Motorola EX128 Review

Contents:
The mobile comes in a beautiful yellow recyclable cardboard box with 3.5 mm ear phone, battery charger, 1 year product warranty card, Easy start guide, stylus and battery (1). Steel Grey in color and the mobile built is very good. The scratch Guard on top of the screen is very basic but you can replace it after some use with a better quality scratch guard at a nominal price.

Appearance:
Three soft buttons in the front for navigation. Three buttons in the right side for Power On/Off, Volume and Camera. Top side of the mobile contains Micro USB port, 3.5 mm port for audio jack and a mic vent. The memory card slot is under the battery cover but luckily hot swappable. I am currently using 16GB microSD HC. As per the company information you can go up to 32 GB. Resistive touch screen is responsive and comes with a stylus. You can still use your finger to access menus, icons and Qwerty virtual keypad. Multiple touch is not available so pinch zooming images and web pages not possible.

Motorola EX128

Motorola EX128


User Interface and Software:
EX128 ia a Java based phone with Motorola built user interface. EX128 offers 3 home pages where widgets like Analog Clock, Date, Calender, Digital Clock, Digital Clock2 (you can set specific city), Photo Flow, Memo, Recent Events, Alarm, Media Player and FM Radio can be placed as per your taste. Apart from the widgets, the home screen has 5 standard application icons at the bottom (Menu, Address Book, Dialer, Mail and Internet Browser). The widgets can be selected by touching blank screen for 5 seconds. Widgets not required can be dragged to the Recycle Bin which appears at the bottom while dragging. In my opinion the user Interface is good.Menu contains 12 options. Each option has sub options. For Example Option “Organizer” has Calender, Tasks, Alarm and World Clock as Sub-Options.

In the internet section you have option to connect to Opera network and download Opera directly. Social applications – MySpace, Orkut, Facebook and You Tube comes pre-installed. You can add more Java based applications.

Use:
Phone Call and Phone Book:Being a double sim phone you have to select and press two times additionally to make a call. [Select the menu, select the phone (1 or 2), select the contact and call.]You can save the conversation while speaking (wav or amr format). Call history is detailed. Phone storage has multi-entry option and can store 1 number each of mobile, home office and fax apart from option to store details like email, picture, video, group and birthday. Phone Dialer software has good interface. The phone calls are clear. I had no issue in network coverage. And EX128 picked up the network automatically when moving out from one zone to another network area. But I had roaming issue. Both the sims indicates roaming but in Sim1 I am able to receive SMS, Calls & send SMS but unable to make call. It gave “Check Operator Services: message every time I tried to make a call. Not sure whether it is due to phone or the operator. Operator says their side the sim indicates as roaming enabled.

SMS: Multi-Lingual. English, Tamil, Hindi and Bengali. Can write SMS in portrait and landscape mode. Landscape allows to have a bigger key pad. Portrait keypad is small and may take time for users with big fingers to get used to it. Copy and Paste option is not available. Normal display rotation by gravity-sensor from portrait to landscape works very well.
Mutimedia
Media Player: Plays audio and video both in portrait and landscape mode. Album Art for audio songs available only in portrait mode. The player shows a blinking icon in landscape while playing song in the landscape mode. Video plays in both format but audio control through side button is not available in landscape mode while playing videos. In EX128 no touch screen controls can be accessed in landscape mode. You have to go to portrait mode to use controls The skin of the media player can be exchanged for a background of size 240×400. No extra themes are available and no option available to add new themes for the media player. The album art is also very small size but resizes bigger size album arts to its dimension. The bitrate of the song is not displayed. Overall the media player is good enough to get the job done. Graphic Equalizer is not present but the audio has some presets which are available only through the settings option and hence not easily accessible. The sound output through the mobile speakers is mono and of low quality but the stereo headphone is decent.

The videos of 15fps ran smoothly. Some with 30fps (avatar) ran smoothly. But 15Fps is the safest as any thing above will produce a delayed video (No Audio-Video Synchronization). Surprisingly the Avatar Movie (400×240!) I did in 30 Fps ran smoothly without any sync issue and without any staggering. Some of the video which were converted to full screen did not run in full screen mode but ran in 240×320 size. (It did run full screen in Nokia 5233). Nokia 5233 has an option to change screen size / aspect ratio, which is not present in EX128. The Movie Playback is decent but lower than that of Nokia 5233. (Similar price but single sim). The processor speed is not able to cope with the specification Motorola given (30fps) for video. The video picture quality (qulaity lower than Nokia 5233) is good but some colors (Black) are pixalated in some frames as it is only 65k color mobile.

Image Viewer: You have to select the storage option (Memory Card / Phone). Also only images in the “images” folder gets displayed. Even pictures in the subfolder in the “images” folder are not retrieved. The phone does not locates the picture files from other folders and includes in the list. You cannot categorize your images and place in various folders. It has to be in “images” folder only. But the picture can be viewed in landscape and portrait mode and the rotation by gravity-sensor is available for picture viewing. You can edit your picture to 400×240 (landscape) or 240×400 (portrait) size and then store in the mobile. Others will be resized by EX128 but will not fill the full screen.

FM Radio: Locates stations. But the reception is very sensitive as the ear phone wire has to be oriented optimally to receive channels without noise in areas were reception is week. There is recording option available but the quality is not good.

Picture Viewer: You will be asked to specify the folder from which to make the slide show. No auto rotation. In fact you opt for horizontal or vertical viewing in the settings. There are additional options (like to play music, speed etc.,) available. I consider Picture Viewer is a good addition to the existing image viewer.

Settings Menu: Decent. It allows you to keep both sims on or select either one. There is option for flight mode.

Others: In the Organizer, you have Calender, task, World Clock and Alarm. You can have 5 alarms and can specify whether alarm is for once or everyday or specific day. Very handy tool.
(to be continued). In the others category you have Stopwatch, Currency Converter and Calculator. You have 7 user profiles (General, Meeting, Silent, Headset, Bluetooth, Indoor and Outdoor). You can customize each one (except Silent category).

Pros
Dual sim from reliable manufacturer. Touch screen. Price is good. Memory card up to 32 GB. Wider screen (240×400).
Cons:
Slow processor. Java mobile (not Android). Resistive touch screen not capacitive touch screen. Low internal memory.
Recommended Additional Softwares:

You can access the programs after installation from menu “Fun & Games”/Java

How to install new softwares.2 ways:

  • Access the software site from phone browser and click install.
  • Save the program in the PC and transfer to the mobile through memory card. Access it (File with jar extension) and install.

Why I purchased: Wanted a dual sim at a reasonable cost from a well known manufacturer with touch screen and memory card (up to 32gb) as an immediate replacement till Samsung Galaxy II comes with Flash enabled version (Gingerbread not Froyo). Satisfied.

Price (India): Rs 5625/- [In India, As on 24Mar2011]
Specification:
General
2G Network
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 2
Announced 2010, October
Released 2010, October
Physical
Size
Dimensions:107 x 57 x 12.8 mm
Weight: 80 g
Color: Steel Gray
Form Factor: Touch Tablet
Display Type: TFT resistive touchscreen, 65K colors
Size: 240 x 400 pixels (WQVGA), 3.2 inches
Sound Alert types: Vibration; MP3 ring tones
Loudspeaker: Yes
3.5mm jack: Yes
Memory Phone book: 1000 entries, Photo call
Call records: Yes
Card slot: microSD, up to 32GB
Data GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G: No
WLAN: No
Bluetooth: Yes, v2.1 with A2DP
Infrared port: No
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
Camera Primary 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels
Music and Video
VIDEO CAPABLE
H.263, Playback QCIF 30fps, Capture QCIF 15fps
Audio Capture
AAC, AAC+, MIDI, MP3
Secondary Camera: No
Features Messaging SMS, MMS, Email
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
Games Yes
ANTENNA TYPE Internal
GPS No
Java Yes, MIDP 2.0
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
– MP4/H.263 player
– Organizer
– Voice memo
– Predictive text input
Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 910 mAh
Stand-by Up to 250 h
Talk time Up to 3 h 30 min

PS: This review takes in to account the price tag this mobile carries. Accordingly its features are rated based on that.

Added on 07Jan2012:

Social Networking: You Tube.

When you access and if video streaming fails due to “Connection Failed”.
Go to >Multimedia> Media Player and select any video to play.
When the video loads GoTo Options>Settings>Netwok setting> select profile 1> Option> Edit> and set the correct Service Provider in the Data Account.
Optional You can also change the Profile 1 name to the service Provider name.

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