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printed April 23, 2014
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Review: Motorola i9 Stature

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap-up Comments  2  

Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

The external display on the i9 lets you interact with and access a handful of the phone's features, such as the camera, your music. Press the menu button on the side of the phone and it pops up on the display. Using the capacitive buttons on the face of the phone, you can cycle through the carousel-style menu and pick which app to open. It's direct and straight-forward to use.

With the phone open, you have more options. The main menu is accessed by pressing a dedicated menu key (a button to the left of the D-pad). The main menu can be viewed in a carousel, list, grid or tabbed versions to suit your tastes. The main menu is a little slow to respond. You can't cycle instantly through all the menu items, each one takes a second to become selected. I found this to get in the way of quickly navigating around the menus.

Not only does moving the selector around take a long time, each individual menu item takes its sweet time opening up. The folders for things such as Settings, Tools, or Media have what you expect, and don't offer any surprises.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to navigating around the i9's menus quickly relates to the key configuration. There's no dedicated "back" or "clear" key. This ushers in some big problems. About one-third of the time, the "end" key serves as the "back/clear" key. Another one-third of the time, the right soft key serves as the "back/clear" key. And the other one-third of the time, there is simply no "back/clear" key at all. I found it to be amazingly inconsistent, and had a hard time learning which configuration was going to be the right one. Half the time, I hit the wrong key, and completely exited out of the menu/folder I was in, rather than going back one screen as I wanted. In my opinion, Moto messed up here.

 

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