While we're working on our full written review of the Motorola Backflip, check out our 14 minute video review of Moto's latest Android phone (and ATT's first). The Backflip is a midrange Android phone whose most salient feature is the backwards flip: when closed, this QWERTY phone's display faces out on one side and the keyboard faces out on the other. Hey, it's funky but it works, and Moto claims the keyboard is sturdy enough to stand up to the punishment of the average pocket.
Like the Motorola Cliq and Motorola Devour, the Backflip features Motorola's MOTOBLUR social networking software on top of Android. Great for you Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and etc. addicts. It also supports MS Exchange email and of course, Gmail.
The Backflip is available starting today on AT&T and it's affordable at $99 with contract and $349 without ($249 after $100 mail-in rebate). It has a capacitive WVGA 320 x 480 display like the iPhone 3GS and HTC Hero, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, GPS that works with Google Maps and AT&T Navigator, WiFi and Bluetooth.
Yes, it's true: AT&T has changed the default search engine on the phone (the one you use with the desktop search widget) to Yahoo rather than Google-- pretty weird on a Google phone. But have no fear: all the other Google goodies are intact: Google Maps, Gmail, their YouTube player, Gtalk and more.
The Backflip has caught some negative press because it just ain't a Moto Droid or Nexus One. Sure it would be nice for us power users if AT&T's first phone was a superphone, but 1) they don't want to rain on the iPhone's parade, 2) we're in a recession and not everyone wants an absolute top dog phone. And Moto's done a very nice job of developing a full-featured Android phone with solid features for a nice price. We do wish it was running something newer than Android 1.5, but word is that will be available in 2 months.
Here's our video review which includes comparisons with the Motorola Devour, Nexus One, iPhone 3GS Acer Liquid:
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview