What has Motorola done in the past two or three years? Precisely - very little. We worried when we heard it was shedding workers, focusing on Windows Mobile and Android and then dropping support for WinMo. We thought the end was nigh.

But it's shown it's capable of at least giving itself a fighting chance by embracing Android - we just feel the company missed a trick or two here.

We liked

There's a lot to like on the Motorola Milestone, not least the fact the phone actually works quickly with minimal lag, which a lot of companies forget to implement. It also performs well in most of its categories, such as a media player or GPS system, and the bundled 8GB card is a nice addition.

The QWERTY keyboard sliding action is a nice feel, and the fact it's so thin is a real plus in our eyes. Add to that a gorgeous and responsive WVGA capacitive screen, and you can see why we want to pat Moto on the head for the Milestone.

We disliked

However, there are a couple of glaring errors here which we're not overly happy about. The first is the fact we're being served vanilla Android here, with no cool MotoBlur overlay to play with. It means that when picking up the phone, it's hard to see what differentiates it from the other Android phones on offer.

And that lip at the bottom of the Milestone. Why Motorola, why? It's so annoying and gets right in the way of typing - it looks ugly, is an ergonomic nightmare and surely could have been done away with.

Verdict

We've got no qualms stating that this is our second favourite Android phone behind the HTC Hero. We know we've been comparing the Milestone to the Hero a lot in this test, but it's for good reason - they're both excellent Android phones.

The slick interface, the QWERTY keyboard, the premium build quality - all these things go into making the Milestone a decent phone. But it lets itself down at times by lacking any real differentiating features (apart from the cool phone portal) and that lip - well, the less said about it the better now.

We'd give the Milestone a B+, as it could try harder but the effort we've seen is hard to fault and if you picked this up and kept it in your pocket (providing its your phone) you wouldn't be disappointed.

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