Thursday, December 24, 2009

Motorola CLIQ Review - Part 2

Technology Review

Week two on the Motorola CLIQ has brought a lot of insight about the device.  Some of the newness polish has worn off.  I’ve seen application Force Close (application crashes) a number of times and have had to hard reset, deleting all data and installed applications, twice now.  Nevertheless, there’s still a lot to love about the application.

What I Don’t Like, Even Hate
I’ve noticed some very distinct quirks about the device.  To start off, I noticed the bluetooth connection is quirky.  Specifically, when I use the car bluetooth to dial a number, meaning, I tell the car navigation system to dial a stored number or spell-out the number, the phone resets. It just shuts itself off and restarts.  This doesn’t happen every time, but almost.  It’s quite annoying.  I’ve had to resort to dialing on the phone, disconnecting and then using the car navigation system to redial.  This takes away from the whole idea of hands-free safe phone dialing.

Next, the applications from the Android Market are not certified in any way, nor do they have any quality standards.  They’re also not tested on any particular Android OS version.  What this means is that some of the applications Force Close (the equivalent of an application crash) and restart…sometimes.  Mind you, most of this may seem as mere annoying.  However, one or more of the applications I downloaded Force Closed one too many times…or I think.  It lead to continuous crash of MotoBlur, which made the device unusable.  I had to Hard Reset the application to get it running again. 

The problem with a Hard Reset is that it wipes not only all of your data, but also all applications that weren’t installed at factory.  One saving grace for MotoBlur is that once you’ve setup an account and you Hard Reset the device, all you need to do is login to your existing account: all application settings and shortcuts are restored within half hour to an hour.  As I mentioned earlier though, you don’t get your applications back.  You still have to hunt for and download them again.

The sad part of this is that I had to Hard Reset the device the first time the day I purchased it since I had misspelled my name in my MotoBlur registration.  Apparently MotoBlur doesn’t allow you to change your name or any personal information either on the device or on their website.  How absurd is that?  It was inconvenient at the time, but I thought very little of it.  It just told me the application and it’s supporting solutions were in their infancy.  The whole device reminds me a bit of the Windows 3’s debut.

I’d gotten used to carrying my previous phone in my pocket.  I still owned a holster, but used it only if I was wearing slacks and needed a more formal look for a professional meeting.  Naturally, I initially carried the CLIQ in my pocket.  The problem is that the phone is very heavy.  As a result, it swims around in my pocket.  Regrettably, I’ve had to order a holster to make carrying the device easier.

The next point has nothing to do with the device, but with the face shield I bought for it. I don’t have the original packaging.  So, I’m not sure of the brand.  What I can tell you is that it’s a clear plastic sheet placed on the screen to prevent it from scratching.  The problem is that the touch-screen doesn’t respond as well with the shield placed on it.  I believe this is a result of an added insulation created by the sheet, preventing the screen from properly detecting my fingers.  I took it off tonight and rediscovered the delight of having a responsive screen.

What I Like So Far
With that said, there’s still a lot I like about the device.  I love the fact that I have a full browser.  Typing addresses is easy with both the on-screen and the slide-out keyboard.  I love the zoom as well as full-page view capabilities too. 

As much as I find issues with the applications, I love the Android Market.  People see the phone, start asking me about it, then ask if a particular applications is available on it.  I immediately search the Market and almost inevitably find the application. 

Among the applications, I enjoy having a Google Search app that I can both type into and use a voice command with.  The Google Map rocks too.  Not only does it show my location and give me directions to a destination, I also get traffic update along with the ability to use voice command to search for a local business, like the nearest pizza joint.  There are other applications that do this with an attractive interface, like Sherpa.  There are too many cool applications to mention.

I love that I have multiple “desktops” on which I can place application shortcuts.  Think of Windows desktop and imagine having five of them, but miniaturized.  I can group shortcuts and place games on one, navigation and product search tools on another, multimedia apps and pictures on the third, calendar, news and Office viewing tools on a fourth, with the home screen filled with social media and messaging tools by default.

There’s also a slide-out application tray that contains an alphabetized list of all of the installed apps.  Think of the Programs folder in a Windows OS with no subfolders, containing all of your applications.  This can get messy, but it still works.  I wish I had a way of creating folders or categories and a filtering mechanism to reduce the number of applications shown.

I also love the ability to navigate from application to application, desktop to desktop, using the sliding motion on the touchscreen.  There’s a coolness factor in that which brings out the kid in me.  I catch myself giggling with joy using it.

If you want more, hang in there.  I’ll keep posting in the weeks ahead.

What Do You Think?

Feel free to comment below.

Related Posts

Motorola CLIQ Review – Part 1
How I almost Dumped the CLIQ: Review – Part 3
Motorola CLIQ Review – Part 4
Motorola CLIQ Review – Part 5

Photo Credit: All photos are Motorola’s and RIM’s.