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Motorola Flipout (video review)
What's hot: Surprisingly decent keyboard, unique design, affordable.
What's not: QVGA display is cramped and grainy, MOTOBLUR software clutters desktop.
Reviewed October 19, 2010 by Lisa Gade, Editor
Motorola, particularly in conjunction with AT&T, keeps turning out novel entry to mid-tier Android smartphones. It started with the Motorola Backflip, a somewhat larger and more expensive mid-range handset that was AT&T's first Android phone. Now we have the Flipout, an even funkier square phone with a swing-out full QWERTY keyboard that's actually pretty decent.
The Flipout may be square, but the resolution is QVGA 320 x 240, a rectangular aspect ratio that was common in smartphones and feature phones a few years ago. By today's standards, and particularly Android's where the base resolution is HVGA 320 x 480, that's low. Given the phone's relatively small dimensions and 2.8" display, there's really no room for more pixels. Our complains with this resolution are:
1) Some Android apps don't support QVGA.
2) The display looks pixelated, though colorful
3) Motorola's MOTOBLUR software customizations simply overrun that tiny screen.
In terms of speed, the Flipout is fast, and it packs a 720MHz CPU. Even MOTOBLUR can't bog it down. The smartphone runs Android OS 2.1 and the rest of the specs are mid to entry level: 3G HSDPA 7.2Mbps, 3 megapixel camera with fixed focus lens, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR and a microSD card slot pre-loaded with a 2 gig card.
Sadly, like all AT&T Android phones, installation of non-market apps is blocked. That means you can install apps from the Google Market (what most folks want to do), but you can't install them from other sources including side-loading over USB (what some power users and beta testers want to do).