Motorola XPRT Reviewed - Putting the XPRT into Expert?
The Motorola XPRT is Sprint's answer to the Motorola Droid Pro from Verizon. The XPRT hopes to capture the business level users with security features and global capabilities. But does the XPRT really come off as a smartphone for experts or does it lack the abilities like it lacks vowels?
The Expert Business Smartphone
The Motorola XPRT is Sprint's rendition of the Motorola Droid Pro that was released earlier on Verizon. Motorola has done a fantastic job broadening their horizons and offering varying levels of Android powered smartphones for different market segments. The XPRT is targeted towards the more higher end, business users. As the name suggests, the Motorola XPRT is supposed to be the 'expert' smartphone for business users, offering features that are helpful to its targeted users such as 256 AES encryption.
Motorola XPRT Specifications:
- Dimensions: 4.70 x 2.40 x 0.51 inches (119 x 61 x 13 mm)
- Weight: 5.10 oz (145 g)
- Display: 3.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display, 320 x 480 pixels
- Memory: 2 GB and expandable up to 32 GB via micro SD slot
- OS: Android OS 2.2
Processor: 1 GHz TI OMAP
- Camera: 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
- Connectivity: GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 / CDMA 800, 1900 / UMTS 850, 1900, 2100
- Data: 1xEV-DO rev.A / EDGE
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1
- GPS: GPS with A-GPS
- Battery: Li-Ion 1860 mAh
Design and Display
The Motorola XPRT should look very familiar to users of the Droid Pro offered on Verizon. In fact, the two phones are nearly indistinguishable when it comes to design and display. Like the Droid Pro, the XPRT, mimmicks the design aspects of a BlackBerry, featuring a 3.1 inch touch capacitive screen and a full physical, portrait oriented, QWERTY keyboard residing right underneath it. The keys on the keyboard have a small slant, that really helps with one handed typing. Between the display and keyboard is a familiar set of shortcuts used by Android powered smartphones for menu, home, back and search.
Along the left edge of the XPRT resides the volume rocker and microUSB used for charging and data transfer. Along the right edge is a programmable button for a bit of customization. Up top you'll find the power / lock button and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The bottom edge of the XPRT is blank, with just the microphone for the phone. Wrapping around the back of the phone is the 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash.
Another small design addition the XPRT has is the inclusion of a message notification light next to the Motorola label on the top of the phone. Many BlackBerry users rely, or even live by this small notification light. There are users who are even hesitant to move away from a BlackBerry because Android powered smartphones lack this notification light. Motorola made a wise choice to include it on a smartphone targeting business users. Overall the Motorola XPRT is designed solidly, feels very stable in hand and has the small nuances required to help it stand out for the business crowd.
The Motorola XPRT sports a 1 GHz TI OMAP processor, which is a familiar processor for Motorola smartphones. This powerful processor powers a preinstalled version of Android 2.2, with a very slimmed version of MotoBLUR running on top. It is a bit disappointing to see that the XPRT is running on 2.2, considering the Motorola Droid Pro just recently started receiving over the air updates to Android 2.3. Rumors are that the Motorola XPRT will receive the update very soon as well, but as of the release, it is still preloaded with Android 2.2.
The call quality on the Motorola XPRT was great, with incoming calls coming in clear and concise and outgoing calls also coming up with the same results. The phone also has the ability to use international GSM networks, however, it cannot use the U.S. GSM bands, so there is no way to use this smartphone on AT&T or T-Mobile, which was to be expected. The XPRT also comes with an extremely powerful 1860 mAh battery which lasts quite a while. Even after calling, browsing and watching videos, since the morning, the XPRT was able to hold a decent charge until 10 hours later, at which point it was plugged in. The battery on the XPRT is larger than those found on the Samsung Galaxy S or even its close cousin, the Motorola Droid Pro.
The user interface on the Motorola XPRT will come as no surprise to long time users of Android smartphones. It's simple, clean and guided by touch, meaning it's extremely easy to learn and use. The 3.1 inch screen does feel somewhat crowded at times, but the overall experience is good. There is little to no lag when switching from application to application and the whole interface feels extremely smooth.
The keyboard itself is also very functional. The keys are tilted slightly, making it easier to find keys and move from one key to the next. The slants also help in one handed typing for those who are on the go, though it is not recommended to type or text while driving. However, if you're in a rush with a bagel in one hand and the XPRT in the other, the slanted keys are helpful in sending out that last e-mail. Overall the touchscreen interface, mixed with the solid keyboard and smooth responses, makes the user interface on the phone a good experience, not a horrifying one.
The Motorola XPRT comes with familiar and unique features to the smartphone market. The 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash is a common addition to most Android powered smartphones. The camera on the XPRT is decent and the dual LED flash really does help quite a bit in low light situations. For business users, an all in one device is more useful than having to carry multiple devices, and the camera on the XPRT can easily replace a separate digital camera.
An interesting, unique feature that the phone offers is 256 bit AES encryption on both the device and the microSD cards held within the phone. This is actually Sprint's first smartphone to feature this type of encryption. This means the files, contact information and even the pictures taken with the 5 megapixel camera can be safely stored on the device. If encryption isn't enough to keep you feeling safe, the Motorola XPRT also provides remote lock and wiping capabilities. This means if you lose your XPRT, you can have the phone revert back to factory settings and wipe any and all information, including sensitive information from the device.
Another little feature this phone has is the ability to connect to GSM networks internationally. This feature has been seen in other Motorola smartphones such as the Motorola Droid 2 Global and the XPRT's cousin the Motorola Droid Pro. While the feature cannot be used in the U.S. as it has been locked out from using AT&T and T-Mobile USA networks, it can be used in most other countries around the world, except Korea and Japan in Asia.
The Final Verdict
The Motorola XPRT easily ranks in as a 'Good' smartphone for business level users. While RIM is slowly trying to make its return with the BlackBerry, signs are pointing to a possible slow death. For BlackBerry users looking to hop onto Android, the Motorola XPRT is a solid choice. Motorola did a great job making the XPRT a business oriented phone, with the small nuances such as the notification light, to the extremely helpful security features such as encryption and remote wiping. All around, the Motorola XPRT is a solid smartphone for business minded users, as well as those who want a bit more security on their personal smartphones.
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