Motorola Triumph reviewSee all photos
At first glance, the Triumph is a rather grand looking phone. Its glossy, 4.1-inch WVGA touchscreen reaches to the very edge of its seemingly robust body, giving the feel of a much larger device. In reality, it measures 4.8 inches by 2.6 inches, slightly smaller than its cousin, the Photon 4G. A portion of the screen's real estate is taken up by Moto's logo, which sits just below the earpiece and front-facing VGA camera. Bright white haptic buttons line the bottom of the display, in typical Android fashion.
As we pointed out before, its body is otherwise sheathed in a nice, grip-able, black rubber finish, reminiscent of the Motorola Droid, Incredible, and other similarly appointed handsets. In the rear, a five megapixel camera and accompanying flash sit, horizontally centered, near the top margin, wile a shiny silver 'M' resides, dead center, above the carrier's own logo. The upper right-hand side plays host to an understated, shiny and receptive volume rocker, and the upper left is home to a small power / lock button of the same make. A 3.5mm headphone jack appears along the upper edge of the phone, and a micro-USB and mini-HDMI line the bottom.
Back in June, when we got our first few minutes with the Triumph, we were impressed with its responsiveness, and while we don't have any big bones to pick about the 800 x 480 display's pickup, we did find it a little slow to catch up on occasion. We caught ourselves pressing some buttons more than once before we saw any results, but our major gripe here comes from a consistent lag in navigation. We scrolled easily across the home screens, but were met with slow app startups, especially when it came to the camera and camcorder. YouTube, similarly, took what felt like ages to load, and here is where the boasting catches up to this generally well-equipped phone.
So it's not the Hulk of all media players, but when it comes to making calls, we'd say the Triumph delivered fairly well, if a bit inconsistently. Aside from a mildly annoying intermittent hissing that popped up during one call, and a complaint from a friend that we sounded distant in another, we gabbed without incident. Considering we could only get one to two bars in the entire city of Oakland, we were surprised to find that Virgin's network carried us through without a single dropped call.
Performance and battery life
|Benchmark||Motorola Triumph||LG Revolution||HTC Thunderbolt|
So, it fared reasonably well in a handful of benchmark sprints, but can this ambitious Android go the distance? We gave the Triumph the standard battery life run down, consisting of two very different tests. When left to run a movie on a continuous loop, it kept its charge for a full five hours and forty-eight minutes. Of course, that's not the sort of thing most folks are likely to do, so we tried out something a little more practical. During a day of light use -- checking email and Twitter about once an hour, snapping a handful of pictures, and making three short phone calls, the aspiring champion came up a tad short, losing its charge in 13 hours flat. That might be enough to float you through the workday, but it certainly won't carry you through to the morning after.
It may not rock an 8 megapixel shooter like the Incredible 2, and it won't deliver 1080p, but with 5 megapixel stills and 720p video, the Triumph's front-facing camera is prime competition for a handset like the LG Revolution. Unfortunately, we weren't terribly impressed with what it had to offer. It managed to do an alright job when the lighting was just right, and actually served up some nice, crisp photos when given a little bit of shade. This camera was clearly not built for low-light picture taking, but it proved equally ill suited for shooting in harsh lighting. Under the midday sun, we found a consistent halo effect accompanying our images, and when we took it inside and shot near a window, our kitchen seemed to undergo a soft focus makeover. When the lighting is just right, though, this camera is capable of producing photos fit for even the finest of Facebook profiles. If you're looking to get serious with your picture taking, there are a slew of settings to help the little guy along.
Motorola Triumph sample shotsSee all photos
So, how does "The Ultimate Media Machine" function as a camcorder? You can see for yourself in the video below. Dizzy? We certainly are. The Triumph's camcorder program functions well enough, there's a little bit of lag while loading, but other than that, we don't have much to gripe about in terms of a user experience. But the proof is in the pudding, and this pudding clearly had some issues keeping up. As you can see, when shot in 720p, the camera had some trouble tracking fast moving objects.
Bloatware aside, we found the Android 2.2 experience smooth and steady throughout our trial, despite a few of the apps taking their sweet time to load. The stock apps are all here, and from what we can tell, just how the little green robot intended them. Sure we'd prefer a completely clean Android experience, but we've come to expect a little something extra from carriers. If anyone at Moto is taking notes, this is what an Android should look like.
- Solid body
- Good price
- No Motoblur
- Inconsistent reception
- Some apps slow to load
- Mediocre battery life
The Motorola Triumph is an ambitious mid-level phone that successfully ditches the stigma of pre-paid offerings.