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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!

  • Ckoch0125

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

  • Funny thing is no on real life notices anything about the pentile screens.  They just say, wow, that looks clear, sharp and bright.

    Only geeks/blogs online and samsung preachers keep mentioning it.

    First time it came out I went to see what the fuss was about how crappy the screen is and nothing bothered me. Maybe you guys hold the phone too close to your face, time to get some glasses.

    • bOOm

      That may be the case. I will wait until I get my mittens on it to see how good or bad the display is. I do want the ability to use 4G if and when it is available in my area.

    • There are plenty of people that complained about the display before a blog mentioned the problem. And no offense, but better eyesight is what makes the pentile display look worse. If your eyes can’t focus perfectly on the screen, maybe the “checkerboard” pattern of pixels blur together and isn’t as noticeable. Have you ever tried to read text on a green background? The display messes it up so bad that it’s illegible. Saturation is also horribly skewed, throwing off any chance at image accuracy.

  • Anonymous

    The lentils screen seems to be the new “rally cry of hatred” for 2011. I played with the Droid X2, and while I want overwhelmed with it, the screen did not seem to be the big issue out is being made out to be.

    I’m not saying the problems you see stmt there, out just seems far less pronounced than you ) and some other make it out to be.

    I am pretty sure I am never going to look at my screen as closely as is necessary to see the lines as shown in that little blown up corner.

    I hate that Apple has stayed this whole new battleground. QHD has is issues for sure, and to be honest, I am not crazy about Super Amoled Plus Pro ( or whatever else Samsung had thrown onto the name this week), because while yes it is sharp, the colors also remind me of a photo that has had too much saturation applied.

    Maybe WVGA was ” good enough”

    • I played with the DX2 today as well. Although the shots of the screen look horrible when blown up, in use it just seemed brighter than my DX. I did not notice any lines or squares, and I was looking. I was trying to see what was so horrible about the pentile screen but I didn’t see it. I really didn’t think the screen looked bad at all. 

  • I honestly just wish Moto would go away… I’m sick of (stupidly) getting excited for their devices and being letdown time after time. With Samsung giving a GSII to the CM guys and HTC announcing it will no longer encrypt bootloaders all of the best phones will also be unlocked. Just more reason to not buy these crap Moto phones.

  • Get Quad


  • Anonymous

    No matter how good (or bad) the reviews were I was still not buying this unless it had 4G.  Any phones without 4G and dual core are off my shopping list.  

  • Anonymous

    I am so tired of verizon…. I think I’m going to another carrier soon

    • bigdav1178

      My thoughts for the past few months as well…

  • Anonymous

    Sad day. I was forced into an “upgrade” with my D2, because Big Red sent me 5 non-working “like new replacements” in a row.

    Now I hope I don’t end up with this… at least I can root my D2 and stuff… I don’t see a lot of Dev happening for this device.

  • If you are using a phone with a pentile screen as you would any other phone (playing games, reading email, etc) does it actually look that bad?

    It seems like a lot of the argument that pentile screens are bad is that they don’t look good under a macro lens.  

    What matters to me in a screen:
    –High Resolution (check! it’s quarter of 1080px x 1920px)
    –Bright colors (check!)
    –Color accuracy (reviews on this have been subpar)
    –Able to see screen well in sunlight (check!  supposed to be better than SAMOLED in sunlight, actually)
    –Good viewing angles (not sure how the pentile’s do on this front, but I have yet to see any complaints)

    What doesn’t matter to me:
    –Does the screen look good under a macro lens?

    Soooo….color accuracy is off.  But color accuracy is way off for SAMOLED and people seem to love those.

    • Pentile screens give fuzzy edges to everything, including text.
      The DX2 screen in particular also has a horrible ghosting problem with white text on a black background while scrolling.  This was also an issue with the original DX screen too however, and not related to the pentile nature of the screen.
      Also the viewing angle is poor compared to SAMOLED+ screens.  The screen washes out at angles. 

      You are right, the daylight visibility of the screen is very good, and it displays white better than SAMOLED+.  The high resolution is a perk as well (mitigated by the loss of detail from pentile). 

      I find the DX2 to have an extremely functional display that also happens to be tremendously ugly to look at.  It gets the information to my eyeball, but in a way that I don’t find pleasing. 

      • hkklife

        The analogy I use for the higher-resolution pentile qHD screen vs something like the Samsung WVGA Super AMOLED screen is a Coby or similar no-name 1080p LCD TV vs a 720p Pioneer Kuro plasma (if such a thing did exist).  One screen may be brighter and have more pixels and be the better choice on paper but the lower-resolution screen is superior in every other way once you start viewing them side-by-side. 

        Personally I don’t find the X2’s pentile screen *THAT* bad and feel that the resolution sort of makes up for it.  That said, Moto needs to source something better for their real flagship devices…namely, the Bionic/Targa or they will be doomed.  With Apple set to introduce a 3.7″ (or larger) retina screen later this year on the new iPhone, Sanjay Jha’s pathetic penny-pinching will become even more apparent. 

  • Joster2609

    if the bionic is bad, im going to sprint to get the evo 3d, screw this crap

  • Anthony

    it makes me sad that the galaxy s ii is not coming to verizon.

    • Sibuna

      wait what?????????

      • Anthony

        i meant that it isnt coming to verizon soonish.

      • Anthony

        what i meant was that it wasnt coming to verizon soonish.

    • Anonymous

      It’s coming to VZ as the ‘Function’. Like the Attain for ATT and Within for Sprint. tMob gets the ‘hercules’ though.

  • Ian Wilson

    as fast as i said “hellomoto” when the OG droid came out, im turning around to say goodbye moto…

  • Britboy3000

    One thing ill say is that other sites love the screen. I love this site but if you haven’t seen the screen for your self maybe you should before you complain. The HTC sensation has the same screen and people are in love with it. I guess it’s up to preferences.

  • Amenemhat1

    Thanks, but no thanks Moto. I was really looking forward to upgrading my D1 to D3, but after this review, its the Bionic, or Im jumping ship to HTC or Samsung

  • my DroidX2 is an embarassment.  It does almost everything slower/choppier than my droid charge.
    The screen looks like total ass.
    The touch layer is crap also.  You can hold your finger still on the screen and the screen will jump around crazily. 
    Lack of ram means ADW and launcherpro need to reload after almost every app.

    Blur is actually the LEAST irritating thing about it

  • Good thing I just cleaned up my DX – Its not going anywhere for a while.  

    *Banks his phone upgrade*

  • Anonymous

    My only hope will be the Bionic at this point!!

  • Anonymous

    What a huge disappointment. Motorola should go down in history as the company that innovates the least. Same crappy design, same crappy blur, or whatever they want to call it, A screen that looks like it was made back in the 1980’s, low ram. Unbelievable. Hey Motorola, just die already..

  • Kanundrum

    Camera Looks Super Horrible. WTSF.

  • Mctypething

    Didn’t a big-wig at Verizon recently say that the 3G network would be completely gone and replaced by 4G LTE by 2013? Why are they still selling phones without 4G radios? To me, that shows a lot about how confident they are in their network and it’s ability to proliferate by 2013.

  • Anonymous

    But… There’s finally buttons for numbers! Yay for less button pushing?

    Trying to be an optimist, but it’s Moto… damn. Losing… optimism…

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t opened my OG Droid’s keyboard since I installed FlexT9 when Amazon had it as the free app of the day.

      • Anonymous

        LOL @ T9.

        But I understand. One of the things I miss most about my enV 3, not needing to look at all when sending texts. just tappity tap tap tap… done. Mainly because I could feel the keys on the front of that puppy.

      • Anonymous

        i was going to say the exact same thing, except i haven’t opened mine since i got in on the swype beta. i am going to need my OG Droid to last for a little while longer. come on Bionic, don’t you dare disappoint!

        • Anonymous

          I had swype but liked T9 better.

          • Anonymous

            Totally agree, but i think they both have quirks…

  • RW-1

    Jha thinks it’s penile, not pentile … hence … Fail.

  • slappynutz

    i will pass

  • Jeremy Gentry

    With htc’s non locked bootloader policy its going to be very hard for motorola these days. not to mention all the garbage thats loaded on the droid branded phones now. my OG droid had literally NO bloatware now there is so much crap on these things you have no choice but to root it and remove all the garbage that drains the battery.

  • Stelv81

    Phones like this are killing the Android platform. This just makes Apple look better. Google needs to step its game up and have some better requirements for manufacturers. No phone after 2010 should have 512mbs ram.

  • What a severe disappointment, been eligible for an upgrade for months now and I can’t find anything better than my OGD.  Are physical keyboards really that unpopular now-a-days? lolz  4g I don’t care about, but if they are skimping on the screen and internal memory/storage and then mixing that with a new version of motoblur, then I may be out….  Its becoming rather apparent to me that Motorola no longer has my best wishes in mind….  I guess i’m just going to have to get used to the onscreen/crap keyboards…

    • bigdav1178

      The problem is Verizon being stupid and not offering qwerty phones from other manufacturers. You’re better off being on T-Mo or Sprint, or a regional carrier like US Cellular, than VZW if you want choices for a qwerty Android.

      • bigdav1178

        VZW had the chance to offer us both an HTC qwerty phone (HTC Merge) and an LG qwerty Android (LG EnV Touch Pro), but Verizon bailed on both of them… now US Cellular has them. Sprint and T-Mo both have Merge-equivalents, as well as other keyboarded offerings. VZW appears to have swallowed down that rumored survey that no one wanted Qwerty’s, to the other carriers’ pleasure.

      • hehehe, yeah of course they’re on other carriers, not willing to switch though, I’m on Verizon for the “network” lal

        • You and I agree in both philosophy and love of Bender. <3 no homo

          • Csav2003

            It sounds to me none of you even have the D3. Some ppl like the screen, some don’t. With the phone being 3G, having a dual core processor along with 16G of internal memory, 512mb is just fine. Run multiple apps at once. Do what you need to do to find an issue with the RAM. I bet you don’t. Keyboard, you won’t find a better one, for years to come. TopNotch! Camera … looks good to me and my video makes everyone jealous. Ppl will have their gripes, but you all don’t even have the phone. This is one review, I have seen plenty of great ones. To each’s own.

    • Anonymous

      You can still get the HTC Merge, just not through official verizon stores. Might be your best bet

    • Djstar2k2

      my words exactly.  maybe one day customers will be to order what they want from oem’s lol …..it was all a dream i used to read word up magazine………

      • Djstar2k2

        lol gm does it im sure it takes longer to build a car than a cell phone

    • ;-)

      Depending on what u need the keyboard for, Speech-to-Text can assist in some things… 

    • Anonymous

      That’s exactly how I feel. Been waiting for months to upgrade but nothing worth having coming out.

  • Well at least this phone won’t make me upset that I can’t upgrade until 2012. OG’s Rockin’ the Suburbs until then!

  • Mr.Joe

    I’ve never seen a screen as beautiful as pentile!

    • Stelv81

      Then you haven’t seen every other screen….Pentile is the bottom of the barrel worst

      • Mr.Joe

        People just say that cause Kellex said so.

        I think for myself!

        • Actually I noticed it before there were any reviews. I noticed it the moment I got to my home screen for the first time and went “oh god, what’s wrong with the battery?” I really thought it was either not a 16.7M display, or that my display was broken. I think the DX1 display is 10 fold better than the DX2 display. Brightness means nothing to me when the image reproduction is so awful. Saturation on the DX2 is so far off that no photos look right on it.

      • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Droid 2, ftw!

  • Britboy3000

    Im more than happy with my Dinc2. The screen is beautiful and the things is fast. One thing I noticed though….when I used anycuts to make a shortcut for it I noticed 4G settings….just thought I would throw that out there. 

  • M8R-d00108

    Just when Apple decided to include a physical camera button in the i*hone 5, Motorola decided to remove it from the Droid 3. Perhaps they thought that one of the things that made the i*hone popular was the lack of a camera button.

  • Anonymous

    “4.5 inches of pentile?  Yikes.”

    There’s a funny joke in there somewhere 😀

  • Anonymous

    I love my OG droid… I love my xoom, but after reading this, my next phone will not be a moto one… with Samsung and HTC stepping up their game moto has decided not too. FAIL.

  • toner

    I’ve waited almost 2 years now for this phone (since the Droid 2 didn’t seem like it was worth the upgrade) and now it seems the 3 is not worth the upgrade….  I didn’t care about the 4g either, I just mainly want a damn keyboard!

  • Romma1

    Pentile Envy 4″

  • I looked at a DX2 in store. Pentile didn’t look THAT bad. Everyone is making it seem worse than it is I think. No excuse for only 512mb of RAM though. Why do phones with keyboards always get mid or low end specs?

    • hkklife

      Ditto.  The X2 would be tolerable, but the combination of Blur, pentile screen, missing camera button, and only 512mb RAM all add up to be pretty lame. I could live with 2 or maybe even 3 of the above shortcomings but not all of them in one package. 

      The Droid 3 would’ve been the PERFECT opportunity for Moto & VZW to snag all of the OG Droid owners in one final new 3G device on a new 2yr contract.  It’s got all of the right ports, FFC, better 8mp cam, bigger battery and presumably a nice keyboard. But then they blow it with neutered display & RAM specs.  I am still giving Moto one final chance for redemption with the Bionic but otherwise it’s sadly looking like they are the next Palm or RIM….or Moto circa 2007 all over again.

       Sanjay Jha needs to be kicked to the curb ASAP!!

    • Anonymous

      People like to embellish because they’re whiny little bitches.

  • Stephen D

    Pass. No LTE+crappy screen=no buy. Come on Verizon, where is the Galaxy S2? 

    • I really want a physical keyboard though… well, crap

      • Stephen D

        I like having a keyboard, but I gave it up for the Fascinate and I certainly will for the Galaxy S2.

  • Stelv81

    Time to buy a Dinc2

    • Anonymous

      You mean a phone with last gen specs worse than this?

  • Anonymous

    We need the GSII on Verizon now.

  • bigdav1178

    Well, here’s to hoping VZW can manage to land an HTC qwerty-slider this year… the pentile screen, limited RAM and mostly-rehashed keyboard don’t do it for me.

    • max0442

      The HTC Merge is available on Verizon but only through 3rd party carriers (Verizon authorized resellers?). It
       is a touchscreen with sliding keyboard, has the same processor as the MT4G, G2, Tbolt, & Inc2 (but at 800mHz), and has Bing services standard (can download Google services through the Market).

      Other than that haven’t heard of anything else like that for Verizon. Hell, as far as I know the only other recent slider HTC phones released besides the Merge (Verizon, Alltel, & US Cellular) are the WinMo Touch Pro series (all carriers) & the Evo Shift (Sprint)

      • bigdav1178

        Yeah, I know all about the Merge, followed it since September last year, and I know it is “supposed” to be available on VZW through 3rd parties, but I have yet to actually spot one – has anyone actually seen one of these for sale?

        I haven’t heard any rumors of any other qwerty’s coming to Verizon either. There haven’t been many rumored for other carriers (there are some rumored), but the HTC Doubleshot aka MyTouch 4G Slide is expected in a month or two and it looks promising – I’m hoping that VZ has enough brains to get something similar to offer their customers.

      • My problem is that I don’t want to go back to a single core device. Not that the dual-core has done much good for the DX2.

  • More like penile.

  • Anonymous

    I wish they would have tested to see if there’s a locked bootloader.

  • The Observer

    This isn’t the Droid I was looking for.

    • T Hall

      Where are the Droids we are looking for…. They seem to be so hard to find…

      • Interstellarmind

        HTC’s got’em.

        • Mr.Joe

          The Droid Incredible 2 is just as impressive as this or the X2.

          • Anonymous

            I went from the OG Droid (which I liked a lot but was getting very slow) to an Inc2 and I love it. Sense has some good bits and some lame bits, but I can deal with it. The thing is this phone just doesn’t make me wait. Ever. I can jump from gallery to browser to camera to email without missing a beat. Fantastic.

          • Anonymous

            Less so.

      • Anonymous

        The “Droid” name is no longer what we wanted it to be, what we would have hoped it would have been.

    • I thought the bootloader was the biggest issue w/ moto. Who would have thought that their hardware would drive users away.  

  • Android doesn’t need that much RAM – the only reason phones have more than 512MB RAM is to use those fancy schmancy lapdocks, and the reason Honeycomb tablets have more than 512MB is so that it can be used for the graphics.

    • nastysquar3d

      While I agree Android’s memory management is pretty good, lack of RAM can severely inhibit your user experience. I have an OG Droid and there aren’t Gingerbread ROMs that work without issue because of its aggressive memory management and the OGs measly 256MB ram. 512MB won’t be enough for the life of a device released today and in the future. 768MB+ is a must for the device that I purchase next.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe Im not understanding the specifics of the internal memory, but how much Internal storage is on the Droid3? 

        My OGD, i believe, has 256MB RAM + 256MB Internal Storage = 512MB.
        It’s been a real pain not having enuf internal storage for my apps even after pushing most of my apps to SD.
        The D2G had an amazing amt of 8GB for Internal Storage, pretty much eliminating any need of pushing any apps to SD at all. .. .. what’s w this BS on D3?

        • Anonymous

          The Droid has 256 MB of ram (some of it shared with the GPU, they all do this) and a 512 MB rom partitioned for apps and the OS.  This Droid 3 supposedly has 512 MB of ram and likely 8 or 16 GB of internal memory for apps, storage and the OS.

    • Stelv81

      These “so called” future proof phones need more Ram for memory intensive tasks. My phone can barely handle Plants vs Zombies with only 512mb (most of it isn’t free for app use on most phones). And Blur eats up an enormous amount of ram. More ram is needed as the OS advances, if you want to play games, multi task, run launchers and overlays, etc. If you want a basic experience and only do basic things on your phone then maybe 512 is ok. But I don’t buy $300 phones to do basic things on.

  • Stelv81

    I wouldn’t expect much from the Bionic. I have already taken it off my list. Pentile is horrible…if people don’t believe me go check out the Atrix and Droid X2 in store, you’ll see for your self. 
    Verizon isn’t giving us much choice these days and the future looks bleak in terms of nice phones. The SGS2 seems like the only choice (if they ever get it!). I may just get the Dinc2 and be done with waiting for VZW to release something good.

    • I’ve been really excited the past several months, since my upgrade will be soon and I’ve had my eyes on both of these new Motorola devices. But now, I’ve pretty much written them off entirely, pentile would be a major step down for me and I will not DOWNGRADE my device in ANY aspect.

      That said, what else should I be looking at that will be available in the next several months? I’m on VZW, I’d like something 4g, Gingerbread, NO pentile, if it’s an HTC phone it has to be sense 3.0.


      • JD

        Just wait a couple of months. The GS2 is coming, we just don’t know when. Many say that it’s got the best browser on any mobily phone, I even saw a video where it outperformed the Ipad 2. I just hope that it comes to Verizon with LTE, otherwise I’m leaving for another carrier.

      • Stelv81

        I don’t think Verizon is going to offer what you are looking for in the near future. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is pegged to be here this fall, but there is really not much info on that. Sprint is getting the evo 3d this month which has the new sense, gingerbread, 1gig ram, dual core, hdmi and a nice size battery…but their network isn’t that good (in my area at least).

  • I’ve already decided. My next phone will not be motorola.

    • Same. HTC all the way.

      • Anonymous

        Well, if they make a dual-core LTE phone. I’m still hoping against hope that the BIONIC will be standard RGB.

      • Anonymous

        HTC is overrated.

  • Rain_king46

    While I respect this new device, the teenage boy inside of me cannot see the word “pentile” with a flood of viagra puns filling the mind…. Hey Moto, just release the Bionic already, nobody really cares about all this mid level crap. 

    • Rain_king46

      I currently own a DX and a Fascinate. While I love my DX and how much more support the moto devices get, the one thing that imho would make it better would be if it had the screen from the Fascinate. Battery life may suck, but man that screen looks amazing. 

  • Kierra

    Now this is something that bothers me, so if the Bionic comes with the crappy screen Ill skip it for sure. I don’t care about the bootloader but giving me a low quality user experince results in a no buy.

  • bOOm

    Unless something better comes along, my upgrade will be Galaxy S II or HTC Sensation.

    • Anonymous

       I would love some news on either of those phones in Verizon variant. Sitting on an upgrade waiting for a kick ass phone SUCKS.

    • EC8CH

      I agree those are the two phones I would lay my OGD down for.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes is right. This phone looked like a beast, but the more leaks that come out, the less I like it. And now that we know it’s a pentile screen, I am scratching it off the list of possible replacements for my X right now.

    Sorry Moto, you are losing this customer.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. Pentile screen looks like junk. I would rather have a good screen like the OG Droid at a lower resolution, than that piece… 

      If they put the pentile on all of their new phones they can count me out.

    • Anonymous

      It was obvious it was going to be pentile since the Atrix came out.