Motorola Cliq Preview

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The Motorola Cliq is going to be this company’s first Android-based smartphone, but one of several running this OS being launched by T-Mobile this year.

Google Android OSIt will have a sliding keyboard, 3G, Wi-Fi, and a 5 MPx camera. This device will be aimed at pro-sumers: people who use their phone for much more than voice calls, but as as a pocket-size mobile computer for work and fun.

It was unveiled this week, but not released — this model is coming to T-Mobile later this fall.

I was at the launch event for the Cliq, and even got an overview of it from the product manager. Based on this, I’ve put together my first impressions of the device.

Motorola CliqBUILD & DESIGN

The Motorola Cliq is going to replace the T-Mobile G1 in T-Mobile’s product lineup. Frankly, that’s not going to be very hard — the G1 was a good first try, but its design was about as exciting as mud.

The upcoming device — code-named the Morrison — will have the same general shape as its predecessor, but a better look. It will be a slider, with a 3.1-inch HVGA touchscreen and a landscape-oriented QWERTY keyboard.

The screen is slightly smaller than the one on the G1, but the difference isn’t significant. The resolution is the same.

In my brief chance to use it, I found the Cliq’s keyboard slightly cramped. The keys are all very close together, and start right below the raised piece that holds the screen.

Motorola CliqMotorola decided to go with a D-pad on this device, not the trackball that HTC has been putting on all its Android-based devices. Whether you approve of this move is purely a matter of personal preference — generally speaking, trackballs are faster to use than D-pads, but D-pads are more accurate.

The Cliq is going to be able to access T-Mobile’s 3G network, plus it will be have Wi-Fi. Where it’s available, I’ve always found T-Mobile’s HSDPA service to be

It will be bundled with a 2 GB microSD memory card, and have support for up to 32 GB cards.

This smartphone will also have a 5 megapixel auto focus camera with video capture and playback at 24 frames per second, and a 3.5mm headset jack. In addition, it will sport a GPS receiver and a digital compass.

Overall, it will be 2.2 inches by 4.5 inches by 0.6 inches (114mm x 58mm x 15.6mm), and weigh 5.7 ounces (163 g), making it almost exactly the same size as the T-Mobile G1.

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