The Motorola Devour runs Google’s Android OS 1.6, a slightly older version of the operating system. However, Motorola has added additional software to the smartphone that duplicates many features in more recent versions of Android.
Its 600 MHz processor is slightly faster than the one in the Motorola Droid, giving the Devour good performance.
One of the most interesting features of the device is MotoBlur, which is designed to help manage your social life, at least in an electronic sense. Once you set up a MotoBlur account and enter the login information for Google, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, the information from those services is aggregated into a feed on the home screen of the device. It’s pretty cool, and definitely more efficient – and fun – than logging into a bunch of different apps.
There are also backup and upgrade features associated with MotoBlur; if you ever lose your phone or upgrade to a new model, logging in to your MotoBlur account is supposed to bring over all your settings, so that you won’t lose data and miss a step. I wasn’t able to test this feature, but it looks like a step in the right direction.
Call quality is pretty good, especially if you’re the one using the Devour. Everything sounds good, and I didn’t have problems with static or volume.
However, the Devour’s noise cancellation technology can be overzealous; it sometimes cut off the first part of each word I spoke. It isn’t a conversation killer by any means, but it is a little weird and annoying; I expect better from a modern phone.
The smartphone offers Verizon’s EV-DO Rev. A service, its fastest form of cellular wireless data. Opening web pages is a quick and easy process, and you can stream music effortlessly. It also includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for short-range connections.
Quickoffice is included, so you can access to Microsoft Office documents while you’re on the go, including files stored in the main memory or on an expansion card. Registration is required for program updates, which also subscribes you to the Quickoffice email newsletter.
The Android OS includes a range of useful software, like a calendar and an address book. These can be synchronized with the equivalent online Google service or with a Microsoft Exchange Server.
The Devour also includes a GPS receiver and a mobile version of Google Maps.
The web browsing experience is good, as Android offers one of the best browsers available for smartphones. Pages render quickly and accurately, even those designed to run on a desktop.
The email experience is even better: the Devour supports consumer email services, and you can also get your work messages from a Microsoft Exchange Server. Overall, I am pleased with the email experience on the Devour, with smooth scrolling and no problems with images and/or busy HTML messages. You have to manually refresh if you use a lot of folders or labels under your inbox, since only the main inbox updates automatically.
There’s also a nice built-in RSS reader that works very well.
There are plenty of entertainment options with the Devour, though I was sad that there were no games included with the device, not even time or feature-limited demos. There’s YouTube of course, as well as both picture and video gallery applications. Since this is Verizon, VCast Music is included as well.
The model has a microSD memory card slot and comes with an 8 GB card.
Whatever application you’re using, sound quality and volume, even when using the external speaker, is very good. You’ll get a better experience with headphones, of course, but at least the external speaker is loud and clear enough to be useful.
The 3.0 megapixel camera takes very good photographs, though the zoom function is disappointing.
For everyday events you would otherwise miss, the Devour acts as a nice substitute for a standalone digital camera.
I don’t have complaints about battery life since the Devour does so much. It’s constantly pulling down my email and updating social networking feeds and news widgets on the home page so I was expecting it to be a real battery hog.
Unfortunately, you don’t get a warning when the battery runs low, either that or there was the problem with our review unit. At one point the device shut off without warning, but when I plugged in the charger I saw the battery was at 20%. It obviously needed a charge, but shouldn’t have shut off with that much power left.