.
I ordered this phone from Amazon US last march for a mouth watering price of 299$. Same model is available for 23,000/rs in India. Of course, you get 512MB RAM whereas mine have only 256MB. Come on Motorola, rework on your pricing strategy else you will have no market share here!!!. I received it on 2nd April 2011 from US through a friend. In fact, this is my first motorola phone. This replaced a basic nokia handset that I borrowed from my in-laws.  I was sick of the keypad as it was so weird that's why I wanted a replacing handset desperately. 

Six months back, I was happy using my phone 2G. This phone works fine till today considering it is already 3.5 years old. Now it is with my wife now :-). I ended shortlisted this motorola phone after deciding to try an android phone as  it created so much interest in smartphone market. Also owing to the cost factor involved in purchasing new iphone 4G, I wanted a phone in a budget of 12,000-15,000/rs. I knew if I wanted a good deal for smartphone, I need to get a phone from US. This time I wanted a phone unlocked by the vendor with international warranty. XT720 made the top of the list after going through all reviews of unlocked phones on And I wanted a android based motorola phone as it brought the company back on track. It is truly reinvigorating :-). If you want to know the story behind reinvigorate, talk to any of your friend who works for nokia siemens :-).

Things I liked about this phone:
1. Excellent build quality for the price.
2. It pairs well with my punto's bluetooth connectivity.
3. Based on Android. My first android phone.
4. It is 3G phone but no front facing camera.
5. Good music player.
6. The hands free  offer decent quality with play/pause button for music.

Things I hate:
1. Battery backup is pathetic. No match to my Iphone 2G. It does not even last for 48 hours.
2. No update to Android 2.2. Android 2.1 simply sucks :-(.
3. User interface is not good as Iphone OS.
4. Contacts needs to be synced with Google contact.
5. Too much dependency on Google. This really irritates me.
6. GPS capability is based on Google navigation which is not supported in India.
7. Motorola navigation software is not free and not supported in India.
8. Finally, the voice quality is weird on phone. I found the basic nokia model had better reception.
9. The default browser from Motorola simply is outdated. It is simply not up to the mark of a smartphone. Remember seeing the similar UI years back on my friend's Moto Rockr :-). Badly need a browser like safari.
10. I am not aware of any backup option from Motorola/Android in case you wanted to update the OS, I guess you will end up loosing your personal data in case you try to update the OS unofficially.  I felt this was quite handy with Apple phones which can help you to restore/fallback at any point of time.

In details:-
For a end user, adding a contact should always be simple. I had no problem on any phones that I used before, even with Iphone (when it was introduced) moving contacts from SIM to phonebook was painful but adding new contact to phonebook was so simple even a kid can do it :-). In android phones, you can add it but will not be visible. But it took my days to see the new contact added visible on my android based phone book.
If you are so concerned about Google crossing limits when it comes to your privacy. Please stay away from Android. For every thing you need an Google account, your complete personal data is available for Google. God, I cannot imagine!!!!.
Next comes the battery issue. I cannot last more than 36 hrs or so, you will need to carry your USB charger with you always. I charged the phone last saturday evening, with wifi activated for whole sunday along with frequent calls. The phone is dead now :-(. What I observed was even you don't use the phone, battery get drained by 10-20% on daily as it is used by OS/phone. So ultimately 4th day, you run out of battery with no usage of the phone. And Motorola claims this phone have the best battery backup when compared with all other droid phones. 
And the USB cables what you get are so rigid, you will have tough time in connecting it with laptop. Not soft as one comes with Iphone. 

Tips for XT720 owners:-
1. Install the Motorola Software Update.exe on your laptop. And update your firmware on the phone. This will introduce few more tools on your screen. And additionally the CPU clock speed is tuned to 721Mhz which is really good.
2. Always have a updated copy of your contacts in SD card by exporting. Since you will have to frequently reset your phone to default factory setting. I have done twice because
   a. First time I always got a notification about Google calender sync failure which eventually will  drain the battery.
   b. I was not able to connect to Android Market due to login attempt timed out. 
But remember you will loose all personal data after restoring to default factory setting. Whereas you can import contacts from SD card :-). Quite handy feature.
Finally, I need to write about things that make me smile. The dial list can grow on i.e you can maintain the history for month will out losing the data. Something which was missing in Iphone 3.x OS.

Word of caution for people who wanted to get this phone from US. There are two version of this phone available in market. The European spec have CPU tuned to 720 Mhz and with 512 5 MB RAM whereas korean spec have RAM as 256MB and CPU tuned @ 550 Mhz. But as you read early one can retune CPU clock speed by updating the firmware.