The Motorola Cliq XT is a quick and responsive little devil. I never waited for it to do anything, except download email attachments, which is more likely a network issue than a device one.
Since it’s an Android phone, you can access thousands of apps in the Android Market, though it seems that the basic apps you need are already included. And with MotoBlur, which keeps track of your online accounts, all you have to do is enter your username and password if you’ve used the same service on another device, and you’ll find that the phone practically configures itself.
Call quality is absolutely excellent and it sounds like you’re on a landline phone. I couldn’t be more pleased with the voice quality; I can clearly hear folks on the other end, and they can hear me perfectly, even if I’m outside. I didn’t happen to walk through construction zones while I was testing the device, so I can’t speak to whether or not it will still work that well if you find yourself six inches from a jackhammer. But I can say that the device will likely shine in many situations.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work exactly as expected. Once I set up a Wi-Fi network, downloads were much faster, which is especially welcome considering the somewhat glacial speed of T-Mobile’s network in my local area.
One of the nicest things about phones based on the Android platform is that as soon as I sign in, my entire life is magically synched to the phone. The same is true of the Cliq XT; after a while, my calendar and contact information was in the phone and I was able to be productive right away.
The calendar syncs with both Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar, and if you have multiple calendars set up on Google, everything is there on the Cliq XT, down to the same color tags.
The contacts app keeps you organized and socially-connected at the same time. The tabbed interface combines your phone history with the contact, relevant information like email and phone numbers, as well as Facebook updates and Twitter posts.
The email experience is simply fantastic, whether you’re using Gmail or Exchange. I was able to speed through both of my inboxes and address a huge pile of messages very quickly. Attachments aren’t automatically downloaded for you, but it takes just a couple of taps to bring them to your phone.
Other features include a built-in alarm clock, a customizable news/RSS reader, Google Maps and a TeleNav GPS Navigator. I found the GPS feature to be both accurate and fast. With other devices, it takes awhile to find my location, but with the Cliq XT it took a few seconds. I happen to prefer Google Maps to TeleNav, but the TeleNav traffic alart feature could be particularly useful if you have a long and/or brutal daily commute.
The web browsing experience is fabulous as well. No matter what page I visited, I had no problem accessing the content in a readable fashion. The experience was notably slower when I was using T-Mobile’s data network, but I practically flew through the Web when using Wi-Fi.
The music player is fully featured, allowing you to access music as well as FM radio, the Amazon MP3 store and Slacker Personal Radio. The community feature gives you access to playlists, music videos, Facebook and Twitter. There’s even a built-in music identification feature, in addtion to the Shazam app that is also included on the device. I know some folks might think it’s overkill, but I like having both services available. I always find it incredibly frustrating when I can’t identify that song that I seem to hear everywhere, be it on the radio or a TV commercial.
The YouTube application works beautifully, and I wasted more time than I care to admit watching the latest crazy videos. Video is clear and the sound quality is very good as well. If you’re addicted to YouTube, you’ll probably enjoy using the device.
The 5 megapixel camera takes great shots, and both the zoom and the LED flash work surprisingly well. While the camera and camcorder don’t have the bells and whistles I would expect to find on a standalone digital camera, the Cliq XT does a very capable job of capturing everyday moments you might otherwise miss.
Battery life is surprisingly good. I’ve been using the Cliq XT heavily for the past several days, and the battery meter is barely budging. The manufacturer claims standby times of up to 17 days and up to seven hours of talk time, and I’m inclined to believe it.
I haven’t had the device long enough to test those claims fully, but it seems like the Cliq XT is sipping the electrical juice, not chugging it.