Motorola Dext MB200 review

Is this Android offering enough to save the ailing brand?

The definitive Motorola Dext review
The definitive Motorola Dext review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The imaging functionality on the Motorola Dext isn't of the highest quality, which is hardly unexpected when you consider the phone doesn't have a flash and a small sensor bolted to the rear of the phone above the battery cover.

In its defence, it's a 5MP effort with autofocus and geo-tagging – but that's sadly not enough to save it. HTC has made the same mistake with its Android range, focusing on other features and leaving the camera as an afterthought, and it feels like that's what Motorola has done here with the Dext.

Starting the phone up also takes far too long, but that's more the fault of Android, as there's a terrible shutter lag – something it intends to fix in the 1.6 Donut upgrade.

Motorola dext

However, there are some nice touches – our clear favourite was only aesthetic, as when you twist the phone between portrait and landscape modes, the display spins the icons with you. It's a nice touch, and shows how much more intuitive phones are becoming in the age of the smartphone.

There are also some nice options in the colour settings – you can do more than the plain old Sepia and Negative now – say hello to Solarise and Aqua. The latter is less exciting, making everything look like it's under water by adding a grey-blue sheen.

Motorola dext

But Solarise keeps everything the same colour, except the brighter parts, spinning them into a hallucinogenic colour scramble, and something we didn't expect on the Dext.

The only other options users will be able to play with to improve picture quality are... well, Picture Quality (named Good, Better and Best) and white balance. It's not a lot, but we guess it can make outrageously bad shots look okay.

Video recording

Video on the Dext is only available at HVGA and at 24 frames per second, which is considerable lower resolution than other comparable phones. For instance, the iPhone 3GS has managed to pack VGA recording, the equivalent of a DVD, and 30fps for a very smooth experience.

The Dext doesn't manage anywhere near that, resulting in some pretty choppy and jerky footage. It looks like 'stereotypical' mobile phone video, and after being able to record in HD on the Samsung i8910HD, we guess we expect a little bit more these days.

You can share straight to a variety of sources from the camera (be it the camera or camcorder) including Picasa, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.