In 2012, it seems that everyone wants an Android smartphone. The reality, of course, is that not everyone can necessarily afford the one they’ve got their eye on. It was with this thought in mind that Motorola created the Motoluxe, claiming that it would ‘break boundaries but not the bank’ at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. So I suppose the question is: does it?
Well, as far as Android-touting gadgets go, it’s a ‘budget’ handset, though with a price tag of ?258, it’s hardly one you can buy with coins retrieved from behind the couch. Still, if you purchase one of the many phone contracts available for it then it will end up costing you a lot less than many of the leading smartphones of the day.
Like many Motorola devices, this one is svelte and sharp-edged, a catwalk model with a gorgeous 4-inch, edge-to-edge touchscreen that’s ideal for browsing the web or scanning emails. With its brushed metal treatment and lanyard groove, it has Motorola written all over it. In body size, it is not dissimilar from the iPhone 4S, and is so lightweight you can barely feel it in your pocket.
Inside the casing, meanwhile, the Motoluxe is powered by an 800MHz processor, with 512MB of RAM and 1GB of internal storage being made available. Not an engine that will set the world on fire, but hardly inadequate unless you have a raging download habit or game regularly. If you consider yourself susceptible to either vice, you’re unlikely to be considering a smartphone in the sub ?300 range in any case. Incidentally, a microSD slot can expand the memory to a generous 32GB.
The real gem to be uncovered in the Motoluxe is its camera. Or should I say cameras. As well as a front-facing VGA snapper for video calls, there’s a superb 8MP camera for your action shots. Seen in this light, the Motoluxe gives excellent value for money – especially when you consider that the BlackBerry Torch 9860, for example, sports only a 5MP snapper – despite costing considerably more. Even the imperious HTC Sensation XL can’t trump the Motoluxe’s 8 megapixels.
Of course, you’re not buying a camera, but a phone. The Motoluxe is definitely aimed at young hipsters, given its appearance and mid-grade specs, though it runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, one of the most reliable operating systems in the land. As well as the requisite package – BlueTooth, GPS, access to a rapidly-expanding app store – the Motorola has also tweaked its IU with this new model. The Social Graph, for instance, grants contacts larger ‘avatars’ the more you interact with them; consider your social network now aligned in a Sims-like hierarchy.
Though the 1400mAh only gives you around 6.5 hours of talk time (standby: 19 hours), this is, after all, an Android phone: you’d better get used to charging it at the end of every day, particularly if you’re prone to browsing the net or listening to tracks on the go. Android smartphones are the equivalents of gas-guzzling SUVs or humvees, a scenario that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Ultimately, if you don’t care a hoot about having the most expensive, most high-tech smartphone in the land, you’ll enjoy the Motorola Motoluxe; it looks great, excels at most tasks, and has an absurdly good camera. It might not get the credit it deserves, but this is a fine addition to the Motorola roster.