Motorola CLIQ Review9
Motorola recently launched its first Android device, but despite the barrage of ads it is not, in fact, the DROID. No, that honor would belong to the Motorola CLIQ, a sprite little messaging device designed around social networking. The CLIQ sports Motorola’s MOTOBLUR interface, a customized skin for Android that bombards the user with news and entertainment updates, as well as integrating feeds from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and others. Other features include a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, 3.1” display, Wi-Fi, 3G and a full QWERTY keyboard. In the box you’ll find:
• Li-Ion battery
• AC adapter with USB cable
• 3.5mm headphones
• 2GB microSD card
The CLIQ is without a doubt geared towards the younger generation, and the design embodies that. It is on the small side, which means a smaller screen and keyboard, but is still heavy. It has a good weight to it, but we’re not crazy about the feel. When closed the slider is loose and when held by the bottom half the top piece will wiggle, but thankfully this goes away when opened. Still, the CLIQ isn’t exactly what we’d call solid, and the cheap plastic housing doesn’t do much to reassure us.
You can compare the Motorola CLIQ with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The 3.1” capacitive HVGA display is quite nice. The 262K colors offer more depth than screens we’ve seen from HTC and it is plenty responsive. It’s a far cry from the DROID, but that is to be expected. Below the display are physical Home, Menu and Search buttons. On the left side is a vibrate toggle (something we’d love to see more of,) volume rocker and microUSB charging/data port. The right side has the lock/power button and camera key. The side keys are all very shallow and could use a bit more travel for reassurance. The top simply features the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The back of the phone has a simple layout: the tiny 5MP camera sits up top and the single speaker is along the bottom. On our white version the battery door has a random gathering of dimples for a stylized design. On the titanium it is a carbon fiber-esque raised pattern. We prefer the titanium version; on the white the gray door and keyboard do not mix well with the black and white design. The two-tone titanium looks much more professional, whereas the white/black/gray will more likely appeal to a younger audience.
Sliding the phone open reveals the four row QWERTY keyboard. The buttons are small and layout is not offset, but it wouldn’t be so bad if the bottom row was not concave. The top three rows- containing the letters- have a good rounding to them that lets you easily distinguish between the keys when typing, but the bottom one- housing the spacebar, alt, sym, search and back keys- is concave, which causes your finger to just kind of fall into it. The top three rows all have a very good click when pressed, but the bottom row does not. This makes for an awful feel whenever going for the spacebar, which as you can imagine is quite often.
There are some elements we really like about the CLIQ’s design, most notably the size, but the build quality and keyboard leave much to be desired. We realize that this is a mid-level device, but at the same $200 on contract as the rock-solid DROID we’d expect something nicer.