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Motorola Milestone 2
Launched at the end of 2009, the original Milestone was an impressive piece of kit, but a year on it definitely needs an update, and the Milestone 2 adds a faster processor, much improved keyboard, more internal memory, Android 2.2 and full Flash support out-of-the-box and HD video capture.
The new 1GHz processor is probably the key hardware improvement on the Motorola Milestone 2 - the old 600MHz unit wasn't exactly slow, but when compared with a 1GHz device such as the HTC Desire then the differences became apparent, particularly with games and animated wallpapers. Internal memory is now a substantial 8GB, up from the measly 133MB in the original which could cause problems with loading new applications. The keyboard on the original Milestone was also pretty awful, and now it has been redesigned with bigger and better keys and a more efficient layout.
One of the strongest points in the original handset was the display and this is unchanged, a pin sharp 3.7" 480 x 854 pixel capacitive TFT panel with Gorilla Glass to protect it from scratches.
On the back, the camera remains a 5 megapixel unit with autofocus and dual-LED flash. Video capture is now 720p HD video at 30 frames per second which is quite a bit better than the original. Inside the Motorola Milestone 2 supports WiFi (including 802.11n), HSDPA and HSUPA high-speed data and also quad-band GSM.
It's a pretty heavy device at 169 grams, but it measures a pocket-friendly 116 x 61 x 14mm. The 1400 mAh battery is the same as before, but Motorola haven't quoted how much life they expect owners to get from it.
Multimedia support includes the usual Android media player, a 3.5mm audio socket but again there is no FM radio. The Milestone 2 uses the same multimedia dock as the original which can be a useful thing to have.
GPS is included of course, and the Milestone 2 has Google turn-by-turn navigation. If you are travelling to different countries then you will probably want a standalone SatNav application installed to save roaming charges. There's a digital compass too, and the Milestone 2 will geo-tag your photographs for you.
This is an Android 2.2 (Froyo) device, and now Motorola have added their MOTOBLUR service on top of it to keep track of contacts and social networking sites. Android 2.2 includes full Flash support and all the other usual Google software.
One other omission with the original Milestone was a lack of tethering, so you couldn't easily use the phone as a modem for a laptop. This has all changed, and the Milestone 2 can now be turned into a wireless hotspot that supports up to 5 client devices.
Although Motorola count the original Milestone as being a sales success, they mostly sold as SIM-free devices through specialist retailers rather than as contract phones. Motorola must be hoping for more uptake from carriers on this one to make the Milestone 2 a real sales success. We have no guidance on price at the moment, but it will probably retail for the better part of €500 when it hits the market sometime before the end of the year. More information is available at www.motorola.com/milestone2
Motorola Milestone 2 Demo Video
This brief demonstration video from Motorola gives an idea of the capabilities of the new device.
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