Motorola CLIQ XT Review

Introduction and Design
The Motorola CLIQ XT is offered by T-Mobile in the U.S. The phone will also be available in Europe as the Motorola QUENCH.


We've witnessed Motorola come back strong and hard in the US with its line of QWERTY packing Android phones, but they've been silent in the touchscreen only department. Following the same path as the Motorola CLIQ on T-Mobile, the latest Android handset from the veteran phone manufacturer takes everything we love about that handset and removes its QWERTY keyboard. Essentially coming up the Motorola CLIQ XT that sports the social networking happy MOTOBLUR interface. Even though it may have some close ties to its older sibling, the Motorola CLIQ XT looks to attract customers with its slimmer design and hopefully more complete interface.

The package contains:
•    Motorola CLIQ XT
•    USB Cable
•    2GB microSD card pre-installed
•    Charger
•    Hands-free Headset


It's almost hard to imagine unless you see it for yourself, but the Motorola CLIQ XT is both longer (4.59”) and wider (2.34”) than the CLIQ; except in the thickness department where it would naturally be smaller (0.48”). The candybar style phone uses a two tone color scheme that's traditionally used a lot – the textured black plastic of the front and back mixes well with the often used chrome bezel. It's not the prettiest thing out there, but differentiates itself enough from the CLIQ. There are two soft touch back covers that are available in the packaging – one is completely purple and the other is a textured black one. Even though it has some heft to its overall look, it's relatively light weight and doesn't cause a distraction in the pockets. And of course, the candybar design makes the CLIQ XT feel solidly built all around without the worry of it breaking – but it doesn't exude that premium feel like the DROID.

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

Looking closely at the Motorola CLIQ XT, one will notice that it still has the same 3.1” LCD touchscreen that has a resolution of 320x480 pixels and 262k color support. We instantly could tell the difference as colors seemed to jump out with their strong tones. Clarity of reading text was of little issue as the display was detailed enough in distinguishing fine lines. The phone stacks up well against a good mix of lighting conditions which made viewing it in various degrees decent enough on the eyes. Taking it in the direct view of the sun caused us to shield it with our hand as it was almost unviewable.

Sticking with the traditional approach, the CLIQ XT offers four physical buttons below the touchscreen as opposed to touch-sensitive ones we see nowadays – these are the menu, search, home, and back keys. They surround a large sized trackpad that has this textured feel to it, which makes moving around more comfortable while acting as a button itself when pressed down. Despite the lack of separation between the keys, as they are all built into the surface, they still provide a decent tactile response. We can't say the same for the other dedicated buttons found on the sides of the phone – they were difficult to make out with our fingers and were flush to the surface. The 3.5mm headset port is located on the top side while microUSB port is found on the left. The rear of the phone houses the 5-megapixel auto-focusing camera with LED flash while the speaker is found above it. Removing the rear cover was a bit difficult as there was the need for some additional force. Once it's completely taken off, you'll have access to the battery (1420 mAh), SIM card slot, and microSD slot.

Motorola CLIQ XT 360 Degrees View:

Interface & Functionality:

Honestly, there wasn't any noticeable differences between the MOTOBLUR interface that's seen on other Motorola Android devices. The only thing that we did notice was the CLIQ XT did not allow us to use it in landscape view – tilting it to either side did absolutely nothing; so we were stuck using it the old fashion way. All the typical things we enjoyed with MOTOBLUR is intact – it allows for a near seamless integration of popular social networking services like Facebook and Twitter. Not only do they consistently update, but the interface allows users to access some common features directly from the homescreen rather than having to launch a separate application. As a whole, there is still some lag in its performance that's more prominent when a bunch of apps are running in the background – there's even some choppiness as we move between the 5 homescreens. Undoubtedly these issues may stem somewhere around MOTOBLUR, but nonetheless distracts us from the overall usable experience of Android 1.5 on the CLIQ XT.

We have to admit that the CLIQ XT eclipses most of its higher-end Android counterparts in the messaging department – even those that offer a physical keyboard. Choosing between the Swype and Android keyboard, the latter proved to be hands down our most favorite thanks to the combination of its quick response and automatic text prediction. We found speed typing to be quite accurate and responsive on the CLIQ XT as it easily puts it ahead of the Android pack and plays close to the level of performance that the iPhone exudes. Not ending at its superior usability, it takes some cues to what we've seen previously on the iPhone – the ability to place the cursor to a specific location by holding down the cursor and dragging it to the desired area. All in all, the Motorola CLIQ XT easily takes the gold in the messaging aspect of Android.

While web browsing on an Android powered device continues to slowly evolve, the Motorola CLIQ XT does offer up some surprises that make it stand out. First and foremost, it supports multi-touch so you can zoom in or out by using the pinching gestures – although we did find that pages weren't optimized for mobile use, meaning that there is some heavy scrolling and panning required to read text on the phone as it does not rearrange it to fit the width of the page. Sweetening the experience for the CLIQ XT, it surprisingly offers support for Flash Lite so that YouTube videos will automatically play within the browser. Despite its literal desktop like performance, the lack of automatically rearranging text so there's less scrolling makes it stick out like a sore thumb – still, it's a decent experience.

Camera & Multimedia:

The camera interface is pretty simple, but one nice feature is that when you take a picture it displays your location information and integrates that into the filename. Settings are fairly sparse; the user can adjust resolution, geotagging preferences, color effect, toggle auto focus and choose from automatic or preset white balances. Performance wise, we were thoroughly impressed with the amount of detail and color saturation found in our shots thanks to the 5-megapixel auto-focusing camera. Although it performed well in areas with good lighting, the CLIQ XT's LED flash produced some average looking shots that look a bit overexposed when taking a photo at a distance of 4 feet or closer.

Unfortunately videos taken on the CLIQ XT were nowhere close to the level of detail seen when taking photos – but we do regard it as being passable. With a maximum shooting resolution of 480x320 at 24fps, video quality was okay with its pixelated look,  presentable looking colors, audible sounds, and playback with no lag.

At first we assumed we were going to be treated to the standard Android music experience, but we were amused to notice that the Connected Music Player had some rich features to substantially set it apart from others. Not only does it display the common items like artist name and track title, but it even will automatically download the associated album cover if you don't have one. To show its level of depth, the music player is powered by TuneWiki that even allows for lyrics to be displayed as the song is played – almost something like a karaoke. Audio quality from the speaker was neutral – nonetheless, it didn't seem to strain or crackle much on the highest volume setting.

We tested the playback of several videos on the CLIQ XT, as it supports MP4 files encoded with H.263 and H.264. Even though the display is physically limited to 480x320 pixels resolution, the device could play videos of up to 640x272 resolution with 1080Kbps bit rate. Videos played smoothly on the CLIQ XT without any noticeable hints of slowdown or lag to ruin the experience. Just like the other MOTOBLUR devices we've seen already, the CLIQ XT follows in the same footsteps by offering a good video playback experience.

If the 2GB microSD card that's pre-installed with the Motorola CLIQ XT doesn't seem as much for you, then it's nice to point out that it will accept microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity.


Using it internationally for voice calls won't be an issue for this quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) phone, but it'll happily work on 3G speeds over T-Mobile's network since it has tri-band UMTS (900/1700/2100 MHz) connectivity. In addition to offering Wi-Fi for an alternative wireless connection, the CLIQ XT features Bluetooth 2.0 to allow simple pairings to headsets and file transfers to other devices.


Conversing with someone on the phone was a pleasant experience as voices on both ends sounded clear and distinct with no static background sound to ruin it. The only issue we found with its performance was the lack of power out of the speaker that still sounded weak when placed on the highest volume setting. When using the speakerphone, voices on it sounded a bit more high pitched than we liked – but it still proved to be useful thanks to its louder tones.

Connection to T-Mobile's network was spot on without any loss in signal strength or dropped calls during our testing in the greater Philadelphia region.

Battery life met our requirements of lasting throughout a solid work day – meaning we managed to use it intensely for 8 hours. Once we got close to the 15 hour mark, the device started to display notifications to start charging it. The manufacturer has it rated for 4.5 hours of talk and 500 hours of standby time.


Just looking at the name probably brings a lot of similarities with the Motorola CLIQ, but the CLIQ XT substantially sets itself apart in many ways. Sure it's got no physical QWERTY keyboard that most people feel to be beneficial at times, but the CLIQ XT's superior messaging capabilities clearly make it jump straight to the top of the heap with its responsive feel and touch. There are also many goodies in the software to clearly differentiate it with the CLIQ – like the music player, multi-touch support, and Flash Lite to watch YouTube files. Clearly Motorola is positioning this device towards the mid-grade segment, but we feel that it has a place that most users can fit right in. Even though it might not excel in all aspects, the CLIQ XT showcases Motorola's stance in continuing their efforts in the market – they definitely have something in this device to make it stand out enough to be unique.

Motorola CLIQ XT Video Review:


  • Superior messaging experience
  • Great photo quality
  • Good calling quality
  • Flash Lite 3.0 Support


  • Poor battery life
  • Sometimes slows down
  • Unappealing design

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

7 Reviews

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