Motorola Milestone 2 first impressions and hands-on

It's immediately recognisable as the sister phone to Moto's first-gen Milestone, but a quick tour of the second coming of Motorola's Android slider go

It's immediately recognisable as the sister phone to Moto's first-gen Milestone, but a quick tour of the second coming of Motorola's Android slider got us to pay attention...

As Roy Walker would have said in his Catchphrase days, "Say what you see." Yes, it's a Milestone alright. And there's been no radical departure from the original design blueprint. That's not altogether a bad thing – the firm slider action is more or less identical, for instance. There's something different about that keyboard, though – the nav pad on the right-hand side is conspicuously absent, leaving more room for wider keys. Those keys have been puffed out, too, making typing easier.

 

Recognise that? It's the same lens from the Milestone. And behind it is the same 5MP sensor. We're told picture quality has improved and though we didn't do a direct comparison, colour and motion capture looked impressive, possibly as a result of better hardware elsewhere (not least the 1GHz proceessor and improved graphics rendering).

 

Again, the speaker fissure below the battery cover has been lifted directly from the original Milestone. Meanwhile, that rear chin at the base has been smoothed down to a barely perceptible lip.

 

Oh, whoopie... a picture of an app screen. Well, yes – but there is confirmation of its Android 2.2 OS top left – the wireless hotspot icon. We watched a MacBook Pro sucking down a 720p movie trailer via the Milestone 2 in an area of limited 3G reception without stopping to buffer. 

 

Here's the on-screen keyboard, for when you just can't be bothered to get the QWERTY out. And there's more good news for you, lazybones – the Milestone 2 will come with finger-tracing Swype software pre-installed for inputting text almost as fast as you could have done with the proper keyboard below deck.

Remember we mentioned better rendering? Here's Need For Speed: Shift rocking along at 40fps. There was no visible judder on our pre-production unit and while the 3.7in screen isn't Retina Display or Super AMOLED impressive, the 854x480 resolution looks pretty decent. Our overall first impressions are that if you hated the Mllestone/Droid, you won't find much to swing your opinion here. On the other hand, if you liked the first cut, but could use a spec upgrade and all the benefits of Android 2.2 (Froyo), the Milestone 2 awaits. We'll be back with a full review when it launches.