A Budget Android Handset in the Motorola Motosmart

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Motorola has a new Android-enabled smartphone for the budget-conscious consumer – the Motosmart.  Available by the end of July for $155, Motorola’s budget Android has a Qualcomm MSM7227 processor running at 0.8GHz and RAM of 512MB.  Because of its price, consumers will get the Android 2.3 Gingerbread, two generations behind the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.  They will consequently enjoy fewer features and apps on the Motosmart than in other phones with Jelly Bean or Ice Cream Sandwich, but they can still access the Google Play store to load their handset with apps. 

Even at 11.2-mm thick, the Motosmart is still thicker than pricier handsets such as the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3.  Its design is reminiscent of Motorola’s earlier handsets and has front soft keys as the only accent to an otherwise minimalist front look.  There is a touch of simple elegance on the back with the silver grille below the Motorola logo and a chin marked by a slanted plastic finish. 

Activities such as watching movies and web browsing using the Motosmart can be less leisurely due to its 3.5-inch touch screen.  The screen is about the same size as the iPhone but Motorola’s handset has a modest resolution of 480 x 320 pixels.  On the handset’s back is a single 3-megapixel camera with LED flash.  Like the low-resolution display, the image quality of the camera is not topnotch, although Motorola claims that it can rival a 5-megapixel camera’s sharpness because of improved lens technology.  There is also a headphone jack and a slot for 32GB microSD.  Users can access the slot by removing the battery cover.

Motorola refined the Motosmart’s user interface that creates prominent home screen icons for a user’s frequent contacts and frequently used apps.  Apps and the web browser however will run a little slower because of the handset’s 0.8GHz processor.  Accessing the menu screens will also be less smooth than in other handsets because of its weak processor.  Users might become nostalgic when they start setting profiles, which they probably did years ago on their old Nokia.

Consumers shopping on a tight budget for Android handsets or hunting for their first Android should try the Motosmart to get plenty of bang for his buck.

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