Motorola Charm (T-Mobile) review: Sydney's first impressions

Sydney Myers
Teen Lifestyle Editor from Dallas, TX
Published: September 9, 2010

After using the Motorola Charm for a day, Noah, Editor-in-Chief of Phonedog, declared the Charm to be the start of the Smart Messaging Phone's reign and that other non-smart messaging phones were dead. As the Teen Lifestyle Editor and, therefore, Queen of Messaging Phones, this hit a soft spot and piqued my interest. Now that I've had the chance to use the Moto Charm for about a day, I have a few thoughts and first impressions of my own.  

  • As a messaging/social networking phone, I think it's great so far. The keyboard is great for typing. Its rubberized, domed keys making typing a message very quick. I definitely have no complaints in the keyboard department. 
  • Moto Blur is everything everyone says it is - "in your face", "obtrusive", "cluttering", etc. etc. The concept of Blur seems fine, but having all of those custom widgets (there's seriously a widget for every aspect of social media) on the tiny 2.8-inch QVGA screen is a little too much. You can, of course, delete any widgets that you don't want and try to stick with just stock Android 2.1 widgets, but I still had a hard time customizing each screen to the way I wanted it to be. I'm thinking this is a combination of the small screen size restricting certain widgets and the custom skin being difficult to work around.
  • The capacitive touchscreen itself has been great so far and very responsive. It actually supports multitouch, which is not something you would expect with a mid-ranged smartphone like the Charm. Scrolling has been a breeze.  
  • I don't see myself ever using the Backtrack pad. It's just not necessary. But it's there and it works, if that's your thing. 
  • I haven't had much time with the camera, but the specs themselves impress me
  • 3 MP fixed focus with digital zoom and it captures video. It may not seem like the best, but I think it's up to par with other mid-ranged devices we're seeing.
  • Overall, the build quality seems very solid. It's not plasticky at all and I don't feel any give when I squeeze it tightly around the edges. 

The Motorola Charm features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD card slot with a 2GB card pre-installed (it supports up to 32GB) and support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It's powered by a 1170 mAh battery, which seems like enough to keep it running for at least a day, if not more. I'll put it through more testing to get exact numbers.  

So far, I think the Charm is a solid device. Does it replace a messaging phone? I guess that depends on who you talk to. Messaging phones haven't been getting a lot of attention from designers and manufacturers lately, and now that I have the Charm, I see why. Perhaps they're trying to coerce everyone into switching to a smartphone. Who knows? For now, I'm just testing out the Charm for a review. I'll be back to give you my full thoughts on it after I've put it through more testing.

 

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