Instead, the Milestone fobs us off with MotoNav, Motorola's own sat-nav system. After a brief test, we're not huge fans, since it's not easy to use. But it has one big advantage over Google Maps Navigation. Because the maps are installed on the phone, you can use MotoNav without having a data connection, which is handy for avoiding data charges when you're abroad.
Since we've been spurned by Google Maps Navigation, the marquee feature of the Milestone has got to be its stunning screen. Clear, sharp and deeply vibrant, we could stare at it for hours. Maps in particular are wonderfully easy to read on the 94mm (3.7-inch) screen, which packs 480x854 pixels into a widescreen display that's taller and narrower than the iPhone's.
The keyboard hiding underneath is slightly bigger than the screen, so, when the keyboard's stowed away, there's an odd ledge that pokes out below the display. We found the sliding mechanism to be quite stiff on our test phone, so it wasn't easy to pop the keyboard out. To keep the phone slim, the keyboard is almost totally flat, which doesn't make it particularly easy to type on. It's not terrible, but touch typing isn't a piece of cake when there's almost no differentiation between the keys.
Next to the keys, there's a five-way function button, which we found accurate but almost totally unnecessary. Bizarrely, there are also two empty spots in the keyboard. Surely Motorola could have put something handy there?
The five-way function button is a gold colour, and the whole handset is dotted with gold accents. We've heard that some people have fallen in love with the Milestone at first sight, but it's no beauty in our eyes. It's more like a slimmed-down G1, especially since the part of the keyboard that protrudes below the screen is reminiscent of the chin seen on HTC's smart phones.
The Milestone is definitely sleeker and more stylish than the Dext, and it feels solid, heavy and well-made. While we're not fans of its gold-trimmed, angular appearance, we'll leave it up to you to decide if it suits your style.
Take the shot
The Milestone's 5-megapixel camera has two LED photo lights, which do a good job of brightening up dark situations, although their light is harsh. In good light, the Milestone lives up to other camera phones with a similar resolution, snapping decent, but not stunning, shots. The camera will come in handy for spur-of-the-moment photos.
The Milestone's video-recording capability is sound, capturing the moment with decent resolution and accurate colour. YouTube also looks good on the Milestone's gorgeous screen, and videos download quickly, thanks to the Wi-Fi and HSPA connectivity for fast data over 3G.
Like other smart phones that pack in every feature under the sun, the Milestone's Achilles heel is battery life. We had to recharge every day while using it normally. We also found that the call quality wasn't impressive in our tests over the T-Mobile network, occasionally sounding tinny or echoing.
The Motorola Milestone is a fast, powerful and feature-packed smart phone with a stunning screen and great connectivity. The slide-out keyboard is as flat as a pancake, we still pine for the missing Google Maps Navigation feature, and it lacks the style of the iPhone or the Palm Pre, but we can't deny that this is the smart phone for the user who wants it all.
Edited by Charles Kloet