Hands-On: Motorola Backflip with Motoblur. It’s Pretty Wild.

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It’s like a Cliq with gymnastics skills. The Motorola Backflip is like no other Android phone we’ve seen, thanks to its reverse flip design. It’s not only a cool party trick, it has a couple of benefits. First, the unique form factor allowed Moto to cram in a huge keyboard, which felt very comfy during our few minutes with the phone. Second, the Backflip’s screen can be propped up into desktop mode, which automatically fires up a view that’s similar to the Droid when it’s inserted in that phones’ dock. Instant alarm clock. Last but not least, the Backflip sports a touchpad on the back of the screen, so you can make selections without covering the 3.1-inch capacitive display.

When you put all of these things together, the Backflip sounds kind of gimmicky, but the phone felt pretty solid and fun in person. And we like that you can enter dock mode without purchasing a separate dock, like you do with the Droid. In a nice touch, the keyboard turns black when you flip it around, so it just looks like a standard back of a phone (with a 5-MP camera). You also get the Motoblur service, which places an emphasis on social networking and lets you update Twitter, Facebook and MySpace (as if) all at once.

Too bad this phone is running Android 1.5, although Moto promises an upgrade to 2.1 in the future. The Backflip also runs the same Qualcomm processor as the Cliq, so don’t expect Droid- or Nexus-One like performance. Motorola didn’t announce a carrier, but AT&T showed this exact phone during its press conference this morning, so you do the math. The Backflip will be available in the first quarter. Check out the full gallery and specs below.

Backflip Specs

Talk and Standby Time Up to 6 hours /Up to 315 hours
Bands/Modes WCDMA 850/1900/2100, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps (Category 7/8), EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, aGPS, Version 2.0, 802.11b
Weight 133.00 g/4.7 oz
Dimensions 53.00 (x) 108.00 (y) 15.30 (z)
Size 80.7 cc
OS Android 1.5
Battery 1400 mAh
Connectivity 3.5mm headset jack, , USB 2.0 High Speed, BT Class 2.0, version 2.0 and 802.11 b/g
Display 3.1 inches 480 x 320
Messaging/Web/Apps MMS, SMS, e-mail (POP3/IMAP embedded, corporate e-mail synch, Push Gmail) IM (Embedded – WVIM), OW 4.1 (WAP 1.2.1)
Audio AAC, AAC+, MIDI, MP3, WAV
Video Capture/playback/streaming, H.263, H.264, MPEG4
Camera 5 megapixel, auto-focus, LED
Browser Full HTML browser, Android Webkit
Memory 2GB included up to 32GB supported1
Chipset 7200A
Form Factor Reverse QWERTY flip

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AUTHOR BIO
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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