It was on display at the CTIA in San Francisco last week, where I had a chance to try it out and form some early impressions.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Flipside is going to be a slider, a very popular design for smartphones. It will have a slide-out, landscape-oriented QWERTY keyboard that can be hidden behind the 3.1-inch, HVGA (320 x 480) touchscreen.
It is going to include a design quirk: an unusually large trackpad. Motorola’s intent is to encourage people to use this as much as possible, and therefore keep their (often dirty) fingers off the touchscreen. Only time will tell if this strategy will be a success, but I think it’s a good idea.
The keyboard on the Flipside will be rather generic. The keys are large enough to be useful, but there could be more separation between them. Still, it’s good to see AT&T offer more Android OS models with keyboards.
Overall, this device is going to be average sized, if a bit heavy: 4.3 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches, and 5.1 ounces.
The Motorola Flipside runs Google Android OS 2.1 on a 720 MHz processor from Texas Instruments. That’s a decent configuration for a mid-range device.
That processor speed means that there’s no hurry about an upgrade to Android OS 2.2, because this model will probably never do a very good job of running Adobe Flash, the main new feature in the latest version of Google’s operating system.
The Flipside is going to come with MotoBlur, Motorola’s add-on to the Android user interface that adds additional social-networking features, giving it greater than average integration with Facebook and Twitter.
Its software selection has been designed for its target market: consumers rather than business people. It will have the Android OS standard music and video player, for example. And the web browser (aside from no support for Flash) will be quite good. It will even come with an FM radio.
Motorola is including a microSD/SDHC memory card slot, and a 2 GB card will be included. This will give you a bit of room to store your your MP3s and other files.
This smartphone is going to support AT&T’s 3G network, plus it is going to have Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth, and a GPS receiver.
Also on the Flipside’s specifications list is a 3.0-megapixel camera and a 1170 mAh battery.
Comments on the wireless and camera performance, as well as the battery life, will have to wait until someone on the Brighthand staff has had more time with this upcoming device.
The Motorola Flipside is going to sell for $100 with a two-year contract, and it is shaping up to be a decent value.
It’s not yet known when this model will be on the market. At this point, AT&T is only saying that it will be out in time for the holiday shopping season.