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Motorola CHARM Review

Motorola CHARM 8

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Motorola CHARM Review

Without a doubt, there surely have been many people out there clamoring to see an Android smartphone that employs that typical BlackBerry look with its signature stationary portrait style QWERTY form factor. The yearnings of many have been heard by Motorola as they've addressed this much wanted design with the Motorola CHARM for T-Mobile. Since this is a company that's been experiencing a resurgence of late, thanks to a couple of recent top notch Android smartphones, the CHARM is the company's unique spin on the much wanted form factor that's been clearly non-existent with the platform. Let's find out if the undeniably charming looking Motorola CHARM MB502 has enough magic in its housing to enchant consumers to side with it.

Motorola CHARM Review
Motorola CHARM Review
The package contains:
  • Motorola CHARM
  • microUSB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Stereo Headset
  • Start Guide
  • 1420mAh battery
  • 1130mAh battery
  • 2 Rear Covers
  • 2GB microSD card


Can we just say wow for a second; especially when it's reinvigorating to finally see a portrait QWERTY Android handset stateside? With a quick first glance, some would expect to think of the CHARM to be more of a feature phone, but upon closer inspection, it radiates a quality design that makes it so refreshing. Although it sports a plastic exterior, we like how the rear is coated with that all too familiar soft touch material that complements the silver colored bezel outlining the handset. Sure it's somewhat boxy looking, which of course tastefully makes it appealing, but it still feels compact enough (0.45” thick) in the hand and doesn't feel that heavy at all (3.88 oz). Although not as tough as the DROID devices, the CHARM still feels solidly constructed all around to boost your confidence about its plastic exterior.

Motorola CHARM feels solidly constructed all around - Motorola CHARM Review
Motorola CHARM feels solidly constructed all around - Motorola CHARM Review
Motorola CHARM feels solidly constructed all around - Motorola CHARM Review

Motorola CHARM feels solidly constructed all around

Motorola CHARM Review

You can compare the Motorola CHARM with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

In keeping the cost of the handset very low, Motorola opted to utilize a 2.8” TFT touchscreen that unfortunately puts out a lackluster QVGA resolution (320x240). Granted though it's capacitive technology, which is responsive to the touch, its quality is almost appalling as text is extremely fuzzy looking while colors are washed out. It also experiences some viewing angle problems and is not very viewable under bright sunlight. Yeah it would've been nice to see it get bump up to an HVGA resolution, but we suppose it's fitting due primarily to its inexpensive target.

Motorola CHARM Review

Strangely, we actually don't mind seeing the three touch sensitive buttons dominating the area directly beneath the touchscreen and above the QWERTY – that's because we didn't find ourselves accidentally activating them. On the left edge, you've got the typical microUSB port and decently sized volume rocker that offers a decent response when pressed. While on the top side, you'll find the 3.5mm headset jack and dedicated power button. Taking a peek at its rear, we're presented with the 3-megapixel camera, cutout for the speakerphone, and the somewhat novel (at this point) track-pad which Motorola aptly calls the “BACKTRACK.” Removing the rear cover requires a lot of force since you'll have to yank it off, but once that's accomplished, you'll have access to the microSD card slot, battery, and SIM card slot.

The sides of Motorola CHARM - Motorola CHARM Review
The sides of Motorola CHARM - Motorola CHARM Review
The sides of Motorola CHARM - Motorola CHARM Review
The sides of Motorola CHARM - Motorola CHARM Review

The sides of Motorola CHARM

Just when people were beginning to see RIM as the only one who can craft some stunning portrait style keyboards, Motorola does a fantastic job with the one on the CHARM. Although there is no spacing between buttons, they're raised enough and curved toward the middle to provide a good distinction between your thumbs. The soft plastic keys also offer a good tactile response when pressed, but it's the layout of the QWERTY that makes it so easy to use – it's actually similar to what you see on a regular keyboard. Additionally, there are some dedicated buttons on there that will give you access to specific functions and even 4-way directional keys to easily move around the cursor when typing a message.

Motorola CHARM Review
Motorola CHARM Review
Motorola CHARM Review

Motorola CHARM 360 Degrees View:

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Cliq xt user (unregistered)

This phone looks nice, but i really do think those cons should bring it lower than an 8. A limited app selection due to screen, a poor screen, and lackluster camera are ALL deal breakers for me. But i guess its up to the reviewers discression. Still, this phone will fill a really nice niche on tmobile. and i look forward to seeing it in the wild.

posted on 05 Sep 2010, 12:06

2. matistight (Posts: 550; Member since: 13 May 2009)

its also the low end android, so what do you expect. it reminds me of the pantech slate with a nicer screen and on android. id test this phone if i could :)

posted on 13 Oct 2010, 00:17

3. info gadget online (unregistered)

One sweet little phone. Ignore the negative reviews about the screen-it looks fine. On top of having just about everything and running smooth, this baby has universal search a.k.a. the Palm Pre. Keyboard is wonderful and the social integration is deep and flawless. I tossed an HD2 for this and Windows Phone 7 better be damn good for me to give this up. This is the absolute best smartphone for the price.http://infogadgetonline.com/

posted on 13 Nov 2010, 17:51

4. Boti95 (Posts: 162; Member since: 05 Sep 2010)

I want this phone but without a 2-year contract. Maybe with an EVEN MORE PLUS PLAN or Month-to-motnh

posted on 30 Nov 2010, 06:35

5. Murali Krishnan (unregistered)

The Motorola Charm is coming to India through Aircel for Rs. 13990 which sounds great to me. I am really looking forward to it.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:58

6. Rahul Kumar Choudhary (unregistered)

This Is athird class phone do not buy otherwise you will be suffer

posted on 07 Sep 2011, 10:06

7. sachin1243 (unregistered)

its realy good phone i have using from last 9 month till no defects......

it is very usefull for office mailer person......

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Display2.8 inches, 320 x 240 pixels (143 ppi) TFT
Camera3 megapixels
600 MHz
Size3.87 x 2.65 x 0.45 inches
(98.4 x 67.2 x 11.4 mm)
3.88 oz  (110 g)
Battery1170 mAh, 6.75 hours talk time

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