The Motorola Milestone 2 Android smartphone is visually similar to its predecessor, but a faster processor and support for Flash are welcome improvements. Updated review, 25 March 2011

Motorola’s Milestone 2 sports the same look as the original Milestone (aka Droid), weighs an identical 169g and is a chunky 14mm thick. 

Improvements to the Motorola Milestone 2's 3.7in-screen handset include a switch from a hardware navipad to suitably responsive touchscreen controls, while the 1GHz processor and Android 2.2 Froyo OS make for swift navigation. We also liked the inclusion of Swype - an alternative input method for less dexterous typists and anyone who prefers smooth movements to stabbing at a sheet of toughened glass. 

Setting up email is straightforward, and Motorola offers remote data-wiping should you lose your handset. 

There’s 8GB of internal memory to store music, photos and video. Image stabilisation comes into its own here: we took some razor-sharp shots with great colour balance using the 5Mp camera. HD video at 720p is also supported. 

The 480x756-pixel screen is less vibrant than that of the Motorola Defy and positively muted by comparison with the super-bright Google Nexus S and HTC Desire HD handsets in our smartphones group test

As on the Defy, MotoBlur comes preinstalled. This is easily ignored if you prefer to approach your apps on a need-to-use basis. 

With 3G and internet tethering, support for DLNA media sharing, Bluetooth 2.1, an FM radio and a nippy web browser, the Milestone is an above average Android 2.2 smartphone. It’s also built like a tank.

Next page: Our original review of the Motorola Milestone 2, from October 2010 >>

See also:

Group test: what's the best smartphone?

Motorola Defy review

Google Nexus S review

HTC Desire HD review

Motorola Milestone review

Motorola's Milestone 2 Google Android smartphone is visually very similar to its predecessor, but a faster processor and support for Flash are welcome improvements.

Visually, the Motorola Milestone 2 hasn’t changed much from Motorola's original Milestone smartphone (known in the US as the Droid). It’s exactly the same size and shape, measuring 60x116x14mm and weighing 169g.

The sleek black and chrome Motorola Milestone 2 smartphone has retained its 3.7in touchscreen display that supports multitouch, as well as the slide-out qwerty keyboard.

However, while the Milestone 2 smartphone might initially look the same, Motorola has made some changes for the better.

To begin with, the Motorola Milestone 2 smartphone's four-way controller on the keyboard has been ditched in favour of four cursor keys, making the other keys larger. They’ve been raised too.

We found the touchscreen was very responsive and need only the lightest of touches. The Motorola Milestone 2 smartphone's keys are on the hard side and not as comfortable for typing as we’d have hoped, but they’ll be a welcome addition for those that struggle with the size an onscreen keypads.

The Motorola Milestone 2 now features a 1GHz processor, compared to the original 550MHz chip, making this smartphone faster at processing commands and loading software.

The Motorola Milestone 2 runs the latest version of the Google Android software, version 2.2. This supports Adobe Flash Player and voice-to-text controls. To compose emails or text messages this way, simply press the microphone icon and start speaking your message. The smartphone will translate your voice into text, so you don’t have to worry about the accuracy of your typing.

The theoretical benefit of this feature is clear, but in practise we found Voice-to-text fairly slow at translating what we said. The results weren’t always a success, although that might be down to your reviewer’s south London accent. While we like the feature in principle, we do think it’s more suited to short text messages rather than long emails on the Motorola Milestone 2 smartphone.

The Wi-Fi standard has also been updated to ensure the Motorola Milestone 2 now supports the standard. Motorola also gives users the ability to turn the smartphone in a 3G hotspot and when the Wi-Fi is turned on up to five devices can connect to it and access the web via the phone’s 3G connection.

Like its predecessor, the Motorola Milestone 2 supports microSD cards up to 32GB, but with a larger internal memory (8GB) Milestone 2 users can get a total of 40GB of space. This means there’s plenty to store pics snapped on the smartphone’s 5Mp camera, which comes with a dual LED flash. Images captured on the camera are clear and sharp and pretty much what we’ve come to expect from high-end smartphones these days. You’ll also find image stabilisation, real-time colour effects, geo-tagging and basic in-phone editing functions such as cropping and rotation.  

The Motorola Milestone 2's media player displays song lyrics and artist information for a track that’s being played. There’s no FM radio but you can use the smartphone to listen to internet radio.

Another neat feature that’s unique to Motorola smartphones such as the Milestone 2 is Moto Blur. This service, first introduced on the Motorola Dext, allows you to get updates from your various social networking accounts and photo galleries – Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and so on – plus your Outlook email and webmail, and sychronise the lot.

Motorola Milestone 2: Specs

  • Google Android 2.2 smartphone
  • WCDMA 900/2.100MHz
  • HSDPA
  • GSM/Edge 850/900/1,800/1,900MHz
  • 3.7in (480x854) touchscreen (multitouch)
  • 8GB internal memory
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • slide-out qwerty keypad
  • aGPS
  • Google services
  • Facebook app
  • 5Mp camera with image stabilisation, dual-LED flash and digital zoom
  • supports microSD up to 32GB
  • micro-USB
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1,400mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 61x116x14mm
  • 169g
  • Google Android 2.2 smartphone
  • WCDMA 900/2.100MHz
  • HSDPA
  • GSM/Edge 850/900/1,800/1,900MHz
  • 3.7in (480x854) touchscreen (multitouch)
  • 8GB internal memory
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • slide-out qwerty keypad
  • aGPS
  • Google services
  • Facebook app
  • 5Mp camera with image stabilisation, dual-LED flash and digital zoom
  • supports microSD up to 32GB
  • micro-USB
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1,400mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 61x116x14mm
  • 169g

OUR VERDICT

Having launched just six months ago, the £25-per-month price tag of the Motorola Milestone 2 is very reasonable. We found ourselves more often turning to its more compact sibling, the Defy, but this remains a top choice if your requirements are business-grade and indestructible.

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