Before the first Milestone arrived on the scene, Motorola was teetering on the edge of mobile phone oblivion, but the solid, bang-up-to-date Android phone brought them back from that edge and into the spotlight once more. At least it did in the USA, where the Milestone was known as the Droid and accompanied by a stonking ad campaign with the Verizon network.
In Europe, the Milestone didn’t reach the same level of popularity, mainly due to a lack of network support, but there was no denying its capabilities. Now, Motorola are set to introduce its successor called, you’ve guessed it, the Milestone 2 or the Droid 2 in the USA, and we have the feeling it may make more of an impression here.
At first glance, very little has changed between the Milestone and the Milestone 2. It still has a 3.7″ capacitive touchscreen with a 480 x 854 pixel resolution and the four Android keys lined up below it. Flip the device over and things have changed even less. The camera lens is still in the top right hand corner and an external speaker runs the width of the device on the left hand side.
Slide the screen up though, and you’ll immediately notice a difference, as the gold d-pad next to the QWERTY keyboard has disappeared. This has given more room to what’s important – the keys – resulting in each one being bigger than before, complete with sensibly-sized Enter, Space and Shift buttons. A more traditional set of cursor keys lets you zip around the screen if you don’t want to tap away.
The overall size and weight hasn’t changed though, as the Milestone 2 is still 13.7mm thick – which is more than acceptable given the slide-out QWERTY keyboard – and weighs a hefty 169 grams.
So Motorola haven’t gone wild with a redesign, but they have improved things where it matters most – internally. The Milestone 2 uses a 1Ghz processor and has a total of 8GB internal memory, expandable by a further 32GB with the addition of a microSD card, giving the potential for 40GB of space to store your music, games and videos!
The phone is a 3G device with HSDPA ad HSUPA connectivity, plus Wi-Fi b/g/n and A2DP v2.1 Bluetooth.
The very latest version of Google Android, 2.2 Froyo, operates inside the Milestone 2, bringing with it many exciting new features including tethering for up to five different devices, Flash 10.1 support for the browser, Exchange and several performance tweaks. Additionally, all the usual Google services are built-in, along with access to the Android Market.
What Else Can it Do?
- The 5 megapixel camera has a dual-LED flash, digital zoom and autofocus, plus image stabilisation and geo-tagging.
- Motorola have added their latest MOTOBLUR skin over the top of Google Android 2.2, making the front end a little more attractive. It’s not only aesthetic either, as aside from the social networking integration, you can sync with the cloud and back up all the data stored on your device too.
- The Swype keyboard is standard.
- The camera can also shoot 720p video.
- Assisted GPS and a digital compass.
- A noise cancellation microphone improves call quality, plus the phone has an accelerometer, ambient light sensor and a proximity sensor too.
- A 3.5mm headphone socket.
- DLNA sharing.
- The music player supports most common file types, while the video player will playback WMV, H.264 and MPEG files.
With regards to the specification, not really, but the lack of a new design may put some off, as the original Milestone was hardly the belle of the ball in the first place! Only MOTOBLUR remains the sticking point, but judgement must be reserved until you’ve tried it out for yourself.
Although we have drawn attention to the lack of redesign, Motorola have changed several of the more important problems which existed on the first Milestone, namely that awful gold d-pad and subsequently the size of the keys, plus they’ve upgraded the processor to a 1GHz item. Don’t forget that HTC’s QWERTY-equipped Desire Z uses an 800MHz processor, giving the Milestone 2 the edge in that respect.
OK, so the chances of us seeing an R2-D2 limited edition of the Milestone 2 are non-existent, but don’t let that put you off investigating this fully loaded Android mobile phone.