Review: Motorola Cliq Smartphone
Performance: A Mixed Bag
(Page 2 of 4)
The Cliq has a large, four-row keyboard for typing messages. The keyboard is passable, but doesn't match those developed by companies such as Research In Motion. The keys have a nice contour and shape to them, but travel and feedback -- how it actually feels to push the buttons -- isn't satisfying at all. There is also a five-way directional pad to the left of the keyboard, but this type of feature is pretty redundant on a touch phone.
Speaking of touching, the Cliq has a 3.1-inch touch display that measures 320 x 480 pixels. That's exactly the same as the iPhone and many other devices. It does just fine, but the phones being released by Samsung and HTC are packing in way more pixels. The Cliq's display certainly works well; it simply doesn't stand out when compared to its better-equipped peers. The AMOLED screen on the new Samsung Moment, for example, is stunning, as is the 480 x 854 high-resolution display of the Motorola Droid.
More Mobility Insights
White PapersMore >>
What unimpressed me most about the Cliq was the build quality. The materials are plastic-y and feel cheap. Not only that, the top half of the phone is not firmly installed. This means there is some side-to-side play, which detracts from the fit and finish of the device.
The hardware isn't bad, but it doesn't live up to the quality I know Motorola is capable of.
Just how well does the Cliq get its job done? A very mixed bag, I am afraid.
Call quality was solid, which I expect from Motorola phones. Motorola is all about making good radios, and the Cliq is no different. Calls via T-Mobile's network are free of the noises that can plague cell phones. I had no problems hearing those who called me, but the ringer could have been a bit louder. If you're thinking of taking a conference call on the Cliq with the speakerphone, go for it. The speakerphone worked really well.
On the data side of the equation, Web-surfing speeds were wildly inconsistent. The review unit I had experienced great difficulty finding and connecting to T-Mobile's 3G network -- even in areas with superb T-Mobile coverage. Other testers in different parts of the country had these same results, so I fear there may be some issue related to the 3G radio or software that prevents it from connecting. Given that the Cliq is a smartphone, it simply requires a 3G connection. Falling back to T-Mobile's EDGE network just isn't good enough. The Cliq sometimes had great 3G connections and speedy browsing, but most of the time it was connecting via EDGE. This is disappointing.