Motorola MILESTONE Review
We've had a string of some barely passable quality in the photo department on previous Android handsets. We've already seen what the camera on the HTC Hero produced, and we can confidently say that its much better on the Motorola MILESTONE. Pressing down all the way on the dedicated camera button will launch the application – it took roughly 3 seconds to fully load. From there, we were greeted to a new interface that kicks in a few new enhancements to make the experience more suitable to the photo enthusiast. Taking a photo can be done by pressing down slightly on the shutter key to allow the camera to auto-focus at first, and then all the way down to take the shot. Additionally, the same can be accomplished by pressing the on-screen shutter button. It took roughly 2 seconds for the phone to fully capture the shot and display it briefly on screen. Thanks to Android 2.0, we're given some additional features to make this camera stand out from the rest. Now you'll have a digital zoom, different shooting modes, color effects, and the option to select a focus mode (auto, infinite, and macro) all of which is accessed by moving over the left bar found on the interface.
Photo quality came out much better than expected – various tones of colors were captured nearly perfect while detail in the images was also very good. When using the automatic setting, outdoor images were meticulously well represented in lighting, color, and detail. The MILESTONE packs along a dual-LED flash so images taken in low light are accurately captured. To our surprise, the flash did a decent job as long as the image being taken wasn't further than a few feet away from you. Anything further than 2 meters caused the flash to have little effect. In darker conditions, we noticed some noise in the shots – making it look somewhat fuzzy in appearence. You'd better have a steady hand because the slightest movements caused images to produce a hazy look over them in the dark. Much to our delight, the 5-megapixel camera managed to meet our expectations and proves to be decent in preserving memories while on the go, but at the same time still won’t replace a traditional digital camera
Not only does the camera take some decent looking photos, but it did an exceptional job in recording videos as well. There are only two options for selecting video quality on the MILESTONE – low quality for MMS use and high quality for everything else. In choosing the latter setting, we were throughly impressed with “DVD quality” 720x480 video capture at 24 frames per second. There wasn’t any indication of choppiness throughout the recording – they were highly detailed and stood up well when moving through different lighting conditions. Audio was also captured flawlessly along with the video and sounded fine when played back on the phone or on a computer. After recording a video, you'll have the option to share it directly via MMS, e-mail, or YouTube. When transferred to a computer, the video is in 3GP format with H.264 encoding.
Motorola MILESTONE sample video at 720x480 pixels resolution
There's very little to mention about the MILESTONE's multimedia aspect because it remains relatively unchanged. The music player is the same we've seen running on bare bones Android and would've like to see a face lift to the interface. It's not as polished as other music players found on devices like the Imagio, iPhone, or Pre, but will suffice for now. It'll display the album cover, artist, track name, and album name while the fairly sized playback buttons looked discernible. The Motorola MILESTONE definitely has a powerful external speaker – too powerful for its own good. Setting it to the 75 percent level proved to be loud enough to make it heard while anything more produced some serious crackling. If you prefer to be more private, the 3.5mm headset port and stereo Bluetooth will be available for you – so just connect your headphones and you're set. The boxed headset is good but again when you set the volume to the max you’ll get crackling sounds.
Apart from the sluggish navigation between the three home screens, the Motorola MILESTONE is a very good in running applications with little slowdown – the case is true with its video playback. It's the same old interface we've seen, but thanks to the brilliant display, videos are truly breath taking to view on the MILESTONE. Unfortunately, the Motorola MILESTONE does not support DivX and Xvid files, but at least H.264 videos with resolution of 720x306 pixels played without any issues. There's no question that its clarity is superior to other before it – making it a great device to watch videos. The sound also was more than enough to hear every little thing even when set to the middle volume setting.
One thing for sure that we liked seeing packed with the Motorola MILESTONE was the inclusion of a 8GB microSDHC card. For right now, we're confident that it will be more than sufficient for most of your media needs, but will support future cards up to 32GB in capacity.
One of the differences between the Motorola MILESTONE and DROID is that the GSM version lacks Google Maps Navigation. This is to be expected, since free Google navigation is still (officially) unavailable to European consumers. To make up for it, the manufacturer provides MOTONAV and the application comes with a 60 day free trial. The program is really spectacular and offers 3D overviews adorned with volumetric buildings and pictures representing nearby sightseeing spots. Moreover, the application features a huge database of interesting objects (restaurants, parking lots, hotels) that you can get ample information on, plus you can see relevant telephone numbers to make bookings. It´s a cool program indeed, but this doesn’t change the fact that, like it or lump it, you would have to fork out some cash to buy it when the trial has ended – and this is not the case with Google Maps Navigation that is completely free.
Anyone planning to use the device for navigation will be happy to find out that you can buy a car stand that can be attached to a window or the car shades. This actually turns the Motorola MILESTONE into a fully functional navigation system.
So, where can you find alternative programs for navigation? At Android Market, of course! Actually, it´s always a good idea to check what´s available at the online application store in case you need additional software for the Motorola MILESTONE. The marketplace is growing rapidly and features more than 16,000 titles at the time of the current review, in other words, patience pays off and you will certainly come across tons of useful software.
1. aakin (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Dec 2009)
Do you think its worth waiting for the Google Nexus one or HTC bravo?
2. solidkevin (unregistered)
Bravo is the nexus but better imo
3. Kittu (unregistered)
Your Cons says short battery life and u give 9 for battery, and reverse for the camera... R u joking??
4. Marianitem (unregistered)
I`m getting this model in replacement to Dext/Cliq. Should i expect better performance in connectivity on wifi and gps antennas, overall speed, sound quality? I had 2 Dexts during a month and couldn`t get any of those to work properly, having to take twice each to a tech for wifi and gps problems, and system freezing. I prefer to be prepared. Thx. Great reviews BTW.
5. shashwat (unregistered)
compare the camera of milestone to dat of iphone??
6. aundre (unregistered)
i just bought an unlock motorla milestone but i am not sure how to find my contact on my sim and also i dont know how to set a pic that i have taken to my main screen without a small part showing
7. shashivydyula (Posts: 4; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)
This is My first android mobile and loved it.
Though there are many features missing compared to other devices I just love this phone.