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Review of the Motorola CLIQ for T-Mobile - Moto's first Android phone

Review by Michael Oryl on Wednesday October 14, 2009.

motorola cliq · t-mobile · android reviews · smartphone reviews · motorola news · android news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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For beleaguered Motorola, the Android smartphone operating system can be considered something of a "hail mary" pass. If it succeeds, it will save the game - and the company. And if it fails... Well, it's more of the same bad luck that the company has seen over the past couple of years.

That's what makes the Motorola CLIQ for T-Mobile USA so important. This is a make or break moment for Motorola, and the first non-HTC Android smartphone to be offered by T-Mobile. Motorola has put much of its resources into the social networking and messaging focused MOTOBLUR system in the CLIQ. Read on to see if it scores a touchdown, or if the game has been lost.

Physical Design

At 114.5mm x 58mm x 16mm (4.5in x 2.3in x .6in) and 167g (5.9oz), the Motorola CLIQ is about the same size as current devices like the HTC Hero and Apple's iPhone, except that it is thicker and heavier due to the fact that it offers a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard offers four rows of keys and has a really great feel. I typically am not a fan of the keyboards found on sliders like the CLIQ, but found this particular keyboard to offer very good feel and not come across as being stretched inordinately wide like many others. This is probably due to the fact that next the keyboard sits next to a nice d-pad.

The front of the device is home to a rather typical 3.1-inch capacitive touchscreen(INFO) display that has a 320 x 480 pixel (half-VGA) resolution. The display is generally responsive, but there are a few glitches from time to time that are likely due to the fact that the firmware in my device was not quite final. Beneath the display is a set of flat hardware buttons. In spite of looking somewhat like touch sensitive controls, they are real buttons and produce a solid tactile click when pressed.

The back cover of the CLIQ has a nice textured pattern on it, and the white version even has a grippy, soft-touch coating on it. The metallic edges of the phone are where controls for volume, power, and the camera are located. An uncovered micro-USB port is also found on the edge of the phone. A similarly unobstructed 3.5mm headphone jack is located up top, and a sliding switch for activating the phone's silent mode is found on the left edge.

While the design of the CLIQ might not attract all that many stares in a crowded room, the build quality seems quite good and I have been pleased with it during day to day use. Motorola will need to add a bit more sex appeal to future Android devices to stay competitive, but for now, at least, the CLIQ is solid enough to stand on its own in today's market.

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Marsha @ 3:54:35PM EDT on Monday June 7, 2010

I have this phone and the service with T-Mobile is HORRIBLE. I keep getting drop call, I dont receive call in, and text messages are not going out. I have rest my phone 3 times and the customer dont know what they are doing.

Michael Oryl @ 4:17:34PM EDT on Monday June 7, 2010

I've been using this phone personally since before it was released, and the only problem I have with it is that occasionally the WiFi connection drops. I don't have problem with calls when there is a decent signal around.

Gary @ 3:31:48PM EDT on Friday August 20, 2010

Hi Michael. I have enjoyed your reviews here and on YouTube. They're thorough and beneficial. Thanks.

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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