Motorola has recently announced the new Fire and Fire XT Android smartphones. The Fire XT is the more expensive touch phone, while the Fire is the cheaper of the two and is of the touch and type variety. The number of phones launching with touch and type functionality is on the rise. But is the Fire worthy enough to warrant a buy? Read on to find out.
Poor build quality
Design and Build Quality
The Motorola Fire comes in a shiny black cover and has a silver coated rim running along the sides of the device. The design looks a little like the BlackBerry Curve series albeit with a bigger screen. The back and front of the phone is glossy and attracts a lot fingerprints and scratches. As far as the physical keyboard is concerned, there’s no spacing between each key and this might be problematic for people with big hands. However, a slight dent exists on each key to distinguish it from the other ones.
Volume rocker and camera button are on the right
It’s a touch and type device so there’s a physical QWERTY keyboard along with the four standard capacitive buttons in the front. The top consists of the headphone jack and the power button. The charging port is housed on the left, while the volume rocker and camera button is located on the right of the device. The microSD card slot is located underneath the battery, so there’s no hot swapping available. It weighs 110 grams, so it’s quite light.
Keys have no space in between them
The phone feels a little plasticy and the design isn’t particularly impressive either, and in terms of design and build, Motorola’s Fire disappoints.
The phone runs on a 600MHz processor. The phone comes with Motorola’s custom UI, the Moto Switch, and we couldn’t find anything but cons about the user interface in terms of experience and fluidity.
Firstly, the resolution of the phone is extremely low (240 x 320 pixels) and it becomes quite evident whilst simply viewing the home screen wallpaper on the 2.8-inch screen. Moto Switch is extremely sluggish and a lot of times the phone just hung or showed a black screen. A simple swipe through the home screen is enough to show the sluggishness. A lot of times there’s a time lag between the instant a key is pressed on the keyboard and the instant it’s registered on the screen. You’d definitely not want something like that from a ‘smartphone’ at least. Also, Motorola have gone and removed the call shortcut by default and that’s just plain irritating. Obviously, you can put a shortcut on your own, or you can double tap ALT and type the digits and press call in the Google search results you get. But pressing numbers on the QWERTY to call somebody definitely doesn’t beat the virtual dialling screen.
Extremely low res display
The one good thing about Moto Switch is that it gives you different home screen presets with
dedicated widgets so you can categorize them based on entertainment, business and so on. It's a cool feature, but it doesn't amount to much in terms of functionality. The interface is flawed and slow and we were extremely disappointed with it.
The media player is where the Motorola Fire shows some superiority. The connected music player has a lot of integrated features. The more prominent ones include embedded lyric search, song identification on the go. There’s the TuneWiki and community tab as well that lets you view what’s trending. Audio formats supported include MP3, WAV and eAAC+, but the quality isn’t too great. Music is loud, but it sounds extremely flat and the bundled headphones don’t help either. In short, the music player interface is interesting and useful, but the whole audio experience is dismal.