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Motorola Backflip: Hands On

by Jon Rettinger | January 12, 2010January 12, 2010 4:15 pm PST

While at CES 2010 we had a chance to spend some time with Motorola’s new Android device, the Backflip.  With so many cellphone form factors available, I imagine it’s quite difficult for engineers to come up with a relevant new design.  The Backflip attempts a brand new form factor, having the keyboard actually flip open, you guessed it, backwards.  This means a few things.  Firstly, when the phone is closed, the keyboard is still exposed.  (Moto has claimed it will be durable enough to handle standard wear and tear. )  It also means you get more keyboard real estate. With standard slider phones, the side of the device often cramps the top of the keyboard.  This is not the case with the backflip, where the user has ample finger room.  Lastly, it means the keyboard can act as built in stand, making the phone great for watching movies or other media playback.

The new design cues don’t end there however.  On the back of the screen is a touchpad, aimed to help navigation.  Moto claimed they will give developers access to it, but I can’t help wondering if this will fragment the development community.  Either way, the touchpad is not as gimmicky as it sounds, it works quite well for scrolling and general navigation.  No carrier AT&T has been officially announced yet, but this does support AT&T’s 3G bands, so…..

What do you think of the design? Is it something you might use?

Jon Rettinger

Jon, perhaps best known by his YouTube alter ego Jon4Lakers, has a love for technology that can never be quenched, no matter how hard he tries. If...