Motorola Motoluxe

Feature set summary for Motorola Motoluxe review
The nifty messaging light is a neat feature. Plus the snapper is far better than you would expect for a phone of this price.
Motorola Motoluxe

Style and handling summary for Motorola Motoluxe review
Subtle styling on a decent-sized body make this an appealing phone.

Battery power summary for Motorola Motoluxe review
Battery life is better than on many smartphones, so you won’t be worrying about finding a charging point before the end of the day

Performance summary for Motorola Motoluxe review
Decent signal strength and call quality combine with a reasonably speedy performance.

User friendliness summary for Motorola Motoluxe review
Android newbies will find that Motorola has tweaked the operating system just enough to make it really simple to use.

Full Review and Specification for the Motorola Motoluxe
Last year, Google bought out phone maker Motorola, so now we hope to see plenty of evidence of the combination of the two companies’ skills – great software and beautiful design. The latest model out of the gate is the Motorola Motoluxe – a good-looking device that offers a slim body and great specs at a decent price.

Glowing report

The Motoluxe has a few distinguishing features. Its matte black body features an open slit at the bottom – so what’s that for? Well, you could thread a lanyard through and hang it round your neck. Don’t fancy doing that? In that case there is a far more interesting use for that lanyard slot.
Lurking inside is an LED – should you receive a text or email, this LED glows gently green, with a pulsing light. Ideal if you need your device to discreetly let you know you have a message.
In the hand, the Motoluxe has a good solid feel and is comfy to hold. It’s slimline, but not as svelte as the new Motorola RAZR – which is dubbed “impossibly thin”. Nor does it feel cheap in any way – even though its price might suggest it is.

Apps the way to do it

Motorola has kept a light touch when it comes to modifying the user interface. The device runs Android 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) and it features a couple of special apps, titled Social Graph and Activity Graph. The former shows you the folk you contact the most, while the latter displays the apps that you use most often.

They’re really useful – the Activity Graph, for instance, saves you having to add all your favourite apps to your home screens manually, this widget just does it for you. You’ll see your favourite app in the centre, with the other most popular ones positioned around it. Why nobody’s done it before we don’t know; it’s such a simple idea.

The Social Graph, meanwhile, does a similar job with all your contacts. It is possible to build your groups manually should you wish – possibly good for relations if you don’t want your partner to be on the outside edge and your mate or the pizza delivery number to be in the middle!

Sharp screen

The screen is pretty decent – even though it isn’t as bright as an AMOLED display. Nevertheless you’ll find any pictures you take with the great camera (see below) look good, due to the high resolution.

Other improvements made to Android by Motorola include the lock screen. Here you'll see a circle of icons, rather like the Activity Graph. Choose the six shortcuts you’d like to sit here and then pull the messaging or camera icon to the middle of the circle – the device will launch and take you there. If you simply want to wake up the phone, tap the key in the middle. This makes the ring spin around, rather like a roulette wheel, and it looks pretty neat.

Sharp snapper

We were pretty impressed with the camera for a phone at this price. Okay, you don’t get a really fast shutter and optical zoom, but you wouldn’t expect them from a phone camera. But you do get a surprising eight-megapixel sensor, a good selection of options, plus manual overrides. The resulting images are of great quality too. It’s surprising, because while the Motoluxe has some mid-range features (such as the slowish 800MHz chip), the snapper is definitely high-end.

Signal strength and call quality are also impressive.

Battery life

The battery life on the Motoluxe is surprisingly good – while smartphones need charging at the end of each day (and sometimes mysteriously lose their power overnight) – the Motoluxe will happily get through the whole day on a full battery, and you might get through a second.

Our conclusion

The Motorola Motoluxe is good to use, has a neat build, a great snapper and is really user friendly.