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Motorola Milestone XT720 : Not Enough Oomph

The releases on the same day, of the Motorola Milestone XT720 and the Apple iPhone 4, give us the opportunity to compare a mainstream model from the Android stable with the best smartphone the Cupertino company can offer us.

Because ultimately, the Milestone XT720 is only a slight upgrade to the current Milestone smartphone, one which will convince only a small fraction of users to upgrade to the latest model. Comparing that to the iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4G transition and the difference is way more significant.

The Droid, as it is known in the US, was launched in November 2009 and even six months later, the new XT720 has exactly the same features bar the lack of keyboards. It may have a higher resolution camera (8-megapixel vs 5-megapixel) and a Xenon flash instead of a dual LED one, it should be only considered as a minor upgrade nonetheless.

By comparison, the new iPhone 4 pushes the limit even further, four times the resolution of previous iPhone models, multi tasking and HD video recording and editing are three of the 100 or so new features that Apple has introduces.

And this summarizes the difference in approach between Apple and the rest of the community. The Google Nexus One and the Dell Streak, arguably two of the most significant Android handsets of the last few months, were both designed and executed by companies which at the core were not mobile handset manufacturers, just like Apple.

The three share the fact that they're not guided or controlled by old values or rules that appear to ringfence the mobile telephony market (e.g launch multiple versions of the same phone with slight differences, every few months).

The Motorola Milestone XT720, like other Android phones, will have to significantly up their games in order to catch the new iPhone. Adding a few features like a HDMI port or a slightly higher screen resolution won't be good enough with the iPhone 4.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.