Motorola Motoluxe review

18 May 2012

A reasonable budget handset, but don’t expect its ageing hardware to stand up to Android’s toughest tests

Price when reviewed: 
190inc VAT
3

The smartphone market experiences a brief flurry of activity every time a flagship phone arrives, but the churn of budget and mid-range handsets is much more constant. The latest is Motorola’s Motoluxe, available for nothing on a £15 a month, two-year contract.

That’s a tempting price if you’re looking for an entry-level Android phone, but don’t expect miracles from the modest hardware. The Motoluxe scored 1,025 in the Quadrant benchmark and took just over seven seconds to finish the SunSpider test; that’s faster than other budget handsets such as the HTC Wildfire S, but it’s several times slower than today’s premium handsets.

Motorola Motoluxe

That middling performance comes courtesy of the Qualcomm MSM7227 processor. It’s the same chip that powers the HTC Wildfire S, and it was also used in a host of older handsets including the HTC Legend and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini. It wasn’t a bad chip when it arrived, but in 2012 it’s simply unable to keep up.

The same could be said of the Adreno 200 graphics chip. It’s a step behind even old phones such as the HTC Desire HD, and while it handles the likes of Angry Birds without breaking a sweat, relatively basic 3D games such as Temple Run show signs of a struggle, and high-octane shooters such as Shadowgun just aren’t playable.

Motorola Motoluxe

The rest of the specification falls in line with what we’d expect. It has 512MB of RAM, 1GB of storage, a microSD slot that accepts up to 32GB of additional capacity, and single-band 802.11 Wi-Fi alongside all the usual connections and data protocols. The 1,400mAh battery serves up normal longevity, with 60% left after our 24-hour benchmark.

Motorola hasn’t added many bells or whistles to Android 2.3. The most telling change comes in the lock screen, which works in a similar way to HTC’s Sense 3: pull the lock icon out of a ring to unlock the handset, or pull six application icons into the centre of the ring to unlock the phone directly into that app. These include opening the phonebook, messages, browser and more, although there’s no way to customise the apps used here.

Details

Price ex VAT £158
Price inc VAT £190
Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £15.00
Contract period 24 months
Overall rating 3
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 4

Physical

Dimensions 61 x 118 x 10mm (WDH)
Weight 124g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 512MB
ROM size 1,024MB
Camera megapixel rating 8.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 4.0in
Resolution 480 x 854
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Android