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Motorola Milestone3 (DROID3) Gets Reviewed: Benchmarks, Specs, and Pentile Screen Included

The Motorola DROID3 has popped up quite a bit in recent weeks, but today’s appearance as the “Milestone3″ may be the most significant.  Overseas site xda.cn, got a hold of this non-American version and put it through an entire review; giving us one of the best looks at this still unannounced device well before it will see a store shelf.  As many of you know, the Milestone is normally the same exact device as the American DROID, but at times with different radios and a slight tweak here or there.  This device however, matches up exactly to what we’ve been hearing and seeing for the last month or so – is that necessarily a good thing though?  

First, let’s look at a gallery of photos of the device to get you familiar with it.  We have confirmations on the 4″ qHD screen, HDMI out, 8MP rear camera (1080p video), VGA front camera, 5-row keyboard, lack of physical camera button, neat new slanted lip, and 1500 mAh battery.

A couple of camera shots with the new 8MP camera (click to enlarge):

Benchmarks and system info (dual-core OMAP 4430 processor):

A quick look at that new version of Blur again:

And the worst news to come out of this review is the fact that the device sports the same garbage pentile screen as the last few Motorola devices including the Atrix and DROIDX2:

So what did they have to say of the device overall?  To put it plainly, this thing doesn’t even compare to the Galaxy S II or HTC Sensation in their opinion.  The 512MB of RAM isn’t enough to compete with the big dogs and the pentile screen is a killer.

In my opinion, the device looks stellar and I don’t completely hate the new Blur all that much, but to see Moto skimp on the RAM like they did on the DX2 and continue on with these really poor pentile screens is just a disappointment.  Many of you have already passed on this device because it lacks 4G LTE, but after reading this you should really be worried about the state of the DROID Bionic.  4.5 inches of pentile?  Yikes.

Via:  xda.cn

Cheers BSweetness!

  • http://www.snhtradecentre.co.uk storage heaters

    The DROID has all hard edges and angular slopes. The construction is a mix of plastic and metal, and the phone has a solid, expensive heft to it. This mobile has 3.7 inch screen, a QWERTY layout, MicroUSB port; around back the 5 megapixel camera (and flash). Inside the DROID beats an Arm Cortex A8 CPU (a 600MHz, OMAP3430 chip downclocked to 550MHz), 256MB of RAM, and 512MB of ROM.

  • http://www.snhtradecentre.co.uk storage heaters

    Which Droid you are looking for , latest one? this one i found 
    http://www.gadgetgeek.in/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/motorola-droid-gadgetgeek.in_.jpg

  • R2D2

    Had the original Droid.  Just upgraded to Droid
    3.  Issues: 

    1)  Bloatware – thanks  MOTO & VZW  
    NOT!
    2) 1 is not as much of an issue as this:  If you hook the phone up to USB
    after installing several apps, you may find that some app icons and even the
    app itself no longer installed.  This is a MOTO software
    issue.  It’s worse if you send the apps to the SD card vs. internal
    memory.  Only way I found (tell me if there are others) of keeping all apps
    and icons is to press notifications while the device is still hooked up via USB
    and change to “charge only” – shutting down mass storage.  Then
    dismount the Droid and unplug. 

    C’mon MOTO.  Get a fix for this.  Way too unstable and inconvenient
    for business use.

     

    Battery life greatly
    extended with Juice Defender Ultimate.

     

     

    How to make the Droid 3 dock usable:

    1) Take a pair of pliers, grip the HDMI post firmly and TWIST! 
    2) Use a flat blade screwdriver & pry back and forth over stub and wire
    until smooth.

    This leaves only the useful USB connector and the Droid 3 slides on and off
    like the Droid 1 in its dock. 

  • Starjacked03

    Really?  The Pentile display is that awful?  Seeing as I own this phone and the display is amazing I must disagree.  Also, you couldn’t even get a camera to focus close enough on that teeny tiny battery notifier in the small corner of the droid 3 screen.  This is like arguing 300 fps is better than 100 fps when nobody can see faster than 35 fps.  When I grow microscopes for eyeballs then I might consider this article as useful.

  • Larry McJunkin

    I went to the local VZW store today and tested the Droid 3.  IMHO, it’s just another slide-out keyboard Droid with the addition of a numbers row.  Yes, the keyboard is VERY nice and will be great for folks who send 500 texts daily, but the display, even up against my Incredible is not that great.  For me, the real deal-breaker was the fact the Droid 3 is a HORRIBLE phone (yes, there are still some of us who use smartphones as phones).  I called my own home number and left a voice message with the Droid3, my own Incredible, the Thunderbolt, the Charge, an iPhone, and the LG Revolution.  All of them sounded about three times better than the Droid 3, which was very soft and muted.  Sorry, I’ll wait for the Bionic and hope for something better.

  • Ry

    Got the Droid 3.  It’s great!  You people are on crack…

  • Moto_AgentXT59

    The Droid Bionic will be using A Super Matrix Pentile display..

  • http://whitemarket.freeforums.org/ Avery Dejuan Herron

    I have the droid x² and I hate the screen it makes my pictures look messed up but I like the phone so I kept it. I also want pleased with the camera downgrade the one on the x² doesn’t have the real shutter that really blinks like the droid x did I stayed to see if I could change it out for the one on my droidx and see if it works I’ve changed the camera and screen on the droid x myself before shouldn’t be much different on the x².

  • Miranda Natasha69

    i really want this phone. this is the phone i’m looking for.

  • http://flavors.me/kioshi kioshi

    That sucks so much, the main reason I love my Milestone 2 isn’t even the keyboard but the aluminum casing that makes it almost bulletproof. It has survived things I couldn’t believe.

  • http://twitter.com/gui_gauchoo Guilherme M. Brum

    its not dual core, dual core processors show 2ghz in quadrant, and not dual 1ghz
    so… its single core phone, not the official droid 3, jsut a prototype. =)

  • http://twitter.com/gui_gauchoo Guilherme M. Brum

    its not dual core, dual core processors show 2ghz in quadrant, and not dual 1ghz
    so… its single core phone, not the official droid 3, jsut a prototype. =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rotkaeqpchen Ulf Schuster

    @theAuthor, Why exactly should a pentile screen be garbage? I personally don’t think that its garbage, in fact I like the look, the colors and brightness. Additionally it consumes much less power. You should not talk, too bad about this screen, because then everone says, “pentile screen, oh no”, without knowing the details. Its personal preference and a comprommis.

  • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    Eww…pass! No wonder this isn’t getting 4G. {{-_-}}

  • Theantt21

    pentile??? shoot i got better screen clarity on my digital watch

    • http://www.facebook.com/Rotkaeqpchen Ulf Schuster

      You see what you have done? @ AUTHOR ?!

  • James_Ever

    Kellex, can the sources you have confirm at all if the keyboard with the blue accents will be the same for both the Milestone3 and Droid 3?

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t pass on the device because it doesn’t have LTE.  I passed on it because it has a locked bootloader. I passed on it because it has Blur (although, truthfully the Blur on this phone doesn’t look horrible, I’d have to see more to see how I feel about it though), I passed on it because Motorola and Verizon don’t get it.  It has become apparent that unless Google forces Verizon and Motorola (like with the DROID and Xoom) that Motorola will continue to release devices that are crippled in some unfortunate way (DROID, DROID X) or just suck (every other phone Motorola has made).

    Sorry Motorola, I gave you four tries.  You’ve whiffed it four times. I’m done. I’m no longer looking at a Motorola phone to replace my DROID. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Peters/7406284 Joshua Peters

    Confirmed. I just got another og droid for 100 bucks on ebay. Gunna wait till next fall/winter to see if a decent phone comes out that makes me want to sign another 2-3 year contract.

  • Azeez0347

    If u look at the spec sheet of the Milestone 3 it says it has an nvidia tegra 2 cpu and not an omap 4430. So does it have an omap or tegra processor, im confused?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

    The sad thing is that I will probably get the D3. Not having a physical keyboard is just annoying me that much. Maybe with an ever so slightly smaller screen, the pentile flaws will be slightly less noticeable. Regardless, I’m only buying it to hold out until the next keyboard phone comes out that doesn’t have pentile, poor ram allocation (this is more of a problem than 512MB itself, though 768MB+ would be nice) or a locked bootloader.

    Oh and I won’t be getting it launch day because I refuse to have a device that can’t be rooted if it has a locked bootloader. I’ve had to fix so many screwups Moto made with the DX2 already that I couldn’t have done without root that I just won’t chance it with the D3.

    Regardless, if I didn’t have the extra cash to be able to jump ship from the D3 as soon as something better comes out, I wouldn’t be getting it. The D3 just isn’t what I was looking for, except for the keyboard.

  • jbonics

    Epicer failure

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-DeRosa/100000524887012 Daniel DeRosa

    Bye bye Motorola, I won’t miss you =)

  • Anonymous

    not in the same league as the sensation? Thats disappointing, as the Sensation seems to be a league down from the Galaxy S II itself, in fact its quadrant scores are about the same as what I’m, seeing here.
    Here’s a quick question though, on that pentile info page you linked to, you didn’t seem to be all that down on, but now it’s “garbage”? What brought about the change of heart?

  • Anonymous

    … funny, pentile is more or less apple FUD and android-fanboys are jumping the bandwagon like isheeps … the HTC sensation has also a pentile display, so it just hurts the hole android plattform …

  • Trophynuts

    i agree…pentile = horse shit. Come on Moto if anything just go back to the same screen thats on the DX good grief. 

  • heh

    I’m curious as to why you say here,”And the worst news to come out of this review is the fact that the device sports the same garbage pentile screen as the last few Motorola devices including the Atrix and DROIDX2:”

    Yet in another article, you say, “Should you avoid qHD screens? No, not at all.  And to be clear, I
    haven’t been dissatisfied with the screen on the DROIDX2 by any means,”

    That’s a big inconsistency. What changed your opinion so dramatically in just 18 days? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

      Because it’s something you can say “well maybe I can/will get used to it.” But you can’t once you see the flaws. Then that’s all you can focus on, to the point that it’s distracting.

  • Anonymous

    Sad part, I am not giving up on this phone yet, not until reviews come out. I have played with the Atrix before and the screen looked pretty good to me. It was vibrant, very easy to read in sunlight, and seemed to be crisp. I can only attest to my short time with it but I am still willing to give the Droid 3 a shot. Who knows, some things may be different on the Verizon (CDMA) variant. I am still holding off judgment until I see reviews and use the device myself. I do wish that the FFC was a little higher resolution but who knows, this may turn out just fine. The smaller screen size with the pentile screen will help with the screen ‘ghosting’ as has been reported with the DX2. Now I agree, a 4.5″ pentile screen could be a problem, but maybe, just maybe, it may not be pentile on the Bionic. Just my 2 cents.

    • Srgolub

      I agree with you.  Most people comment negatively without ever having actually seen the pentile display.  I’ve used a DX2 in direct sunlight and unlike my D1 or almost any other phone, I was able to see the screen very clearly.  There is slight jaggedness with some text but other than that I don’t see it as a drawback at all.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

        The pentile is awful. I’ll take slightly less brightness for 10 fold better image reproduction.

        • Anonymous

          I had the Thunderbolt which has a SLCD. That screen while very vibrant was extremely hard to see in sunlight, at least in my case. For me a more well rounded viewing experience is appreciated. I am not saying that the pentile screen on the D3 will still be good, but I am holding judgement until I can see it in person and waiting for the reviews.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peterf Peter Fares

    Ugh, PenTile, really?  I’d much prefer an 800×480 RGB LCD than a stupid PenTile screen with a fake qHD resolution.  These “qHD” screens look much worse than the old 800×480 screens used in the first two.

  • http://profiles.google.com/slipgatebehemoth Slipgate Master

    It’s sad that the lack of good hardware on Verizon is tempting me to move. I love their network, but I’m thinking about moving to Sprint now. That Evo 3D looks interesting.

  • Anonymous

    Come on Motorola.  You can do better than this.  I was stoked about getting this phone when it came out, but as stated, the pentile screen, and the lack of upgraded RAM is very disappointing.  

  • http://twitter.com/CHASubterrain Brandon Fish

    I get a higher benchmark score on my slightly overclocked Droid X.  Shoot, I got almost that benchmark score on stock GB.  Guess I’ll be waiting for the Droid X3 : )

  • http://twitter.com/Chasemanhattan3 Chase Chick

    So Samsung GS II with Cyanogen will be the phone it looks like.

    No LTE
    RAM, just ok
    locked bootloader
    that pentile really is crappy, went to a verizon store the other day and saw for myself
    blur not that great, how bout stock…at least the option???
    probably loaded with crapware

    Sorry, but unless the actual Droid3 comes to US with some major corrections (which I doubt) I will not be getting this phone, despite telling everyone that I was and really looking forward to it.

    Sucks

    • Anonymous

      Im under the understanding that 512MB RAM is the available internal memory. 512 is REALLY bad in my epxerience on a 256MB RAM OG Droid. Ive been on the brink of low memory for the past year of my 1.5 yr owning this device. It’s quite an aggravation having to clear memory cache and wiping phonecall/txt/email/fb/browser data  twice a day just to make sure your txt msgs arent going to be suspended in vzw limbo

  • http://twitter.com/Chasemanhattan3 Chase Chick

    So Samsung GS II with Cyanogen will be the phone it looks like.

    No LTE
    RAM, just ok
    locked bootloader
    that pentile really is crappy, went to a verizon store the other day and saw for myself
    blur not that great, how bout stock…at least the option???
    probably loaded with crapware

    Sorry, but unless the actual Droid3 comes to US with some major corrections (which I doubt) I will not be getting this phone, despite telling everyone that I was and really looking forward to it.

    Sucks

  • Anonymous

    Well, back to waiting for my next phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathanielnewmanmusic Nathaniel Newman

    As long as Pentile/Amoled screens are used I’m staying away. I like the Specs in the D3. But the awful pentile screen is just too much. I have a Super AMOLED on my Continuum and saw Moto’s “qHD” screen on the DX2. I’m staying far away! I’ll go with the Samsung Charge before I choose a qHD display.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathanielnewmanmusic Nathaniel Newman

    As long as Pentile/Amoled screens are used I’m staying away. I like the Specs in the D3. But the awful pentile screen is just too much. I have a Super AMOLED on my Continuum and saw Moto’s “qHD” screen on the DX2. I’m staying far away! I’ll go with the Samsung Charge before I choose a qHD display.

  • Wareaglevi

    I was looking forward in getting the Droid 3. I’ve been looking for a smartphone with dual core processor, global radios and a QUERTY keyboard. Droid 3 sounded like it would be the best for me. Now reading this review makes me question the intelligence of Verizon and Moto. A pentile screen, 512 MB of RAM does pass for a third generation Droid. People pay for the state-of-the-art phones, not recycled garbage from last year. If this is what Moto (and Verizon) believe this passes for the best around, they do not deserve my money.

  • Wareaglevi

    I was looking forward in getting the Droid 3. I’ve been looking for a smartphone with dual core processor, global radios and a QUERTY keyboard. Droid 3 sounded like it would be the best for me. Now reading this review makes me question the intelligence of Verizon and Moto. A pentile screen, 512 MB of RAM does pass for a third generation Droid. People pay for the state-of-the-art phones, not recycled garbage from last year. If this is what Moto (and Verizon) believe this passes for the best around, they do not deserve my money.

  • Wareaglevi

    I was looking forward in getting the Droid 3. I’ve been looking for a smartphone with dual core processor, global radios and a QUERTY keyboard. Droid 3 sounded like it would be the best for me. Now reading this review makes me question the intelligence of Verizon and Moto. A pentile screen, 512 MB of RAM does pass for a third generation Droid. People pay for the state-of-the-art phones, not recycled garbage from last year. If this is what Moto (and Verizon) believe this passes for the best around, they do not deserve my money.

  • Azeez0347

    At the site it says it is a tegra 2 chip and not an omap 4430.

  • Zukrdroid

    I like my LG Revolution more and more every day, Higher Quadrent score, bigger better display, good battery life (last all day at work on 3G and a few more hours playing on the internet on 4G afterwards), easy to root, totally unlocked and not encrypted, LG UI is not intrusive (Gingerbread launcher + handcent = almost stock feeling), and sometime today (hopefull) Clockworkmod. Now all we need are some developers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2ZFTUZVURDWXHQLXJKHHTR5XN4 Michael Brown

    For me its not the screen or lack of LTE. Its the RAM that is the issue. Both the Droid X2 and this should have had a bump in RAM/ROM. This is getting silly. 512 isn’t enough anymore especially for overlaying over android. MotoBlur takes a lot of resources and the phones lag. It probably wouldn’t be as bad if the put 768 or a gig of RAM in the phone. My OG droid has gotten old. It lags and bugs out. I am looking for a replacement and so far Verizon is off their game. I don’t know who is making these calls but they seem really out of touch. So motorola seems to want me to buy SGII. Samsung has a made a great case and I have been a motorola fan for a long time, but I can’t do this anymore. I’m getting tired of looking at other carriers like sprint. With cheaper plans and better devices. I love Verizon’s map and quick lte roll out, but come on. They just don’t seem like they understand the market anymore. Also if this T-Mobile AT&T thing happens its looking more more doubtful. 

    For Motorola is this a money thing? Is the CEO just cutting where he can, because this isn’t the best business model. HTC had the intelligence to really improve Sense and make it compelling. Samsung improved everything and really has worked to restore faith in their devices. LG is always going to be LG. Motorola I think wants to get the business market, but clearly they don’t need to lose the consumer market too. This getting sad and they will fail if they keep putting out buggy devices. I think I am just going to knuckle down and ride it out until SGII and leave my OG Droid and Motorola behin  

  • http://nottheeternaltao.blogspot.com/ jimstoic

    This bums me out big time. I’m about ready to update an original Droid. This would be the obvious replacement, but it has Motoblur, it’s not a 4G lTE device, and the RAM and screen are substandard. I like the keyboard, but I may have to sacrifice that to get the other things I want from an Android smartphone.

  • Craigg

    I have always been a Motorola fan and I have found that they always had the best radios; however I find it disappointing that they’re not keeping up with the competition. I own the original Droid. I upgraded to the Droid2 G and still use it when outside the USA, but inside the US I am using the Charge. In looking at the D3 it doesn’t seem much better than the D2. Leaving out 4G was a huge mistake. The display is not that good. The quadrant scores are not much better than the Charge and we still don’t know the hidden specs like battery life, call quality, etc. I assume that it will be an okay global phone but I would be reluctant to sign a 2 year contract to get it. You’re buying old technology at a time when new devices are being introduced monthly.

  • http://profiles.google.com/statsprofessor Jakub Palka

    Something is wrong with this review.  3614 on the cpu score, how is that even possible?

    btw, Sensation is a laggy turd with tons of problems.

    Guess we’ll have to wait till it actually comes out for a real review.

  • Ckoch0125

    Good ol moto screwing up what could have been a beast of a phone.