The Motorola Milestone - Droid in the US - is a mobile phone that caused a big stir on arrival last year (see our Motorola Droid review).

It's trite to call any mobile an 'iPhone killer', but the Motorola Milestone is the phone that pushed the Google Android OS across the pond, making it look a credible alternative to Apple's iconic smartphone.

Since then, Google has waded in with its own Nexus One. So should you buy the highly regarded Motorola Milestone or take a punt on a Google Nexus One? (Here's our in-depth review of the Google Nexus One.)

The Motorola Milestone has an 550MHz processor compared to 600MHz in the Apple iPhone 3GS - and 1GHz in the Nexus One. And the Milestone runs older Android 2.0 firmware, but adds multi-touch support outside the US. This is supported throughout the OS and extends to the browser and photographs, something the Nexus One has had switched off.

It has a 5Mp camera and flash with a dedicated camera button fitting underneath your right index finger. Last and certainly not least, the bottom half of the Motorola Milestone slides to reveal a full qwerty keyboard with four-way controller. Motorola is claiming the keyboard as the thinnest available, and the Milestone certainly isn't chunky.

The Motorola Milestone's keyboard is a welcome touch, although opinion on these is divided. We found these hard keys too small to enable any more accuracy than the virtual keyboard, also included in Google Android 2.0.

Perhaps most interesting is a voice recognition system which sends your soundbites to Google for translation - and even recognises an English accent. It's linked to all your Google info on the Motorola Milestone phone (such as contact and calendars) plus Google search results, but falls over when you're off the phone grid. Voice recognition is something that really hasn't worked for us before but was somewhat more accurate here.

Unlike the iPhone the Motorola Milestone sports a removable battery, and comes supplied with an 8GB microSD card.

Android itself has advanced since its launch, and now has multi-touch so you can zoom in on web pages and images using the pinch gesture.

As well as third-party apps from the Market, Android includes in the Motorola Milestone Google software you won't find elsewhere. Google Maps, for example, incorporates Latitude to spot your friends locations; and Motorola includes a 60-day trial of its Motonav sat-nav app.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

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Motorola Milestone: Specs

  • Quad-band slider smartphone
  • Google Android 2.0
  • 3.7in (854 x 480) capacitive multi-touch LCD touchscreen, 16 million colours
  • 850/900/1800/1900MHz, 900/2100MHz
  • HSDPA/HSUPA
  • 550MHz
  • 550MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor
  • PowerVR SGX 530 GPU
  • 512MB flash memory
  • 256MB RAM
  • 8MB microSD card
  • 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP
  • 116x60x14mm
  • 169g
  • Quad-band slider smartphone
  • Google Android 2.0
  • 3.7in (854 x 480) capacitive multi-touch LCD touchscreen, 16 million colours
  • 850/900/1800/1900MHz, 900/2100MHz
  • HSDPA/HSUPA
  • 550MHz
  • 550MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor
  • PowerVR SGX 530 GPU
  • 512MB flash memory
  • 256MB RAM
  • 8MB microSD card
  • 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP
  • 116x60x14mm
  • 169g

OUR VERDICT

The Motorola Milestone is a great phone, and it's easy to see why it caused a stir in the US. But time moves quickly in the mobile market, and Google’s Nexus One trumps it in most areas. Sure the Nexus lacks multi-touch but that may be reversed in the future. Google's own is faster and its 2.1 OS is visually better.

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