Motorola Fire XT311 is a budget phone with a fairly large 2.8 inch capacitive touch screen and a Qwerty keypad, and hence it is a perfect tool for heavy texters. Also, the fairly large screen provides ample real estate for watching video and photos.
Motorola Fire has a black glossy finish all around. To break the monotony there is an aluminum finished ring between the back panel and the front and also around the camera. Overall the phone locks good but it is not really slim. The phone is light weight at 110 grams and easy to grip.
There are four Android capacitive buttons on the screen, and below that is a well laid out Qwerty keypad that offers decent tactile feedback.
Fire XT311 has a micro USB port on the left side, and a 3.5 mm jack at the top. Volume rocker finished in aluminum colour with raised dots is on the right hand top and the power and lock button at the top right.
The phone is based on Android 2.3.4, and has a 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227-1 chipset, coupled with 256 MB RAM. The combination of the two (processor and RAM) is barely enough for the phone and renders it sluggish when you attempt to do some multitasking or even open few apps in quick succession, but otherwise it is enough for normal calling, light games, or other tasks.
There is a 3.2 mega pixel fixed focus camera at the back without Flash which does an ordinary job when it comes to photos, and records videos with a 480p resolution at 24 frames per second. For budget phone this is decent enough. There is no front camera either.
The battery is a 1420 mAH unit which offers one and half day of judicious usage with few hours of music, calls, running apps, WiFi, SMS and e mail, good for an Android phone.
In terms of connectivity it has 3G (7.2 Mbps), WiFi(b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, and USB port – all fairly standard for an Android phone.
Motorola has used Qualcomm MSM 7227 chipset clocked at 600 MHz. However, this chipset doesn’t deliver as smoothly in this case as it does in some other devices like in the case of LG optimus One. You have to check for open application every now and then else the device gets very sluggish.
In terms of the OS, Motorola has left the Android more or less untouched. However there is a new user interface (UI) which is optional, called Moto Switch. This UI allows users to switch between four pre-designed profiles, namely Default mode, Business mode, Entertainment mode, and personal mode.
One surprising bit is this phone that is sold as a phone for social networking enthusiast does not come with pre-installed Facebook app. However, you can easily download the app for Android Market that is available on the home-screen. Once downloaded, the app will integrate well with different functions of the phone like camera (to allow sharing) or contacts as well.
One more negative is the FM radio reception which very poor to say the least. Even at places where the reception is good for other phones, this one offers patchy reception.
We have already talked about the battery life, and we were satisfied with what it had on offer.
Know this one is very important part, LG launched its Optimus Pro at almost the same time, at same price and with same screen size and form factor, which makes the comparison all the more necessary.
While LG has also used the same chipset, it has been clocked at higher 800 MHz speed, and this shows in the performance, and makes LG slightly faster. However Fire is better in terms of three things looks (LG has a dull Matt black finish), battery life and that it offers capacitive Android buttons (LG has put physical buttons) which makes interaction with the OS better.
Motorola has priced the phone well at around Rs 9000. It is a very practical offering giving near perfect mix of touch and Qwerty. However, low powered processor takes away a lot from the user experience. If you want a slightly faster device, go for the LG Optimus Pro, as even though it looks slightly dull it is more polished in terms of OS hardware integration. However, having said that this phone is better looking and the speed difference is not that great.
Also if you compare with other phones in the market at this price point this phone is definitely worth considering.