By November 4, 2009

Motorola Dext review

Motorola (Cliq) Dext Review

I keep hearing that Motorola are on their uppers and that they are desperate to find a replacement for the oh so popular Razr. It has been a long time in coming but one of the devices that Motorola is hanging their hats on is the Motorola Dext, as named in the UK, but more widely known as the Cliq elsewhere in the world.

When asked if I would review the Dext, I was more interested in how Motorola had played with Android than the device itself. Having now used the device in anger will it prove to be the Motorola saviour?

The Motorola Dext (Cliq)

The Motorola Dext (Cliq)


What’s in the Dext box?

  • The device sits on the top as seen in Matt’s unboxing
  • USB to microUSB cable
  • USB connecting AC plug
  • Stereo headphones with 3.5mm jack
  • Slim and small getting started guide, called ‘Focus on what matters’

Have a look at Matt’s Motorola Dext unboxing video for more on what’s in the box and a tour of the handset.


Motorola Dext (Cliq) Specification:

  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM7201A Processor, 528 MHz
  • Dimensions (mm): 114 x 58 x 15.6
  • Weight (g): 163
  • Screen Size: 3.1 inch , HVGA 320 x 480 pixels (Touchscreen)
  • QWERTY-Keyboard
  • MotoBLUR UI, Custom homescreen with Live Widgets
  • Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
  • 256MB RAM, 512MB ROM
  • Micro SD, up to 32 GB (2GB card included)
  • Li – ion 1420 mAh
  • Stand-by (hrs): 324
  • TalkTime(min): 360
  • FM Radio
  • Video Support: H.264, H.263, MPEG 4, YouTube
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP
  • Micro USB
  • Android 1.5
  • Android HTML Webkit browser
  • CMOS, 5.0 Megapixel Camera
  • Digital zoom

Around the Motorola Dext

On the top just the 3.5mm jack for the supplied headset or one of your own.

Motorola Dext top view

Motorola Dext top view


The left hand side has a silencer switch, volume up/down rocker and the microUSB port for charge cable.

Motorola Dext left side

Motorola Dext left side


There is nothing to mention on the bottom of the unit.

The right hand side is home to the dedicated camera button and the on/off button.

Motorola Dext right side

Motorola Dext right side


On the back there is a dimpled casing, Orange logo and the 5 megapixel camera, but no flash or mirror.

Motorola Dext back view

Motorola Dext back view


The front of the device as the 3.1” HVGA 320 x 480 touchscreen and three button configuration which from , left to right, are the menu key, home key and the back key. Below the home key is the microphone. Obvious omissions here are a forward facing camera, and phone dial and end keys which are all included in the touchscreen.

Motorola Dext front view

Motorola Dext front view


Slide the Dext open and there is a 4 row QWERTY keyboard which on the 4th row includes an ‘ALT’ key, zoom key, space bar, symbol key and finally a back key. Along side of this is a D-Pad and enter key.

Motorola Dext front view showing the keyboard

Motorola Dext front view showing the keyboard


Dext Highlights

  • MotoBlur
  • Keyboard

Dext Lowlights

  • The screen if I’m being picky
  • Audio quality
  • Heavy/chunky device, taken on other peoples impression



Straight out of the box, this phone is going to be compared to the likes of the Touch Pro and Pro 2, Nokia N97 etc with regards to a slider phone, and on that front I found that it appears solid and its curved edges it sits well in the hand. The slider is also solid and provides a satisfying click at the end of its travel. There is no getting away from the fact that it is a heavy phone however it is lighter than the TP2, weighing in at 168g. I don’t mind the overall weight and size as for me it makes a better feel of quality and build, unfortunately I have to bow to popular opinion of my friends and colleagues that it is heavy and chunky.

Nice to see that they have adopted the 3.5mm jack for headset, meaning you can use what you like, but why can’t these manufacturers decide on a charge connector and stick with a universal solution? Either chose a miniUSB or a microUSB; we aren’t bother which just chose ONE! (For me miniUSB as micro can be a bit fiddly.)

Another unfortunate piece of timing for the Dext is that I am also in the midst of a Samsung Galaxy and Acer F1, which both manage to put the screen on the Dext to shame, don’t get me wrong the screen is Ok but when compared to the other new kids on the block they definitely win that war in the sharpness and colour stakes. That said it is very quick and responsive, and the transition from portrait to landscape works well.

Again out of the box, I struggled to set up the Dext; I subsequently found out that as Matt had set up his Blur account, it effectively locks the device to his account. I had to do a hard reset to get it to work for me. Which to be fair is exactly what Blur is there for. Remember that if you sell your Dext, hard reset to wipe all your details.

MotoBlur review

Switching on the phone for the first involves putting on the kettle and making a brew while Motorola configures and then Orange configures……meanwhile…..4 mins later….registration required

In depth, MotoBlur, from start to finish works as so.

On setting up the device you have to create a Blur account, this involves agreeing to the T&C’s, Name, email, password, confirm, a point to note here is make sure you have wifi on or a sim inserted. The screen shows ‘Creating account’….now set up your account…this offers options to log on to your existing accounts in MySpace, Facebook. Google, LastFM, Twitter, email, corporate sync, Picasa and Photobucket. Once you have logged on to each that you use including multiple email accounts, there’s it a tick on each box you have logged into and your done.

These accounts now appear on the main screen and are constantly monitored for updates or in Motorola talk ‘happenings’. The great thing about this is that all of your ‘happenings’ are in one place, no more logging into Facebook and then Twitter and then your email…it’s all available and easily notified. Click on the message button and the Dext lists all your accounts and notifies if there are any new contacts. Likewise you can post an update and have it appear on all of your accounts in one hit.

The beauty is that once read they disappear for the main screen, meaning that you can see at a glance if there are any new unread messages. I thought this was great and very time saving, and it proved to be very reliable as well. Furthermore logging on to your Blur account on the internet gives you the extra control of importing and exporting Contacts, (which I couldn’t get to work) if not already done by logging into Googlemail account and autosyncing. Locate your phone, if lost or stolen and the added ability to delete your Data from a lost phone that you can’t locate. This wipes all of your texts and accounts that you have set up.

Back to the Review

The Android is fairly standard on the Dext being 1.5, there are 5 start screens loaded from the outset with Ministry of Sound, Tricks and Tips, Getting started, Messages, Google search, Reuters, T3 News, Browser, Market, Orange Maps and finally Discovery. These at first glance appear a little busy, but of course all are customisable or deleteable.

The silence button for me was a waste of space; I am sure if I had remembered it was there I would have used it but never once did.

For those of you who seem to want to use these devices for texting and phoning, for some reason, there is good news and bad news. The texting side is a doddle with the choice of onscreen keyboard or hardware keyboard, both of which are easy to use, the standard android keyboard in portrait and the hardware in landscape. I am not a huge fan of hardware keyboards and at first didn’t like the look of the layout, I would still prefer an extra row dedicated to numbers but I found this present layout very easy and quick to use, with a decent spacing and nice click on each key press. Alongside the included D-Pad it all combined to make life very easy.

Motorola Dext keyboard close-up

Motorola Dext keyboard close-up


The bad news is the sound quality, which unfortunately isn’t the best; it is tinny on the earpiece and on the loudspeaker, as well and not being fantastic on the earphones. Maybe this is repairable with product updates?

GPS worked exactly as expected and coupled with Google maps worked well, unfortunately as seen in Matt’s unboxing, Matt could not get Orange world to start, and likewise I could not get Orange maps to fire up either, strange.

Secondly I would have liked to have shown a few screen shots, but having played with the SDK’s etc. I never got that far and didn’t get the Dext to play nicely..sorry, if anyone has screen shots of the MotoBlur in action it might be worth sending them in to be added?

The camera, always a talking point, is also not brilliant, the lack of extras like flash, mirror etc. Add to make the overall quality of either photo or video not that good, photos are quite poor in low light and bright light. Video is not too bad but still not comparable to the other machines that have been review recently. This appears to be a common trait with the new devices, putting the camera side of life low on the list of priorities, but when added to the fact that the audio isn’t that good either what is there left?




I really liked my time with the Dext, that was I thought I did, but on reflection I discovered that the fact is I really like Android, and I really like the MotoBlur feature and usability and is was coincidence that it happened to appear on the Dext that gave it the initial thumbs up, but the Dext is far from perfect, it is very capable and nice and easy to use, it has a lot of good points in build and keyboard etc. but if it will prove to be the saviour for Motorola….I don’t think so.

I have decided that I now want to see an Android device with touchscreen and a keypad rather than a keyboard…any takers?


Review by: Steve

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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