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Motorola Unveils 8MP Android XT720 Without MotoBLUR

Gordon Kelly

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[Updated] Motorola Unveils 8MP Android XT720 Without MotoBLUR

Well this isn't a surprise on what Apple might as well admit is fourth generation iPhone launch day...

Trying to understandably steal a little attention for itself is Motorola which has today confirmed a tweaked version of the Motoroi is coming to the UK. Now called the 'Milestone XT720' (I really don't comprehend why it doesn't use the 'Droid' marketing worldwide? Verizon's licenses it through Lucasfilm - cool!) it squashes in the power packed specs of the original: 3.7in WVGA (480X854) multi-touch capacitive display, 8MP camera with Xenon flash, 720p HD video recording, HSDPA, GPS, WiFi and HDMI for direct connection to a High Def tele.

What it drops is DMB mobile TV support which is understandable given DVB-H is the defacto standard in the UK. That isn't included though, because as yet we don't care about mobile TV. Elsewhere you'll find 8GB of native storage, a 32GB compatible microSD slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Perhaps most interesting, however, is Motorola will be shipping the XT720 without MotoBLUR - its custom Android skin. This means it will use a vanilla flavour of Android 2.1 which should make updating to new firmware like Froyo much easier. Motorola hasn't indicated whether this will be a consistent strategy from now on (I suspect not), but given our well known apathy towards third party UI customisations this is great step towards reducing fragmentation.

No network support has been announced as yet, but Motorola will also be selling the Milestone XT720 sim free at eXpansys.com, play.com and Clove from 11 June. All in all, just what we asked for.

Update: Motorola has confirmed the Xt720 will ship with a meatier 720MHz CPU and 512MB RAM in Europe.

xbrumster

June 7, 2010, 6:28 pm

looks well decent & plenty of Apple 4th gen design marks all over it. The volume botton, the flash/cam control, the square brick look, sensers in the front.. lol~





Will see what Apple brings out today and then decide whether Apple 4g or Moto XT720 is my next phone.

WyWyWyWy

June 7, 2010, 6:35 pm

That is because "Droid" is Verizon's not Motorola's.





Phone looks very nice though! Would definitely be interested if it is not much more money than the Desire.

ChaosDefinesOrder

June 7, 2010, 6:46 pm

"I really don't comprehend why it doesn't use the 'Droid' marketing worldwide?"





Because Verizon licensed the "Droid" branding from the Philip K Dick estate specifically for their network. It's not Motorola branding at all, hence Milestone in the UK not Droid and the existence of the HTC made Droid Incredible and Droid Eris also on Verizon only.





That's like saying "Why doesn't HTC use the XDA marketing worldwide?" a few years ago...

Gordon394

June 7, 2010, 7:39 pm

@WyWyWyWy ChaosDefinesOrder - that's for the info chaps. You learn something new everyday.

Dean

June 7, 2010, 7:50 pm

Am I right in thinking this handset is rocking a 550mHZ CPU? If so, surely it's going to be outdated by the time it hits the shelves?

HarryGlass

June 7, 2010, 7:54 pm

Your site has serious problems today, pages not loading and suchlike; I lost my comment on this.





@xbrumster: a volume button, a camera button and a rectangular shape; you mean like every other touchscreen (and not) phone. The iPhone is great ok, but don't be a complete Apple fanboy.





@Gordon: Why the continuous hate on 3rd party skins? It's one of the best ways manufacturers can add value and differentiate their products; hardware wise phones are converging. They add functions that aren't in vanilla Android and usually make it look prettier. As for fragmentation, these phones usually get rooted and custom ROMs built so it never holds back progress that much. My Samsung Galaxy is held back from updates more by hardware & drivers than any custom UI.





And why are manufacturers still releasing 2.1 (or 1.6 in some cases Dell Streak) when 2.2 is out and seemingly a substantial upgrade. I won't get a new Android phone until one comes out specifically designed for Froyo and beyond. It's one of the main advantages Apple has controlling hardware & software and could even sway me to the Apple camp from Android just knowing you'd always have the latest upgrades. (That said custom ROMS and the openness of Android will probably keep me loyal to it).

Chris

June 7, 2010, 8:01 pm

@ChaosDefinesOrder: Not Philip K Dick, you're thinking of 'Nexus', which is understandable :)





'Droid' is licensed from George Lucas. It even says (C) Lucasfilm in the small print on Verizon's marketing.

Gordon394

June 7, 2010, 8:09 pm

@HK - we know. Coder-type-people are in full on battle mode as we speak


@Dean Cook - it's 600MHz, but with no boggy UI on it that should be fine. It's all a question of optimisation. Remember the iPhone 3GS has a 600MHz processor.


@Chris - further clarification, ta!

Chris

June 7, 2010, 8:22 pm

@Gordon: Yeah, HK has a point in that just because a phone uses 'Vanilla' Android, that doesn't mean it's getting its updates direct from Google OTA. Only the Nexus One does this to my knowledge, though I'm sure someone will correct me there...





There will still be a delay between updates while manufacturers integrate new drivers into Google's new releases. Admittedly, we shouldn't expect anything like the kind of delays that HTC exhibit, with their extensive re-skinning. I'm just saying that having a vanilla Android phone isn't necessarily a guarantee of instant updates.





Besides, those call and message buttons on the home screen don't look entirely vanilla to me...

Gordon394

June 7, 2010, 8:43 pm

@Chris - no disagreement here. I make that point: "This means it will use a vanilla flavour of Android 2.1 which should make updating to new firmware like Froyo much easier." No OTA reference

Gordon394

June 7, 2010, 8:45 pm

@HK - PS regard my hatred of custom skins, you destroy your own point:





"It's one of the main advantages Apple has controlling hardware & software and could even sway me to the Apple camp from Android just knowing you'd always have the latest upgrades."

Chris

June 7, 2010, 9:19 pm

@Gordon: Fair enough, I didn't really mean to emphasise OTA. Allow me to rephrase:





I'm just saying that having a vanilla Android phone isn't necessarily a guarantee of instant, or even timely updates, if any. In some cases, this could mean that you're better off getting a phone from a manufacturer with a good record on updates, regardless of whether that phone uses extensive customisations or not.

ilovethemonkeyhead

June 7, 2010, 9:51 pm

why just today i sacrificed the htc sense interface on my desire for a taste of froyo - i like it a lot without the skin. i may just keep it that way :)

Andy0d2

June 7, 2010, 9:57 pm

I care about mobile TV!

HarryGlass

June 7, 2010, 11:37 pm

@Gordon: I don't see how I destroy my own point the two issues are not the same. 3rd party skins needn't be a bad thing. They also don't need to slow down the OS updates and hopefully with Froyo this will be less the case. The fact they're still brining out phones at 2.1 and below however does make it frustrating, cos obviously Apple aren't going to release iPhone 4 (yes I am reading the liveblogs and see the simple new name) with iOS 3 (gosh iPhone OS 3 sounds better, iOS is odd). New hardware should have the latest OS version.

BogBeast

June 7, 2010, 11:41 pm

Xenon flash, luverly..... and still a nice step up from my Hero.

rav

June 8, 2010, 12:06 am

@ilovethemonkeyhead


Which ROM are you using?

Greg17b

June 8, 2010, 12:09 am

And I thought this site would be talking all about this....





http://www.engadget.com/2010/0...

Gordon394

June 8, 2010, 12:41 am

@HK the fact you said you'd consider quitting Android handsets entirely over fragmentation entirely destroys your point and shows what a major issue it is.


@Greg: patience! We don't live blog, we get all the facts, put everything into a standalone article and actually show some journalistic class: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

Mattj

June 8, 2010, 1:32 am

"We don't live blog, we get all the facts, put everything into a standalone article and actually show some journalistic class"


And that's why I read TR more than Engadget now. :)

Runadumb

June 8, 2010, 2:00 am

Kinda annoying they crapped out on the processor. Isn't the new omap out yet? Other that that it looks great and the 8GB internal storage puts googles nexus one to shame. They should have done something similar, cheap bastards.


Got my wee sis a Moto Dext as it was half price (£150) and she loves it and seems to like blur to.





@Mattj engadget is being uncharacteristically reserved on the Iphone coverage. By that I mean they aren't drooling all over it while knocking one out to a picture of jobs. Theres still a lot of posts on it.

TheFlyingGerbil

June 8, 2010, 5:10 am

This design looks very eighties futuristic - I can't decide if I like it.

PGrGr

June 8, 2010, 2:32 pm

Isn't the lack of mobile TV in this country more to do with TV licensing issues?





I agree that fragmentation is bad in principle, but the HTC Sense additions to my Desire are just so good that they seem to overwhelm the argument.

RonRoyce

June 11, 2010, 9:21 pm

Looks like this could be my phone. That or Nexus one...

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