Review: Motorola Devour

Short Version: Hey ladies! Your Droid is here. The Motorola Devour (it’s actually DEVOUR but I refuse to shout at you) is a social media Android phone with enough style to beat down a million Droids. But is it just one more brick in the Android wall?


  • Amazing extruded aluminum case
  • MotoBLUR UI
  • Full keyboard
  • Removable battery
  • 3.5mm headphone jack


  • Removable storage
  • Good interface performance
  • MotoBLUR adds lots of social networking features


  • A true toss-up between Droid and Devour
  • Cramped keyboard
  • Heavy


As if there were any doubt as to whether the Droid was from Mars and the Devour was from Venus, just think about last Devour commercial featuring an unclothed Megan Fox taking pictures of herself in a tub.

Here, let me show you it:

The Droid, if you recall, is a man’s phone. It is everything the Devour isn’t: thin, lithe, ready to cut, and mean like a snake. The Devour is the MacBook of the Motorola line, clad in soft, soothing aluminum and graced with an elegance that haven’t seen out of Motorola since the RAZR.

The Phone
The phone has a full 3.5mm jack and slide down keyboard. It has a small, hidden slot for a MicroSD card – it includes 8GB out of the box – and is fairly featureless except for three buttons on the right edge and a main optical trackpad/button below the message indicator. The 3.1-inch, 320×480 pixel display is quite handsome but it does not support multi-touch. There are three soft buttons, menu, home, and back, along the bottom edge.

The keyboard is extremely usable but very cramped. I had some initial trouble hitting the right keys because the space bar is crammed in between the V and the B, thereby putting off my sense of key balance when typing.

The case is the real draw, here. The extruded aluminum is extremely rugged and the screen slides up like a tank shell getting ready to lock and load. While it’s elegant, it also means business.


I was pleased to note that MotoBLUR, Motorola’s special UI, ran very well on the 600MHz processor. I had used Blur before on the Cliq and it was bogged down and slow. Here I found a strong and quick window into messages and social networks.

The best thing? If you already have a MotoBLUR phone, you can log into your BLUR account and bring over all of your previous Facebook, GMail, Twitter, Tooter, and Pooter accounts.

Calling and network
Ooof. What happened, Verizon? I live in Brooklyn. You guys are supposed to be the pasta fazool out here. Calls were tinny and soft and you dropped a few times. 3G load times are strong but just on par with the iPhone 3GS. These were obviously anecdotal tests and a quick DSLReports speed test gave me 1495 kbit/sec, which is speedier than AT&T’s 3G at my location.

The Devour ranges from $100 at Best Buy to $150 elsewhere, both with two year contract. You also obviously need a data plan. This is the same price as the Droid. Which should you buy?
Bottom Line
John at Giz asks whether the Droid will always win in a Droid/Devour shoot-out. They are, after all, the same price on the same carrier. I think, however, the two phones are different in intent. The Devour is a fashion-forward social media phone. The Droid is a “geek” phone or, if you like, an app phone. Granted, these phones are essentially the same. However, the Devour is clearly aimed at a less geeky consumer.

Android can be all things to all people, and that’s what’s happening here. The Devour is, in the aggregate, a phone for those less interested in high tech and more in high art. However, with the Droid and this launch, it’s clear that Moto has got its groove back.

Product Page: Motorola Devour