Motorola has recently announced the new Fire and Fire XT Android smartphones. The Fire XT is the more expensive touch phone, while the Fire is the cheaper of the two and is of the touch and type variety. The number of phones launching with touch and type functionality is on the rise. But is the Fire worthy enough to warrant a buy? Read on to find out.
Poor build quality
Design and Build Quality
The Motorola Fire comes in a shiny black cover and has a silver coated rim running along the sides of the device. The design looks a little like the BlackBerry Curve series albeit with a bigger screen. The back and front of the phone is glossy and attracts a lot fingerprints and scratches. As far as the physical keyboard is concerned, there’s no spacing between each key and this might be problematic for people with big hands. However, a slight dent exists on each key to distinguish it from the other ones.
Volume rocker and camera button are on the right
It’s a touch and type device so there’s a physical QWERTY keyboard along with the four standard capacitive buttons in the front. The top consists of the headphone jack and the power button. The charging port is housed on the left, while the volume rocker and camera button is located on the right of the device. The microSD card slot is located underneath the battery, so there’s no hot swapping available. It weighs 110 grams, so it’s quite light.
Keys have no space in between them
The phone feels a little plasticy and the design isn’t particularly impressive either, and in terms of design and build, Motorola’s Fire disappoints.
The phone runs on a 600MHz processor. The phone comes with Motorola’s custom UI, the Moto Switch, and we couldn’t find anything but cons about the user interface in terms of experience and fluidity.
Firstly, the resolution of the phone is extremely low (240 x 320 pixels) and it becomes quite evident whilst simply viewing the home screen wallpaper on the 2.8-inch screen. Moto Switch is extremely sluggish and a lot of times the phone just hung or showed a black screen. A simple swipe through the home screen is enough to show the sluggishness. A lot of times there’s a time lag between the instant a key is pressed on the keyboard and the instant it’s registered on the screen. You’d definitely not want something like that from a ‘smartphone’ at least. Also, Motorola have gone and removed the call shortcut by default and that’s just plain irritating. Obviously, you can put a shortcut on your own, or you can double tap ALT and type the digits and press call in the Google search results you get. But pressing numbers on the QWERTY to call somebody definitely doesn’t beat the virtual dialling screen.
Extremely low res display
The one good thing about Moto Switch is that it gives you different home screen presets with
dedicated widgets so you can categorize them based on entertainment, business and so on. It's a cool feature, but it doesn't amount to much in terms of functionality. The interface is flawed and slow and we were extremely disappointed with it.
The media player is where the Motorola Fire shows some superiority. The connected music player has a lot of integrated features. The more prominent ones include embedded lyric search, song identification on the go. There’s the TuneWiki and community tab as well that lets you view what’s trending. Audio formats supported include MP3, WAV and eAAC+, but the quality isn’t too great. Music is loud, but it sounds extremely flat and the bundled headphones don’t help either. In short, the music player interface is interesting and useful, but the whole audio experience is dismal.
The phone supports MP4, H.263 and H.264 but videos look quite shabby owing to the low res display and using this phone as your primary video playback device isn't recommended.
microUSB connectivity options
The Fire supports 3G at HSDPA of 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA at 384 Kbps. There’s Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and and A2DP and Wi-Fi as well. The connectivity options are pretty standard so there are no complaints about that. What’s disappointing is that the phone slows down a lot when all these connectivity options are on and one or two applications are running. Also, a lot of times images from the previous screen get dragged onto the next screen and the only way to get rid of that is to either go back to the home button, or reboot the phone.
Motorola has included a new Moto Lounge feature with the Fire. If you’re interested in finding out more about it, you’ll have to switch countries (assuming you’re in India). Currently, the feature doesn’t work in India, and you can’t delete it either. So, it’s just wasting the limited internal memory available on your phone. Besides the UI and this particular application everything is stock Google with Maps, Gmail and Google Talk.
Camera interface is standard
The Fire is capable of shooting pictures at 3.15 megapixels with the sensor but it just can’t capture detail. There’s no flash as well, so you can bid good-bye to night shots. Interface options are standard with the basic, exposure and picture detail settings. Video recording as well as photo shots are strictly average and just for comparison, there were instances when the older Samsung Star (which has a two MP camera), could click better pictures. Colours appear dull, and the amount of light intake varies on its own accord. So at one point of time, the image will look bright, but if you click it again, it might come out much darker than the previous one.
Camera quality is strictly average
The phone comes with a 1420 mAh battery. We ran it through our video drain test and the phone ran for 6 hours and 30 minutes. Loop tests provided us with 1.5 hours of call time, four hours of audio and 2.5 hours of video. Under normal usage, you’ll get battery usage for just about under a day. Battery life isn’t noteworthy exactly, but it isn’t too bad either.
The Motorola Fire
The Motorola Fire is priced at Rs. 9,490. To sum it up, the phone has a sluggish interface, the build is pretty cheap and the camera is really not worth clicking pictures. Also, the screen is extremely low-res and it just dampens the whole experience of using the phone. As an alternative, you could settle for the Micromax A70, which is a tad cheaper as well. As for the Motorola Fire, you’d rather skip this one.
The Motorola FIRE is an exquisitely designed touch and type phone which runs on Android v2.3(Gingerbread) operating system. Powered by a 600 MHz ARM 11 processor, the phone comes with 256 MB RAM, which allows smooth running of the programs. The Adreno 200 GPU present in the handset supports high resolution graphics and enhances your gaming experience on the phone. The Motorola handset also supports 3G network. The phone features a 2.8-inch display screen which allows you to have a better view of the pictures. The upgraded version of BLUR UI, called Moto Switch UI has been installed in the Motorola handset. The FIRE features a 3 megapixel camera with fixed focus and digital zoom. The phone camera allows you to record videos at 24 fps. Design The Motorola FIRE is a sleek, candy bar phone and has a capacitive touchscreen. The QWERTY keyboard on the phone makes typing easier. This handset has a glossy reflective surface. On the right side of the handset, there is a volume rocker and a camera button. Power button and 3.5 mm audio port are situated on the top of the phone. On the left side is the USB port which helps you to transfer files as well as charge the handset. The FIRE also supports various sensors like accelerometer for auto-rotate, ambient light sensor and proximity sensor for auto turn-off. Storage and Battery The memory capacity of the Motorola FIRE can be expanded up to 32 GB using microSD, microSDHC cards. The handset is powered by 1390 mAh battery which gives a talk time of 7 hours on 2G and 5 hours on 3G. When fully charged, the handset provides a standby of 504 hours on 2G and 480 hours on 3G. Connectivity and Features The Motorola Fire allows you to access Internet through GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi and 3G. Connectors like Bluetooth and USB port help you to transfer files from other devices easily. The preinstalled Android Browser lets you browse Internet through your handset. You can also check your Emails while on move. The Motorola FIRE helps you to download the latest applications and games from the Android market. Applications like Gmail, Googletalk, Facebook and Twitter help you to get connected with your friends even when you are travelling. YouTube in your handset helps you to watch videos and check news on your phone itself. The 3G hotspot helps you to connect to your favorite Wi-Fi enabled devices such as your laptop, netbook, or MP3 player.Office related applications like document viewer, organiser allows you to perform business work on the phone itself.
|Screen Type||TFT capacitive touchscreen|
|Screen Size||2.8 inches (~143 ppi pixel density)|
|Screen Resolution||240 x 320 pixels|
|Number of Colours||256k|
|Internal Memory||256 MB|
|Extendable Memory||microSD, up to 32GB|
|Sensor Resolution||3.15 MP, 2048x1536 pixels|
|Video resolution / frame rate||24fps|
|WAP Enabled||WAP 2.0/xHTML|
|Bluetooth Features||Yes, v2.1 with A2DP|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS support|
|USB Connector||Yes, v2.0 microUSB|
|Available Colours||Black, White|
|2G||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G||HSDPA 900 / 2100|
|EGPRS or EDGE||Yes|
|WiFi||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Dimensions||116.5 x 58 x 13.5 mm|
|Media Player||Music formats: MP3, H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, AAC, AMR, MIDI, eAAC+ , AAC+|#|Audio formats: MP4/H.263/H.264|
|Alert Tone||Vibration, MP3 ringtones|
|Audio connector||3.5 mm|
|Talk Time with Standard Battery||Up to 420 (2G) / Up to 300 (3G)|
|Standby Time with Standard Battery||Up to 21days (2G) / Up to 20 days (3G)|
|Built in Applications||Google Search|#|Maps|#|Gmail|#|YouTube|#|Google Talk|#|Document viewer|#|Photo viewer|
After Sales Service
|Warranty Period||1 Year|
|Warranty Period||1 Year|
Published Date: Oct 27, 2011 10:08 am | Updated Date: Oct 27, 2011 10:08 am