Review: Motorola maxx Ve
The camera is launched via the dedicated camera/video key to the left of the D-pad or by hopping through the menu system. If you hit the camera button, it boots in a quick 2 seconds. Framing pictures in the screen is simple and you have two focusing options. The Ve defaults to autofocus mode, but you can also use the focus button located on the hinge if there is something more specific you want to focus on that the autofocus isn't picking up. The manual focus often had trouble, though, and took up to 5 or 6 seconds to figure out what to do.
Once you've framed and focused, hitting the center of the D-pad takes the shot almost immediately. The image pops up onto the screen and you have to choose whether to send, save or erase it. Saving it takes about 2 seconds before you can take another picture.
While in the camera mode, the left function key takes you to the gallery application. The right function key lets you access all the user-adjustable settings, of which there are 10. They include the usual items such as resolution, timer, brightness and flash, but also include color effects and fun frames. The color effects lets you adjust between normal, sepia, black & white, and negative images through the viewfinder. Unfortunately, if the color effects setting is changed, the new setting becomes the default action for the next shot. In other words, if you set it to "negative" for one picture, and you want normal for the next, you have to go back into the menu and readjust it before taking another shot.
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The one frustrating aspect of the options system is that it assumes you only want to make one adjustment at a time. Once you make an adjustment and hit the "set" key, rather than going back to the menu of options, it takes you back out to the camera UI. If you want to make multiple adjustments at once, you have to keep jumping back into the options menu.
The video camera has two resolution settings, as well as several white balance and duration settings to choose from. As with the camera, you'll need to keep returning to the options menu to fiddle with each one. When shooting a stationary (or nearly stationary) subject, the video camera focuses quickly and the action is fairly smooth. Shooting moving objects is a different story. Panning the camera around seems to confuse it a bit, and it has a hard time focusing on anything until it is still again. So, if you want to take video of your kids running around, the Ve is not your best option. The focus button on the hinge is rendered useless and doesn't do anything when in video mode.
The gallery application is unchanged from other phones that use the Verizon UI. It can be opened by jumping through the menu system (8 steps) or by hitting the camera button and then using the left function key to load the gallery. The latter of these two options is much faster. The gallery is locked to a two-column view, and was a little slow when scrolling down through the pictures. When viewing the gallery, hitting the right function key brings up the expected set of options for moving, renaming and otherwise interacting with your pictures.
Opening up each picture is a simple as hitting the center of the D-pad when the picture is highlighted on the screen. Once open, the left function key opens an editor tool and lets you do all sorts of things with the pictures, such as cropping, zooming, adding frames and so on.
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