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Motorola Backflip Review
The Motorola Backflip is one of the relatively new Android smartphones by Motorola. Android has been Motorola's saviour in the past year; Motorola seems to rightly have shifted all its efforts to creating only Android based devices. The Motorola Droid is one of the most successful Android devices yet, and Motorola hopes to repeat that kind of success with the Motorola Backflip in the mid-range budget category. It has decent hardware specifications and comes with a unique design.
Motorola Backflip Specs:
- Dimensions: 108 x 53 x 15.3 mm
- Weight: 133 gms
- Display: 3.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 320 x 480 pixels, 256K colors
- OS: Android 1.5 (CUpcake) with MotoBLUR UI
- Processor: Qualcomm MSM7201A at 528 MHz
- RAM: 256 MB
- ROM: 512 MB
- Camera: 5 MP camera, 2560 x 1920 pixels with autofocus and LED flash
- Memory: upto 32 GB MicroSD
- Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA
- Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
- GPS: GPS with A-GPS
- Battery: Li-Ion Battery - 1400 mAh
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Design and Display
Motorola is known for its unique designs; it just reinforces that perception with the Motorola Backflip. The Backflip sports a full folding QWERTY keypad which flips onto the back. On the back of the display lies the Backtrack touchpad which you can use to scroll through the UI and select elements. The Backflip is pretty compact and light and offers excellent build quality. The backflip mechanism is robust and the sliding is smooth.
The front face of the phone sports the 3.1 inch display and the Menu, Home and Back touch controls. The QWERTY keypad slides out revealing the 5 MP camera and LED flash. On the back of the display lies the Backtrack touchpad while on the right there's the volume rocker, microUSB port and the camera shutter key. On the top, you can find the power key and the 3.5 mm audio jack.
The Backflip sports a 3.1 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels and 256K color support. The display size as well as the resolution are a bit low compared to the current breed of Android phones. The display quality is pretty good and the direct sunlight legibility is decent.
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OS and UI
The Motorola Backflip runs on Android 1.5 (Cupcake) but should soon get an upgrade to Android 2.1 or 2.2. It comes bundled with the MotoBLUR UI which is geared towards social networking integration. It includes Facebook, Twitter and Myspace widgets which allow you to stay updated directly on the homescreen. Social networking options are also built into the phonebook. The MotoBLUR UI allows you to manage all your social accounts from a single interface. Opening the keyboard automatically switches the UI to landscape mode. It comes with Android Market which allows you to download Android applications directly. However, many applications don't work with Android 1.5 and need a higher version of the OS.
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Camera and Multimedia
The Motorola Backflip comes with a 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. It can take shots at a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels. The camera is located to the left of the keyboard which obviates the need for a secondary camera for video conferencing. The image capture quality is pretty decent and the interface has basic customization settings like image quality, white balance, color effects and geotagging. The video recording is worthless, it can capture only CIF video at 30 FPS.
It comes with a nice Gallery application which has nice UI effects. It allows you to view the images in a 3D grid and share them directly over email, MMS or Picasa.
The video player plays 3GP and MP4 videos right out of the box; it sports the standard Android video player. The music playback is pretty decent and allows standard sorting and playlist creation. It will work for casual listeners.
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The Motorola Backflip comes with the standard suite of connectivity options - it has GPRS, EDGE and 3G HSDPA support. It also has Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g. The call reception quality is pretty good too. It comes bundled with Google Maps with Street View for navigation. You can also connect the phone to your PC using the microUSB port to transfer data. It comes with the standard Webkit browser which is really good. Flash support should come with the Android 2.1 / 2.2 upgrade. It comes with the Quick Office document viewer which allows you to read Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF files and includes support for email attachments.
The Motorola Backflip comes bundled with a charger, a microUSB data cable, a headset, a 2 GB microSD card and the user manual.
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The Motorola Backflip is a good option for those looking to buy a mid range Android phone with social networking capabilities. It has a unique design which sets it apart from the scores of standard touchscreen smartphones. However, it doesn't sport great hardware specs and comes bundled with an outdated version of the Android OS. If you can extend your budget by a bit, consider the Motorola Droid / Milestone. All in all, a decent but not very compelling buy.