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Motorola XOOM Review

Motorola XOOM 8

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Motorola XOOM Review
During our time using the Motorola XOOM, it appears to hold a steady connection to Verizon’s network in the greater Philadelphia region. Additionally, we rarely noticed signal strength fluctuating abruptly as it kept at a steady -81 dBm in high coverage areas.

Motorola touts the XOOM obtaining a battery life of 10 hours with continuous video playback. In reality, we easily managed to get by an 8 hour working shift on normal usage with half the battery remaining. It’s worth noting that we had the brightness level manually set to its highest setting and relied on 3G speeds for all data connectivity. Light users should get by at least a day of usage, while heavy users might want to keep it connected to its wall charger as much as possible.


So here’s the underlying question that would undoubtedly hint to whether or not the Motorola XOOM is a success. How much money are you willing to shell out to experience the very first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet? We’re not arguing that it’s something that is easily loved, especially when it oozes with so many exciting new features, but the $799.99 no-contract price point it garners will no doubt stab some people with the nagging feeling that it’s one pricey investment. However, it’s the price you’ll have to pay in order to grab hold of Motorola’s next pride and joy.

Although we’re not all too thrilled by its design, this can easily be overlooked because of the uplifting and alluring feel of Android 3.0 Honeycomb – it’s actually the justification for buying the tablet. Compared to the previous Android tablets we’ve experienced, the Motorola XOOM fully realizes and embraces the tablet experience, and takes it to a whole new level. Of course, there are some competing Honeycomb tablets on the horizon, but it all goes back down to pricing. In the end, the Motorola XOOM makes for the perfect candidate to bring Honeycomb to the masses, however, it’ll be interesting to see how it competes at its current price point. One thing is certain though, the gap between iOS and Android, in terms of tablet experience, has never been smaller.

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 3.0, Build HRI39, Baseband N_02.0F.00R


  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb
  • Solid construction
  • Takes fantastic photos
  • Peppy performance


  • Lacks WOW factor in design
  • Expensive
  • Not all apps take advantage of its display
  • No Flash from the onset
PhoneArena rating:
8 Good
User rating:
Not rated

  • Options

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 10:47 4

1. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)

That price point is kinda steep. Not sure its worth it.

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 10:57 1

2. babi (unregistered)

does it have any telephony ability?
can i make cellular call with this device?

posted on 10 Mar 2011, 23:54

50. Mason (unregistered)

I wondered the same thing, unfortunately you cannot. Considering this is "phone arena" it's odd that they're reviewing something that isn't a phone and has no phone capability.

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 11:04 6

4. 3MTA3 (unregistered)

"CONS: Lacks WOW factor in design"

Yeah, its design only has dual core processor, 5MP rear cam with flash, 2MP front cam, 1260 x 980 resolution, SD card, 3G, 4G LTE, slim form factor, 10 inch screen, 8 hours of battery life, flash support in 30 days.......yeah, thee is no WOW factor here in the design at all. NONE

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 11:24 9

7. ecml (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Mar 2010)

Ummm...you're pretty much talking about the specs and not the design

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 13:50 6

11. The Rob (unregistered)

True, but to some fanboys, specs ARE design. That's all they'll talk about, and not know what they even mean.

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 22:35 5

18. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

yeah, that doesn't make any sense at all. a duel core processor doesn't make it black and Android 3.0 doesn't make it rectangular, design does and that might be a valid factor when comparing a Xoom to a Galaxy Tab 10.1.

posted on 01 Mar 2011, 12:35 1

40. Zeus (unregistered)

Wot u r sayin is that Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has better construction than XOOM? Oh cum on, the Tab has all plastic construction and it looks cheap!!!

posted on 01 Mar 2011, 12:51 1

41. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

i'm not saying the 10.1 is better at all than the Xoom, i actually prefer the design of the Xoom but they match each other nearly spec for spec so you wouldn't be completely out of your mind if you decided to get a 10.1 because it's lighter or something about the design appeals to you more, that's all.

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 19:14 3

16. FightForTheLost (Posts: 20; Member since: 25 May 2010)

Yeah, I personally think that the only real "con" is that not all apps take up the full space on the tablet.

The cost factor is negatable if you buy the WiFi-only version at $600 or use Ocho-Cinco's 25% off code (courtesy of XDA) to lower the 3G model down to $600, either of which would put in on point with the iPad.

The "no Flash" factor is annoying, yes, but we'll live without it for a few weeks or so. And then we'll get Tegra 2-specific Flash and everything will be okay.

And the "lacking WOW" factor is kind of dumb; Moto went for quality of the interior, and it shows. Props to them. They didn't try to make a tab that looked great but sucked on performance *coughcoughArchos,ViewSonic,ACER,andallotherAndroid-wannabetabscoughcough*

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 11:16 3

5. Kjayhawk (Posts: 293; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)

Cons: Not an ipad

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 15:18 1

13. Misanthropos (Posts: 56; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)

i like the way you think.

posted on 26 Feb 2011, 20:32 2

35. FightForTheLost (Posts: 20; Member since: 25 May 2010)

Why thank you! (if that's to me, anyway)

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 11:20 1

6. LionStone (Posts: 743; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)

Well I think they are mostly talking about the physical aspects wrt "design", not specs. But for me, it's a tablet, it's not white and its portable and thin, just right. I don't see this as a negative at all.

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 12:05 1

8. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

wow same score as the iPad I'm quite surprised

about the ''WOW Factor design'' its a standard and practical shape plus it has no hardware buttons...I still wish for a more gesture based UI tho

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 15:19 1

14. Misanthropos (Posts: 56; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)

like webos

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 18:15 2

15. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

duh! they hired Matias Duarte from palm to help them polish their development as well as bring new features... i bet he wont think twice before giving Google his personal ideas for UI development

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 12:11 2

9. mike (unregistered)

too bad that it does not have full usb port. The price is too expensive. I'm waiting for WiFi version to drop to $500.

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 12:16

10. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

i doesn't? i think Engadget said it has one to plug USB and stuff lemme go check

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 21:37

29. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

it does have "full usb support" where'd you get your facts?

posted on 26 Feb 2011, 07:54 1

31. testman22 (Posts: 338; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)

whered you get your facts?? there is no full USB port. it has a mircro port for charging ang cables but thats it. and i own one

posted on 26 Feb 2011, 15:28

33. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

..what the hell are you people talking about? you mean like a usb 2.0/3.0 port? what's the big deal about that?

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 15:17 4

12. Misanthropos (Posts: 56; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)

way to go letting out an unfinished product. no flash? no support for sd card despite the fact that there's a port? you'll have to send your device in to get it upgraded to LTE?

the consumers of this nation worry me.

posted on 26 Feb 2011, 20:35

36. FightForTheLost (Posts: 20; Member since: 25 May 2010)

Flash is coming later specifically designed for Tegra 2 processors. That's the only reason it's not equipped with Flash, is because Flash itself wasn't optimized for it yet. Not Moto's fault.

The SD card thing I'll agree with you on; THAT was stupid of them to build a port that doesn't operate. But at least we can be thankful that we even HAVE a port, unlike the crapPad.

And the LTE upgrade is kind of a pain, but I guess it's just something we'll have to deal with. And hey, you could always just buy the Xoom AFTER the 4G update starts being offered, because you know they'll be shipping units to stores equipped with 4G (and probably Flash) at that point in time.

But, that's just me.

posted on 01 Mar 2011, 22:17

44. Namarrgon (unregistered)

You're talking about the iPad, right? Oh wait, it won't ever do those things. Guess it'll always be unfinished.

The Xoom, right now, is easily worth the money by any reasonable comparison. The fact that it will soon be upgraded - for free - to support flash, SD cards and LTE is a *bonus*.

Personally, I'd prefer a Xoom *now*, and would be annoyed if they held off releasing it for a few months just so they could add features that a) I don't particularly care about, and b) can be freely upgraded later if I do want them (of course, if you feel differently, you're free to pretend it hasn't been released yet).

posted on 03 Mar 2011, 16:53

46. android_hitman (unregistered)

apple users worries me :)

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 21:40 3

17. ecml (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Mar 2010)

I'm not trying to be negative here but I believed that Motorola should have waited to launch the tablet instead of releasing it so soon. Many people aren't going to like to have to send their XOOM back to Motorola just to get 4G LTE on the device. But first I don't get why they could of just went ahead and released it with 4G. They should just waited to release the tablet with having 4G on-board instead of rushing to get the tablet in stores so that they could be named having the first tablet with Android 3.0 but waiting for Flash isn't too much of a big deal because you don't have to send your tablet back to the manufacture just to get it installed. And I swear there was an article on Phonearena a month back or so saying that the 4G update would be over the air for the XOOM.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 06:05

21. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

actually i think this is based on rumors again the thunderbolt has the TLE hardware on and its being ready before the XOOM, It would be really dumb to release something with a piece of hardware lacking thats something the user cant "plug and play"

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 22:37 3

19. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

i'm digging the Chrome-esqe browser here. o:
i'm not ready to jump on the tablet train quite yet but now i can't wait for Ice Cream!

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 22:49 1

20. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Okay, so regarding the cons that Phonearena lists:

1. "Lacks WOW factor in design" What, did you need it encrusted in diamonds? How much can you do with a design for a device that by definition has to be mostly screen? It's a utilitarian device, just like the original Droid was.

2. "Expensive" Okay, so you yourselves have pointed out that a 32GB iPad WITHOUT expandable memory and WITHOUT a camera and WITHOUT Flash support, past present or future and WITHOUT a dual core processor and WITHOUT even the capability to be upgraded to 4G connectivity is only 70 bucks less. And there will be a XOOM that's wifi only for only a hundred bucks more than an iPad with half the available memory and processing speed. So before you bitch about how expensive a product is, consider how much more it offers.

3. "Not all apps take advantage of its display" Well no way. Not all of the apps are going to be at launch. But most of the apps you mentioned which weren't optimized were third party and not under Google's control. And if they aren't optimized now, they will be.

4. "No Flash support at launch" Oh well. So it's no worse off than the iPad for the moment. Fun part is that it will have it in the coming weeks, so it's not really a problem. Droid users had to go for almost a year in some cases before they had it.

However, at least you didn't gripe too much. Seems you gave a fair enough review, considering your usual bias.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 17:13

26. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

I love how people see bias when a reviewer likes an apple product.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 19:56 1

28. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Its not just about liking apple products. It's about treating every product from Apple like it's the second coming, and all other devices must be compared to it. Not to mention the feeling I get that the reviewers always see a magical something in apple products that makes them better than competitors, no matter what Apple's products lack.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 09:28 1

23. Hallucinator (Posts: 354; Member since: 24 May 2010)

I am a apple fan, but you guys need to quit comparing this to a first gen Ipad. One, it is kind of a false comparison ecspecially with the Ipad 2 around the corner and 2 it diminishes the Xoom. I am very impressed with this and think it looks like a great tablet, but if it keeps getting compared to the original Ipad it just make Apple look that much better when the Ipad 2 comes out.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 11:23 1

24. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

I do agree to an extent, but seeing as how Apple has deliberately pushed the release of the iPad 2 back, they will be able to throw on features that they may not have before so they appear to be better than the XOOM.

Leaks about new features of upcoming Apple products only seem to come after its competitors announce their own specs and features. For instance, there was nothing about the iPhone 5 having a dual core processor or a bigger screen until other phones with the same got a great response at tech shows. Why would they suddenly change the screen size when for the past four years it's been the same? Apple isn't usually fond of drastic design changes; you still have to turn an iPhone sideways if you want to know what generation it is.

Anyway, I'll be paying attention this summer to see how the phone wars pan out.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 17:11

25. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

You have an excellent point. Why compare it to a product that's almost a year old. Wait for the iPad 2 and bash that for all he things YOU think it a hold have.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 19:49

27. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Great Video review thanks for clarifying the "wow factor" part with the video this review got much better toned

posted on 26 Feb 2011, 03:19

30. Mike (unregistered)

responding to comments 23 and 25.....in that case dont compare the ipad 2 to a xoom....wait for the xoom 2!!!! you can only compare to what is currently out, not what might be....ipad 2 is second generation ipad...true...BUT that doesnt automatically make it the best!!!!

regarding no flash....apple products will NEVER have it. "Wow Factor"? what did you guys expect to have on it?

even if the ipad 2 matches the xoom in specs....its ipod operating system doesnt come close to a fair battle.

posted on 26 Feb 2011, 12:01

32. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

Screen transition effects?! I don't believe it!!!

posted on 26 Feb 2011, 15:34

34. silverfang77 (Posts: 7; Member since: 21 Nov 2010)

Is this that Android tablet that doesn't support Flash, or is that another one?

posted on 27 Feb 2011, 14:27

37. Galen20K (Posts: 541; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)

meh, I want the G-Slate.

posted on 28 Feb 2011, 10:46

38. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

All the android fan boys on here are annoying. PA gave this tablet a fair review and gave it a good rating, but apparently it is unacceptable to some of you to say anything that isn't 100% positive. As far as why is it being compared to the Apple product? The tablet market didn't exist before Apple. They made a prodcut that made tablets attractive and now other companies are trying to get in the game. And yes to some of you design is different than specs. Motorola generally makes ugly products like the droid 1 and 2.

posted on 01 Mar 2011, 00:03 1

39. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

motorola products are ugly huh? well how about you give us an example of something that looks better to you?

posted on 01 Mar 2011, 15:29 2

42. zuno gyakusatsu (Posts: 257; Member since: 16 Mar 2010)

feces would be a start. anything is better than a motorola product.

posted on 01 Mar 2011, 16:15

43. Misanthropos (Posts: 56; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)

a maggot covered corpse

posted on 01 Mar 2011, 23:01 1

45. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

hm, i'm pretty sure some people is gonna disagree with you there including PA, Engadget and plenty of other tech sites with any kind of prestige.

posted on 06 Mar 2011, 15:31

47. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)

Verizon is playing favorites. Now that it paid all that money to Crapple it has to sabotage the xoom by taking away the 4G and flash so it will be on par with ipad 2 when it comes out. That way they will sell more ipads and get a return on their crappy investment. Damn Verizon!

posted on 06 Mar 2011, 22:18

48. kbayer (Posts: 19; Member since: 08 Feb 2010)

Non functioning SD card, no Flash, gotta mail the tablet back to Samsung for hardware upgrade to handle 4G... WTF?

posted on 07 Mar 2011, 11:05

49. rgsniper1 (unregistered)

you have the price points mixed up in the video review.
2 year contract is $600.00
Full price is $800.00
The prices are switched around.


posted on 19 Mar 2011, 14:53

52. LXH (unregistered)

how amazing XOOM can handle multitasking

web browser, some games etc ...


so what's the point of xoom getting 8 score o_O ??

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 03:51

53. Jennifer Wade (unregistered)

Google works as energy drink, each company that drinks this energy drink it gets high speed. Motorola is already a well known product company now with the merge of android it has built a strong name in tablet world as well. Other name such as Ozitechnology and Samsung have also shown their skills so well in android devices.

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Motorola XOOM

Motorola XOOM

OS: Android 4.0 3.2 3.1 3.0
view full specs
Display10.1 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (149 ppi)
Camera5 megapixels
Dual-core, 1000 MHz
Size9.80 x 6.61 x 0.51 inches
(249 x 167.8 x 12.9 mm)
25.75 oz  (730 g)

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