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Review of Motorola Quench XT5 (XT502) GSM/UMTS Smartphone
Live photos of Motorola Quench XT5
In the box:
Motorola pays a lot of attention to Android and aspires to be the top dog in this segment. The point is that you need to offer not only flagship solutions like Milestone/Droid or Droid2, but provide mass solutions as well. It is a traditional problem for Motorola and the company has no time for development here given low sales and weak interest from carriers in the segment. As always the issue is solved through ODM, when a partner gives hardware, while Motorola adds design and all internal features at its own discretion.
Quench was developed with the help of Foxconn, which is also responsible for Gigabyte Gsmart Z1305, These models are similar, but I liked Motorola more.
The segment of entry level Android smartphones was nonexistent until recently. HTC Wildfire became the first model offered and Motorola Quench is its direct rival. Other competing handsets are Samsung Galaxy 550/580, but Motorola has a better screen with higher resolution, which is the strongest point of Quench.
In the segment of accessible Android phones low resolution screens are traditionally used, but Quench is not weak in the area. This highly attractive solution can be easily recommended as the first Android phone. Away from Android world this model looks eye-catching as well and can be used as an inexpensive multi-purpose smartphone. Classical design goes hand in hand with excellent value for money. It suits customers who choose their models carefully and are ready to use the phone for a long time without looking at new gadgets. We are unlikely to get an update to 2.2 and above, but some people do not need them.
A traditional black candybar features a front plastic element, which gets soiled easily. The back and both sides are velvet like, so the phone is comfortable to hold in hands. Dimensions are 114.9 x 56.8 x 12.6 mm (4.52″ x 2.23″ x 0.49″), and it weighs 117 g (4.12 oz). The model fits all hands well and is easy to carry in a pocket.
The top hosts a 3.5 mm jack and the switch on/off button. The left side has a capped microUSB jack. The right side is for a paired volume rocker and a camera button.
It is nice to see that hardware call and end buttons are there coupled with a trackball in the centre, which also supports pressings. Controls are excellent for an inexpensive phone. Sensor keys are typical of Motorola.
Capacitive technology with multitouch support allows for swift operation without delays, which is especially visible when working with photos.
A 3.2″ screen offers the resolution of 320х480 (Galaxy 550 features only QVGA) and up to 262000 colors (TFT). In the sun it fades away, but the text is still readable. The picture quality is high if to compare with rival models due to its resolution. This is a huge advantage. The screen fits up to 12 lines and several service lines.
The model sports a 1270 mAh Li-Pol battery. In real life (30-40 minutes of talktime, 10-15 SMS and the active Gmail account with automatic check and delivery of mail) our sample worked for one day and a half. With less intensity you can get around 2-3 days, which is good for any Android phone.
The manufacturer claims up to 8.5 hours of talktime in 2G (7.5 hours in 3G) and up to 508 hours on standby (355 hours in 3G).
Here we have an ordinary 5 MP camera with one section LED flash. This low end camera is below average despite its resolution. In darkness or bad light the pictures are not good enough, but outdoors they are decent even when it is overcast.
Samples of photos:
Video is recorded in 3gpp (codec - h.263) at the speed of 15fps. The sound recording is enabled by amr. codec. Video resolution is 320x240. There are no settings for video recording similarly to the photo solution.
The phone works in GSM (850/900/1800/1900) and 3G (850 / 1900 / 2100) networks.
MicroUSB cable is used for PC synchronization and data transfer. USB interface is 2.0 HS. Two operation modes are modem and Mass Storage available. Bluetooth 2.0 supports the following profiles:
The most popular profiles, including some multimedia ones are supported. Stereo headset operation was fine. The resulting sound was good.
WiFi 802.11 b/g is available and we had no issues whatsoever.
The phone boasts 100 MB of internal memory available for users. MicroSD cards are on the side behind the back cover. Hot swappable cards of up to 16 GB work without problems. The handset has a 600 MHz processor (Qualcomm MSM7227), which is rather fast, especially taking into account the screen size.
The model is built on Eclair (2.1), but the difference is that on 5 screens there are different widgets by default and users can start working literally from the box. There are several different applications we will discuss below. I do not feel like describing every feature (e.g. browser), so I will mention changes only. Overall features are described in a separate review.
The status bar was considerably changed, so when you drag the top of the screen down you see the System tab and the tab with alarms. In the System bar you can access the battery level, signal, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and go to the corresponding menu items, which is convenient.
Text input is via QWERTY by default irrespective of the screen orientation. If you are a big fan of semiQWERTY it is here as well. During the input you only have to browse the screen to the side to activate another keypad type. You need just one touch to change languages, which is convenient.
Let's enumerate apps different from standard Android versions:
File Browser – access to files on a memory card. Nothing groundbreaking here.
RSS – you can update separate RSSs or all of them together.
Dictaphone – recording of voice notices.
Text notes – record your thoughts.
GPS Tracker follows your travels and you can record the route. Google Maps are used for navigation.
RoadSync is an app to synchronize with MS Exchange. It can be interesting for corporate users, but in Russia not many people will use it.
Documents to Go helps to read office documents.
The ringtones are loud, which is boosted by a dedicated speaker at the back together with a good tunes selection. The vibro is above average. Speech transmission is not a problem.
From the use of Gigabyte Z1305 we know that it freezes when you get SMS from short phone numbers like хххх if you open a message, go out from it and then return. The same issue is present here. During one moth I had several reloads. In general the phone is quite stable and long lasting for its range. It has a different screen with acceptable resolution for convenient use.
The build is good, while the price is low for Android solutions (€200). HTC Wildfire looks like a rival, but it loses out on price, which is 40%-50% higher. At the same time Wildfire has Sense, but its screen has lower resolution. Cameras are roughly similar. Samsung models (Galaxy 550/580) have inferior cameras, screen resolutions, but do not cost less. Even Gigabyte fetches more, which is strange. All in all Motorola has a good solution for those who need an Android smartphone at the lowest price, but with good features. I like the model as it is easy to use, so that many people will be more than happy to have it. Excellent value for money.
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Published 27 October 2010
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