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printed August 30, 2014
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Review: Motorola CLIQ XT

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The Cliq XT is a big phone for what it offers. It shares a nearly identical footprint as its higher-end cousin, the Droid, and competitor, the Apple iPhone. Despite the similarity in size, the display is 0.4 inches smaller than the iPhone's and 0.6 inches smaller than the Droid's. This may not sound like a whole lot, but, using the Cliq XT, I noticed the difference.

For a tablet phone, the Cliq XT is just too darned big. My gripe is mostly centered on the thickness; it simply should be thinner. That said, it feels good to hold in the hand. It is wrapped in a texturized plastic shell that provides grip. The weight is okay, though I wouldn't mind if it shed a few grams. It will fit just fine in your pants/jeans pocket. You can tell the materials are lower-grade than those of the Droid, however, and all the plastic surfaces lend a sort of Fisher-Price feel to the whole phone.

The other thing I dislike intensely about the Cliq XT is the large bezel around the display. The 3.1-inch touch display looks miniscule inside the shell of the phone. At the bottom of the Cliq XT, Motorola has placed a squircle-shaped track pad. It looks like a D-pad, but it's not. The track pad can be used to move through on-screen content, menus or screens, and depressing the button will activate whatever the selector is on. I found it to be reasonably responsive. It is surrounded by four physical buttons that have been built flush into the surface of the Cliq XT. The buttons are textured, so they are easy to find. On the left of the track pad you'll find the menu key and search key. On the right, the home key and back key. All four have good travel and feedback. The search key and back key, however, were a bit close to the bottom edge of the Cliq XT for my taste.

The volume toggle is on the left side of the Cliq XT. It is easy enough to find, and the travel and feedback are OK. It feels a little cheap, though, and makes a loud "clack" noise when pressed. The microUSB port is set close to the bottom of the Cliq XT on the left side. I had no problems with it.

The power/lock key is placed on the right side of the Cliq XT, closer to the top. It, too, is easily found and has good travel and feedback. The two-stage camera key is below it. Both stages of the camera key are well defined, and most users will have no problem focusing the camera before shooting an image. The 3.5mm headset jack is located where it should be, on the top of the phone.

If you want to get at the microSD card slot, you have to remove the back battery cover. The cover is one of the more difficult and annoying covers to remove that I've some across in some time. It requires the use of fingernails and lots more pressure than I'd like. Heck, I broke a nail trying to get it open.

In sum, the total package isn't bad, but it doesn't impress me. With the Cliq XT, you obviously get what you pay for.

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