motocharm6

Motorola Charm Android Smartphone Review: Not So Charming After All

September 25, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic


Introduction

Today we take a look at the Motorola charm and this is the latest in the motoblur series from Motorola that has a unique design for android.  It has the blackberry styled form factor with qwerty keyboard on the front.  Is a truly unique design to android which I expect to be the first of many.

Looks

Motorola charm is a sharp looking little phone with a while later qwerty keyboard on the front with the traditional home, back, menu buttons.  As a common up and down volume rocker, 3.5 mm jack and the power button conveniently located on the top of the many USB Port as well.  Its size is 98.4x 67.2x 11.4 mm in size and weighs in at a total of 110g, on the back we have the camera and as well while Motorola calls a ‘Backtrack’ touch panel that allows you to navigate through screens much like a directional pad or a Trackball would.  Overall the phone fits nicely in your hands and as a sharp looking little phone that fits nicely and your shirt pocket.

Hardware

The phone is powered by a 600 MHZ processor and 512 MB of ram and it has internal memory of 150 MB and supports microSD cards up to 32GB.  The wi-fi does support and class bluetooth 2.1.  The hardware on this phone does seem a little laggy that does not seem to be able to process applications as quick as other phones that are using the same 600 MHZ processor.

Screen

The screen is a 2.8 inches with the resolution of 320×240 QVGA and 120 dpi up to 16M colors TFT capacitive touchscreen and does have Gorilla Glass display.  While it does have a tough class that should be and to scratch resistant than do find the colors to be a little below average compared to hire-end android smart phones. The screen is very hard to read from and is probably one the poorest screens of any android phone i have used.

Battery

Battery life will vary based on usage and applications that you have running on the phone but it is rated for 334 HRS in standby mode and up to 5 hours of talk time.  The battery life on this phone in real life conditions was above average and should keep most smart phone owners happy considering that it does have a smaller LI-ION 1130 mAh battery.

Operating System

The phone is running android operating system version 2.1 that seems to be a little underpowered because of the processor but nevertheless still under updated version of the operating system.  Most Motoblur phones not come with updated operating systems so this definitely is refreshing.  However the latest android operating system is 2.2 and with Motorola’s entry devices it is hard to tell if it will get the software update.

Software

The phone comes with Moto blur software 1.5 that allows for customizable home screens are widgets can be moved and re-sized on the seven home screen panels.  You can sink and merge emails tax social networking messages posts feeds and status updates into widgets called message in happenings that allows you to stay connected with all the latest updates.  It also allows for photo sharing with my space, photo bucket, picasa and face book.  While the software is very connected to social media and keeping you up to date with the latest happenings via your home screen.  A lot of people do like Moto blur software but avid android users prefer to use applications instead of having their phone come with software installed. The software does have glitches as it does not seem to go into landscape mode properly and also tends to zoom in on the browser automatically on some pages and navigation can be very laggy and sluggish.

Applications

Has outlined earlier the Motorola charm comes with moral blur software that features widgets for your home screen to keep you connected with social media.  It also comes with your standard android applications and is well access to the android market where you can download any application that you desire.  As well Motorola has an application called phone portal allowing you to sink media between devices.  In terms of additional application is phone has pretty bare bones and the terms of additional applications that come with a phone.

Keyboard

One thing that I am always impressed with is how well Motorola makes their keyboards as they are always highly accurate which is a very important feature on a smart phone.  The keyboard on the Motorola charm is a qwerty keyboard that is conveniently located on the front of the phone with buttons that are not too big or too small perfect sizing for the smaller phone while it is missing a directional keypad on the front it does have directional keys on the keyboard as well as shortcuts to many useful functions of the phone.  That being said there is well also the backtrack which is located on the back of the phone which allows you to use it as a navigational pad to move around your phone access applications or just scroll.  All I did find the backtrack to be a little awkward too use I could definitely see how some users would find this an advantage over using the directional keypads on the keyboard.  Overall keyboard is quite impressive on this font and definitely one of the major pluses for this phone.

Web Browsing Camera and Video

While this Motorola charm does have a smaller display compared to some of the larger android smart phones on the market it is nots that small in comparison to some cell phones.  Browsing on this phone it did have some issues in the way it did layout and waved it landscape and navigation and I recommend to users that are considering buying this phone to try it out before they make that final decision as it did find it a little awkward compared to other android devices.  The camera on this phone is 3MP which is a little small but will take pictures of decent quality it has digital zoom, the focus is fixed.  Does record video at 24 FPS.  Considering the size of this phone these features are on par but a little disappointing compared to more advanced android devices.

Call Quality

Call quality was average what could be a little bit better.

Pros:

  • Keyboard
  • Android OS 2 0.1
  • The size
  • Blackberry style

Cons:

  • Very Poor Screen Quality
  • Moto blur software
  • Processor
  • Camera

Conclusions and Final thoughts:

The Motorola charm is the first black to restyled android device to come to market which is a refreshing style to a market of devices that seem to be very similar in shape and style.  This will appease many people that want the qwerty style keyboard on the front and the flexibility of the android operating system.  The size of this phone and the keyboard or definitely major selling points and I see this device being popular with users new to the android operating system.  Android enthusiasts will deftly not be impressed with the outdated and bloated Motoblur software and will probably pass up this phone.  The lack of a quality processor deftly keeps it out of the high end of market and makes this an entry level phone.  I’m sure will not be long before a high end qwerty blackberry styled android smart phone makes it to market and gives the Motorola charm some serious competition or leaving it in the dust.  I recommend this phone to blackberry users and those new to android, avid android users will definitely want to look elsewhere. Overall the fit and finish is there on this phone but Motoblur software runs very poorly and with awful display on means i cannot recommend this smartphone. The phone is only $29.99 at the time of this review Telus Canada were offering the phone on a three year contract.