|So i just bought the motorola xoom a few days ago and i'm gonna share my personal review of this product. MSRP S$998.|
5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera.
first, a bit of background why i chose this instead of the ridiculously popular iPad2. what i want out of my tablet is: an approx 10" screen (which rules out current galaxy tab), adobe flash player, and ease of use with regards to files/documents/music/movies without being a slave to iTunes. Plus 3G-capable sim card slot (which rules out all other tablets in the market such as viewpad and asus and other whatnots).
in fact, based on my criteria, only the motorola xoom fits the bill. other than the 10" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, which i would have purchased in a heartbeat if not for the fact that it still hasn been released in singapore yet.
So is it good? Well, good enough but not anywhere near perfect or excellent.
First of all, i have never used any mobile OS other than iOS of my iPhone. to be able to us the flash-capable browser of Android Honeycomb is truly an eye-opener. web-surfing is pretty much identical to that on PC or laptop. i can really scoff at ppl using the iOS Safari of iPhone or iPad. flash sites, streaming videos.... where the iOS safari would show that blank screen with the silly tiny cube symbol, the android browser shows just what you'd see on the PC.
you do have to download adobe flash player first though, which is a simple matter of going to the android app market and downloading it for free. then enable the plug-in on the browser. no bother really. a bigger annoyance is that some websites (not a lot, but enough to notice) which would give a mobile version of its website if it detects you surfing from a mobile device, still gives you its mobile version. which is totally unnecessary because the big screen displays normal websites without a problem. occasional annoyance only.
and what i said about being a slave to iTunes? let me tell you how simple it is to view movies or music on the xoom. honeycomb comes with its own music player, but you have to download a player app. you can get free no-frills player apps on the market easily. then, you plug in the xoom to your pc or laptop, transfer the files in exactly like a portable hdd. after that, launch your music/video player app, find the folder, and play. plus the player app i DL'ed plays multiple video formats too. iTunes? pui!
the honeycomb OS works in a very similar way to the Apple iOS. desktop screen with app icons. DL a folder manager app, and you can access your storage just like a PC or laptop. another advantage compared to iOS devices.
Battery consumption is quite good. it lasts a little longer than my one-year old iPhone 3GS. which of coz is heck of a lot longer than an unplugged laptop.
thats where the roses end, now for some of the drawbacks.
in general, i find that android apps are not as polished as Apple apps. quite a lot of them have a tendency to crash or not work. apparently since Android works on multiple platforms, the apps are finding it difficult to work 'equally' across all platforms. or something. you WILL feel like the android apps lack the QC of Apple apps. again, a minor annoyance but not enough to make you feel like you bought an 'unusable' device.
another thing is that somehow the xoom has a tendency to slow down, particularly if you have an app downloading in the background. usually this manifests itself in a slow response to your finger swipes. again, another minor annoyance, but does not make the device feel 'unusable'.
oh, and the device comes with an external microSD slot which is not usable. apparently motorola has not completed the software that enables you to use the slot. it will come as a software update 'in future'. apparently motorola decided to roll out the xoom before fully completing the external storage facility because they fear if they wait, their rivals would have rolled out more advanced devices. in any case, the 32GB internal storage is plenty huge.
and, although you can use a sim card for 3G connectivity (the wi-fi only version is about S$100 cheaper), you cannot make calls like the galaxy tab.
another drawback is that it is impossible to find accessories for this thing in singapore. i had to purchase the motorola original cover case for $68. ridiculous, but hey it needs a cover case. and screen protector had to ask a shop to cut an iPad sheet to size.
all in, i am dam happy with the flash-capable browser and no need for iTunes for everything. that alone to me makes it worth buying the xoom (or other android-based tablets) over the iPad. seriously, i refuse to buy the iPad because of these, even though admittedly the iPad rivals all have their little flaws and unpolished feel compared to Apple devices. for the xoom, its not perfect, yes its not as polished, but its flaws are tolerable and no i dont regret picking this up over the iPad. i can live with its minor flaws, but i cannot live with iPad's non-flash and iTunes.