Motorola MILESTONE XT720 review: Android sidearm
Great web browser, no Flash
On a big high-res screen and a browser as powerful as the Android variety, the Motorola MILESTONE XT720 makes browsing a pleasure.
The user interface of the browser is completely minimalist (it’s the Google way). All you get on the screen is an address bar and bookmarks shortcut.
The address bar is placed on top of the page, so scrolling down moves it out of view and the zoom controls auto-hide – that’s essential for web apps because they need to have the whole screen estate to work with.
The MILESTONE XT720 supports two zoom methods in the browser: double tap and the multi-touch pinch zooming. Text reflow isn’t available but that’s not a major flaw given the high-res screen.
If you hit the menu key six new virtual buttons pop up. You can open a new tab, switch tabs, refresh the page, go forward, and open bookmarks. The last button reveals even more options (text copying, find on page, etc.).
The bookmark view shows a thumbnail of the bookmarked pages and you also get a “most visited” list in addition to the history.
The excellent multi-page support is of course still available and the rendering algorithm is basically flawless. The missing Flash support is on the only thing going against the MILESTONE XT720 at this point.
There is of course a YouTube application onboard but Flash content doesn't start nor end with YouTube. The Froyo update should sort things out with full Flash support on the MILESTONE XT720.
Just like most of its Android siblings, the Motorola MILESTONE XT720 comes with a rich set of organizer features and a document viewer to boot. Not that getting one from the Android market is impossible but it’s nice of Moto to have saved you the effort.
Quickoffice is their app of choice and it has support for viewing document files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF). For editing, you will need to upgrade to the paid version though.
The best part about it is that the viewer integrates with the Gmail app as well, which makes viewing attachments easy. Unfortunately, you are unable to save them in the phone's memory (that only works for images, we guess). Attaching saved files (and we mean all kind of files) is possible though.
The calendar has four different types of view - agenda, daily, weekly and monthly. Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder. It is also integrated with the new status bar and also offers pop-up notifications.
The calculator is nicely touch optimized – the buttons are big enough and easy to hit.
The MILESTONE XT720 features a decent alarm clock application which allows a huge number of alarms to be set, each with its own start time and repeat pattern.
Finally, the YouTube app partially makes up for the web browser's lack of Flash support. Its interface is simple enough to allow you to find what you're looking for as quickly as possible.
The Motorola MILESTONE XT720 comes with a capable GPS receiver which locked onto satellites in just over a minute with A-GPS turned off.
It comes as no surprise that the Google Maps applications comes preinstalled, but this time you also get Motorola's proprietary MOTONAV software.
Google Maps is the titular application and its Street View mode is probably the best part of the deal in places where turn-by-turn voice navigation isn’t yet offered. If the Street View is available in the area you're interested in, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the area. When the digital compass is turned on it feels like making a virtual tour of the surroundings!
Voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation using Google Maps is only available in select countries and unless you live in any of them the best you can do is plan a route in advance and keep an eye on your current location during travel.
Motorola MOTONAV on the other hand is only available for a two-month trial. So if you want to use proper navigation on your MILESTONE you will have to either purchase a MOTONAV license or download a third party app off the Android Market.