The A630 was announced a few weeks ago, and this was my first chance to see it in person. It's a neat little device. It's not much larger than a V600, yet adds a complete second keyboard for text. It's great for text messaging, instant messaging, and email.
The main competition for the A630 is a phone like the Nokia 6820. What sets the A630 apart is the large display - the Nokia design just doesn't allow for a good-size display. The A630 has the same large display as the V600. And when you're doing serious email, the extra screen space is a real plus.
AD article continues below...
The A630 was initially revealed to the public with a dark black-and-grey design. That is the version that Cingular will carry. But T-Mobile will also carry the A630, and a special light-grey version will be made just for them:
One thing I found mildly disappointing about the A630 is that, despite having a landscape display, the camera is designed to be used primarily with the phone held vertically, with the display in portrait orientation.
Not only is this a strange way to hold the phone, but it also fails to use the full display area as a viewfinder. A full third of the display is wasted on icons and controls, increasing the "squint factor" considerably.
So the way it's designed to be held in camera mode is "camcorder style", with the display tilted out at 90 degrees, kind of like the Panasonic X300 and Nokia 6260. "Camcorder style" seems to be some kind of new fad these days, but in this case it just makes it all the more frustrating that the A630 can't actually record video.
The first photo below illustrates how the A630 is meant to be held in camera mode. The camera button lies under your index finger when held this way. As you can see, it's also awkward to access the camera options, since it requires the use of the 4-way direction pad.
...the second photo illustrates one semi-cool feature of the A630. Since the top half "clicks" at 90 degrees like in the photo, you can set it down on a flat surface after activating self-timer mode, and easily capture a well-framed photo of yourself (and your friends, etc.) Many camera phones have a self-timer mode, but not many can easily be set on a flat surface and aimed forward.
Speaking of self-portraits, the Motorola "M" logo next to the camera lens is also a miniature mirror, perfect for framing a self-portrait. I tried it and it works pretty well.
Like the A780, the A630 has "dual personalities", with a dedicated keypad and user interface for using basic functions when the phone is closed. To accommodate this, the A630 has a larger external display than the V600 and similar models. It can show basic menus, graphics, and even incoming text messages.
Review: Moto RAZR
In-depth review of Motorola's iconic RAZR V3 high-end clamshell GSM phone for Cingular and T-Mobile.
Hands On With Moto Z Droid and Z Droid Force
Motorola's new Droids take a modular approach that, at first glance, is compelling. Motorola hopes people will buy into the idea of enhancing their Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Droid Force with hot-swappable modules that add speakers, power, and more to the phones.
Facebook to Support iPhone's Live Photos
The Facebook iOS application now lets users upload, share, and view Live Photos captured with the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. Live Photos debuted with the newest iPhones from Apple earlier this year.
Motorola's Refreshed G Series Streets July 12
Motorola today said its fourth-generation G series smartphones will go on sale beginning July 12. The G4 will cost $199 and the G4 Plus (pictured) will cost $249.
Instagram Intros Live Video and Disappearing Photos
Instagram today announced two new features for its mobile app that expand how people can share photos and videos. First, the social network is marking the debut of live video within Instagram Stories.