The DEXT is Motorola’s Android phone that helps you stay connected with your friends. It comes with a MotoBlur software that combines all your social networking accounts and displays them all on the home screen for easy viewing and access.

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The DEXT does not run on the latest version of Android, so do not expect it to have functions like live wallpapers and even a revamped user interface. Motorola’s Managing Director for Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands, Timo Brouwer said that while the handset does not run on the latest version of Android (2.1), it may (or may not) be updated in the future.

Perhaps the highlight of the phone is its service called MotoBlur. After turning on the device for the first time, users can create or log into a MotoBlur account in order to get your contacts, e-mail, messages, and status information. It only takes a few minutes and the sign-up process is straightforward. Once that is done, you can now add any Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Picasa, LastFM, Google, Email, Corporate Sync, and Photobucket account.

The DEXT will then get all your contacts from your social networking sites and put them in your phonebook. It was great to find that we were able to see a contact’s photo, telephone number, and even e-mail address before we even started using the phone.

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Once everything has been set up, you can now update your status from Facebook, Twitter or MySpace by tapping on the widget and typing away. You can also look at the updates made by your contacts via the happenings widget. Socialising is fun and easy and we are sure that users will take advantage of this service. As it is an Optus-locked phone, the DEXT also comes with various Optus services (App Store, Games, MobileTV, Music, and Zoo). Other services provided by this Android phone include Google services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Talk, Android Market, and YouTube.

The phone’s design may not win awards, but is definitely made to last. Its QWERTY keyboard, while semi-raised, is slightly difficult to use. It is too cramped and the top and bottom row of keys do not provide adequate space. There were times when we had to press a key using our nails instead of our finger. The five-way navigation pad on the left side is responsive although we rarely used it.

In terms of hardware, the unit comes with a 5-megapixel camera, 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a microSD card slot. Motorola has also added security features such as online backup, remote wipe and phone locator (A-GPS) in case the phone gets lost and you need to secure your phone.

The Motorola DEXT will hit Australia exclusively through Optus starting this Friday, 9 April 2010. It will be free on the ‘Yes’ $49 social plan over 24 months and includes 100MB of data and unlimited Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and MySpace.

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