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Motorola Cliq Smartphone Review

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Review of the Motorola Cliq Smartphone ($400 US) - Android OS enabled phone.

What it is.
The Motorola Cliq is a 3G enabled smartphone with a hidden thumb keyboard which makes it much easier to type on than my old Blackberry Curve. The phone runs Google’s Android operating system (OS) software which allows you to run applications or "apps" similar to Apple's iPhone apps. Of course, you can only run the Android apps so there is no use salivating over the iPhone apps.

Motorla Cliq Android Phone

First impressions:
There are basically no preloaded operations on the phone except maybe the dialing software. The rest of the functions appear to be preloaded apps. So whatever you want to do requires you to "learn" how the somewhat quirky Android apps work.

For instance, I tried to use the included alarm clock app and was somewhat dismayed that it didn't work. I then downloaded a software update for the android OS and somehow the app started working.

I got the generic email app to read my email once and then it didn’t want to work until I went back into the email setup and fiddled with the security settings. Now email works fine and I have no complaints.

I wanted some kind of application that would let me type articles and documents while I commuted (that's riding on a subway) back and forth to work . So I tried several disappointing apps (where oh where is Notepad for Android?) and finally settled on a very quirky GDocs app which is supposed to sync with the Google Docs web program but in actuality rarely successfully syncs.

I cannot understand why the phone came pre-loaded with shortcuts to every teenage chat program known to man but somehow a reliable Notebook type text app isn't available.

Fortunately the phone runs a compressed Explorer web browser program so I can use my web email to copy over the text from the quirky GDocs app. An example of the quirkiness of GDocs, press the phone menu button and select new document, bingo it deletes the document you were working on and gives you a nice blank new one to use. Alrighty then.

Even Google's own GMail program is a quirky wacky app on the Cliq. For example, I'm typing an email in GMail and I want to save it as a draft document to send later. No such function. Hmmm. OK I'll just send it then. No connection. OK I'll just wait until later. Close the phone up. Open the phone up later and the email is gone. Great!

So to make a long story somewhat shorter, the hardware of the phone seems pretty decent except for occasional quirky power downs mainly when I use the camera function. I’m also pretty happy with the Internet ability of the phone even when it just has access to 3G. To speed up phone Internet you can connect it to your home wireless Internet or to commercial wireless sources. However, I usually leave the wireless off to conserve battery power.

The Android software apps leave much to be desired and to be honest I have yet to try an app that wasn't quirky and unreliable.
I don't know why Microsoft hasn't put out a good phone Windows, but if they ever decide to do it, I for one would not be sad to see the Android OS go away.

I give the Cliq's hardware 4 out of 5 mostly for its nice thumb board.
Software apps would have to be rated as "not yet ready for prime time". While there are many Android apps available for free download, most are just junk.
Overall I would suggest the iPhone over any Android phone because the price is the same and the Android apps are dismal. Of course, the carrier you choose will dictate which phones are available to you.

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