Unboxed – Motorola Milestone

Motorola recently found its way out of the mobile wilderness with the DEXT, a keen social networker with a QWERTY keyboard. And now it's sent us what

Motorola recently found its way out of the mobile wilderness with the DEXT, a keen social networker with a QWERTY keyboard. And now it's sent us what it hopes will be a RAZR-like cash cow – the Milestone.

It has two big claims – it's the first phone to run Android 2.0, and is the world's thinnest QWERTY slider. Of course, the US has already been treated to the Droid, and the Milestone only differs from it in two ways.

First, the good news – the web browser has full, 'pinch-to-zoom' multitouch, and renders sites well.

Unfortunately, the comparitively weak 533Mhz ARM processor means it feels a little jerky and sluggish compared to the iPhone and HTC HD2.

The Milestone's styling is a little drab, but there's no denying it's very slim – and as you can see above, there's a 3.5mm headphone port on the top.

The lack of Google Maps Navigation (as seen on the Droid) is an issue when you find that Motorola's own Motonav is only free on a 90-day trial, after which you'll need to cough up £30 for a year of use. It's also not quite as pretty as Google's free software, but we'll reserve judgement for when we've taken it for a spin.

One of the Milestone's best features is, surprisingly, the optional £30 dock (see top of the page) – dock the phone and it instantly flips into 'bedside table mode', showing the time, weather and shortcuts to your media. If only it had the Palm Pre's (admittedly pointless) 'magnetic induction'.

It's a shame the Milestone's QWERTY is so spongy it's like typing on a flan – there are no spaces between the keys like on the Nokia N97 or HTC Touch Pro2 either, so it's easy to press the wrong key. We spent much of the time using the onscreen keyboard instead.

Without any skinning like HTC's Sense, though, the Milestone is very quick around Android's menus, and Android 2.0 now brings support for Exchnage accounts – so there's no need to go onto Marketplace for an app like RoadSync.

Look out for a full review and video of the Milestone very soon, but in the meantime you can get a taster with our Motorola Droid review.