Review: Motorola Fire
- — 09 July, 2012 22:00
|Name||Smartphone: Motorola Fire|
|At a glance:||Bevelled keyboard for easy typing,Screen is low-res and can be hard to read,Good speed and range of apps|
|Summary:||Pocketable, with a nice keyboard.|
Motorola's Fire is not pretty. There, I said it. It’s all shiny piano black and ghastly silver plastic highlights, and the buttons, especially the power button, feel flimsy.
But it’s no worse-looking than many other super-cheap phones, and its keyboard instantly draws the eye – and the fingers. With good reason; this keyboard is actually pretty functional. It’s a little on the small side, but as long as your fingers aren’t too big, it supports touch-typing surprisingly well.
Also surprising is how fast the Fire feels given its 600MHz processor with a paltry 256MB RAM. Apps loaded speedily for a phone in this price range.
It runs Android 2.3, with a Motoblur UI, but this phone isn’t so much social as it is business – the apps include voice memo, file manager, Wi-Fi hotspot and note taker. That helps Motoblur not feel too overwhelming for the Fire. You can set the phone into one of four ‘modes’ that adjusts the home screen widgets, and it’s all fairly pain-free.
The big downside is the screen. It’s pretty basic, and even with the minimalist design on Motoblur is feels very low-res and blocky. It makes text hard to read, and photographs hard to view. The camera itself is produces reasonably sharp shots, even if it has a tendency to oversaturate, and uses a Motoblur camera app with fewer options than the usual Android camera app.
Overall, this is a bit of a mixed bag. We’re scratching our heads a little over the good keyboard and up-to-date OS (for the sub-$400 'budget' category) being partnered with a poor screen. But for a cheap business phone, it’s a palatable option.