The 4in Motoluxe is just 9.8mm thick and 124g – but incredibly the rounded, soft-plastic body of this new mid-ranger still manages to feel sturdy in our hands – no mean feat.
The groove in the bottom left hand corner of the Motoluxe is also a nice touch – it glows green when you get a text or blue when you're using Bluetooth – we won't be sticking any Harajuku charms in there anytime soon though.
The Motoluxe's 480x854 resolution, FWVGA display isn't as bright as we'd like – but that 4in size wins brownie points with us for web browsing, watching videos and virtual typing, and at 254ppi it's sharp enough for all but the beadiest of eyes. Plus don't forget that the SIM free prices being thrown around right now are sub-£250 (A$368). Moto couldn't exactly give us a RAZR style qHD Super AMOLED screen for that price now could they?
Running the latest version of Android Gingerbread (2.3.7), the Motoluxe has also been treated to some quality time with Motorola's customisation geeks. That means two genuinely useful hubs for contacts and apps that dynamically update as you use the handset.
Moto Switch keeps track of which apps you use the most and sticks nine of them in a handy cluster for you, with Social Graph doing the same for the friends and family you call, message and email the most. Both are quick to manually edit and Moto assures us the additions shouldn't slow the Motoluxe down.
The Motoluxe also lets you launch apps, including the camera, straight from the lock screen by dragging the icons out of the typical Gingerbread lock circle – great for saving time.
Performance and ports
Motorola's latest blower ran smoothly through our quick demo despite the Motoluxe's less-than-thrilling spec sheet of an 800Mhz Qualcomm processor and 512MB of RAM. There's a 1400mAh battery powering the Motoluxe – which we'll test out during our full Stuff.tv review – and you're looking at microUSB and microSD slots, for expandable storage up to 32GB.
Sticking with the social theme, Moto has done good and stuck an 8MP camera on the Motoluxe – this should be a considerable bump up from the 5MP snappers we've seen on similarly priced handsets from HTC and Nokia.
First impressions were good – the dedicated shutter button makes it easy to use and colours looked realistic, but our photos taken with the RAZR's 8MP cam were a little noisy so we'll hold off judgement for now.
So while the Motoluxe is far from a luxury handset, it looks like a reliable all-rounder. And if the 4in screen and 8MP camera do well in our full review, Motorola's new Android phone could just edge to the front of the mid-range smartphone pack.
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Issue: 316 | July 2013
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