Motorola's DEXT scores top marks for Facebook users, but keyboard is a let-down

Rating
Overall:

Great social networking software, but it’s bulky, the keyboard is poor and the screen is small

Performance:
4
Batter Life:
4
Features & Design:
4
Value for money:
6
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Motorola promotes the DEXT as a social networking tool, allowing you to "stream emails and social networks into one feed".

It sounds impressive, but at its heart the DEXT is simply an Android phone with a few nifty customisations.
Key to the functioning of this social networking "streaming" is Motoblur, which enables the aggregation of email and social network information.

Statuses appear in a Happenings widget on the phone's main homepage, messages are displayed too, while your own current status sits at the top of the screen.

The range of services supported out of the box is impressive. Not only do you get Facebook and Gmail support, but also Twitter, MySpace, Last.fm, Exchange Server, Picasa, Photobucket and Bebo. Email, status updates and, for example, messages from your Facebook inbox all appear onscreen.

You can broadcast your own status updates across multiple accounts, and contacts from the various services are integrated in one list too.

Motorola adds to the tweaks by expanding Android's scrolling customisable desktop from three screens to five, and applying its own look and feel to the application launch menu in the process.

Meanwhile, Android ensures that browsing the web is snappy and reliable. In our tests, the DEXT loaded the SMH homepage in an average of 12 seconds - an impressive result - and scored 93 in the Acid3 standards test. That, combined with a capacitive touchscreen, makes the DEXT a good phone for browsing the web.

Alas, there are some mistakes here, and the slide-out keyboard is the principal culprit. It's supposed to speed up typing, but its rounded keys are difficult to press accurately. The small, 3.1in screen feels cramped, and makes using the onscreen keyboard fiddly too.

It comes with only 2.5GB of storage, 2GB of which comes in the form of a microSD card, and the camera, despite its 5-megapixels, is merely average.

So the DEXT's social skills impress, and battery life is good too, with 60% remaining after our 24-hour stress test. But neither is enough to compensate for the failings in its design.

 
 

This Review appeared in the May, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

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See more about:  motorola  |  dext  |  smartphone  |  phone  |  mobile  |  facebook  |  socialnetworking
 
 

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