Below the display are the four touch-sensitive controls, typical for the Android platform. The four keys are Back, Menu, Home and Search. They're haptic enabled and very sensitive, so the transition to and from the touchscreen is seamless.
The left side of the Motorola MILESTONE is pretty bare, the microUSB port being the only element there. There is no protective cap over it to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating.
On the right are the camera key and the volume rocker. The camera key is perfect in size and tactility but the volume rocker is a bit too flat and hard to press. This is not something to worry about though, considering that it isn't the most frequently used control anyway.
Jumping to the top we find the power/screen-lock key and the 3.5 mm audio jack. Again the aperture isn’t covered in any way.
Opening the slider reveals the four-row QWERTY keyboard and the D-pad. Having a D-pad here and a Menu key means that in most scenarios you can operate the device even without the touchscreen.
The keyboard itself is really comfortable with the keys large and tactile enough to allow quite quick typing. Frankly, we feel it would have been even better without the D-pad but there is a decent amount of space anyway.
The inconvenience rendered by the four-row layout is that each key needs to accommodate two different characters. Yet, with the two available Alt keys, there's always one right under a finger so no biggie.
The back of the Motorola MILESTONE features the 5 megapixel camera lens and the dual-LED flash. The loudspeaker grill is also here, right below the battery cover.
Opening the cover reveals the 1400 mAh Li-Ion BP6X battery. Quoted at 350 hours of standby time or 6 hours and a half of talk time it certainly sounds like a decent performer. It managed to get us through 2 full days of some quite extensive usage (25 minutes of calls, 50 minutes of web browsing through Wi-Fi and an hour of using the other phone features a day).
The microSD card slot is also here but unfortunately it isn't hot-swappable. That means that you will have to power off your MILESTONE each time you change cards. On a positive note, it has no trouble handling 16GB cards.
The general build quality of the Motorola MILESTONE is excellent and the handset's body looks quite durable. The abundance of metal certainly conveys the impression of a portfolio-leading device that’s built to last.