The Motorola Pro+ has a 3.1in display, but its resolution has been bumped up to 640 x 480 pixels, which is a significant increase on the previous Pro model. This provides a much better browsing experience than the likes of the HTC Cha Cha with its landscape screen. However, the screen is still a fair bit smaller than on most other touchscreen Android phones, and so you do find yourself having to do a lot more scrolling than usual when navigating pages.
The keyboard on the Pro+ should be its main selling point, but unfortunately it turns out to be a bit of a let down. The keys are angled like those on the latest Blackberry models, but the angle seems a bit too sharp and as a result the keys tend to feel uncomfortable after prolonged use. Also, they’re a tad too close together so you never feel sure that you’re pressing just one key rather than two. That said, the layout is pretty good, with dedicated buttons for commas and full stops as well as the ‘@’ symbol, and even one to activate voice search. It’s perhaps something you could get used to but in our time with the handset we didn’t learn to love it.
Flip the Pro+ over and you’ll find the 5.0Megapxel camera staring out at you. This supports autofocus and also has a single Led flash. Motorola has tweaked the camera app adding a menu bar down the left hand side that gives you quick access to stuff like the flash, scene modes and effects. Shots from the camera are a bit mixed, though. Colours are accurate and detail levels are generally good. However, it doesn’t always deal with exposure that well, especially when you’ve got bright sunlight in the background or when you’re using the flash indoors.
Performance wise this handset is no speed demon. Despite the 1GHz processor, things can feel a tad sluggish, with some noticeable slow downs here and there. It’s hard to tell whether this is really the fault of the processor, or just some bugs in the Motorola user interface, but either way it’s hard not to notice these random stutters.
Battery life was good, though. We got around a day and a half out of it, which is a bit better than a lot of the other Android handsets we’ve tested recently. Call quality was a bit middling, however. The earpiece isn’t as loud and doesn’t deliver as clear speech as the very best Android models.
The Pro+’s portrait screen does work much better for browsing than the landscape displays used on other Android messaging phones, such as the HTC Cha Cha. However, this benefit is somewhat negated by the below par keyboard and the phone is less than lightning fast performance. If you’re dead set on a Qwerty shod Android device it’s worth giving the Pro+ a whirl, but we think most people will find themselves better served elsewhere.
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