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Motorola BACKFLIP
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<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" src="http://www.mobilegazette.com/handsets/motorola/motorola-backflip/motorola-backflip-2.jpg"/>The Motorola BACKFLIP is Motorola's latest Android handset, closely related to the CLIQ and DEXT, but this time it comes with a novel QWERTY keyboard that gives the phone the "Backflip" name.

Rather than go for a conventional arrangement, the Backflip's keyboard is hinged and folds back behind the screen. This means that you can easily use the Backflip as a PDA-style tablet device, a mini computer with a keyboard or alternatively you can use the keyboard as a stand so that you can use the Backflip while sitting on a table (to watch videos, for example).

As far as we know, this form factor is unique.. and it does seem like a good idea, although exactly how customers will react to it is unknown.

As we said before, this is basically the CLIQ / DEXT smartphone packaged in a different way. There's a 3.1" 480 x 320 pixel touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, tri-band 3.5G support and WiFi. GPS is built in, and there's also a microSD memory slot (with a 2GB card in the standard sales package), Bluetooth and USB connectivity plus a 3.5mm audio socket.

Motorola BACKFLIP Underneath the hardware, the Motorola BACKFLIP runs the Android 1.5 operating system as found on the CLIQ / DEXT, rather than Android 2.0 on the Motorola DROID / Milestone or 2.1 on the Google Nexus One. Version 1.5 is pretty up-to-date though, and Motorola's spec sheet says that the phone is upgradeable to Android 2.x.

The BACKFLIP is integrated into Motorola's MOTOBLUR service, offering seamless integration and backup capabilities across devices. MOTOBLUR is really aimed at consumers rather than business customers, and overall Motorola do seem to be pitching the phone as a fun way to keep in touch through messaging and social networking sites, and to enjoy multimedia.

Motorola BACKFLIP Inside is a very large 1400 mAh battery that Motorola says provides up to 6 hours talktime and 13 days standby time. The phone itself weighs 133 grams and measures 108 x 53 x 15mm, so it's a little on the large side but it is still pocket-friendly.

Motorola say that the BACKFLIP should be available this quarter in markets worldwide, including North America and Europe. There's no guidance on price, but we should imagine that it will come in at less than €300 SIM-free. You can see more of the BACKFLIP (including the novel keyboard) at www.motorola.com/backflip.

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