Text and Photos by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Motorola, you've done it again! You created yet another Android smartphone that's unlike anything we've seen or touched before. Just like your innovative application of a slide-out form factor on the Motorola Milestone and the mind-warping BackFlip (a real flip phone with a trackpad to boot), the FLIPOUT brings an entirely new mobile device to the market and its got Android OS 2.1 as well!
The Motorola FLIPOUT can function as the smallest multi-touch Android smartphone with its 2.8' inch screen (made of impact resistant Gorilla Glass, by the way). Its preloaded with the MotoBLUR overlay skin which brings together all your social media connections into a constant stream that refreshes on the screen.
Motorola is using a 600MHz TI OMAP processor an impressive 512 of RAM, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, a 3 Megapixel fixed-focus camera with video recording. Having the latest release of the Android OS allows for Flash video to work within the browser (sweet). You also get the animated wallpaper that puts cool scenes in the background (at the expense of battery life).
As an almost completely square device screen device, the FLIPOUT is easy to pocket and fully usable with the on-screen keyboard as well as multi-touch swipe and scroll commands. What you almost don't realize is that it can transform into a completely different device once you flip out the screen to reveal the full QWERTY keyboard which comes complete with a directional pad.
Once the keyboard is deployed, users have a far more engaging and accurate typing experience as well as access to the entire screen which still responds to touch commands. It does feel a bit odd to hold in the hand once the keyboard is deployed but this is probably the best way to hold it to make or take phone calls.
Geared towards messaging, the Motorola FLIPOUT seems like a more innovative take on the look-and-feel of the Motorola Charm which is sold on Telus. The two devices share similar specs and screen resolutions.
What makes the FLIPOUT so appealing is its ability to be tiny and useful at the same time. With the keyboard hidden, you have a neat multimedia player, a useful GPS device (made even more compelling by Google's Navigation app) and a cool little photo and video camera that fits in all but the smallest pockets.
Its specs are comparable to that of higher end Android smartphones from Motorola which means it can pretty much do anything a Milestone can do provided its screen size is supported.
MotoBlur, Motorola's in-house Android social media app, was launched in Canada with great fanfare last April in no less than three new devices and has been part of nearly every Android Motorola device since then. It serves as the life information centre of the FLIPOUT.
Using the FLIPOUT as a phone is a bit of a challenge. Dialing numbers on the keyboard is tricky so you are better off using the on-screen dialpad. Holding it in either screen or screen plus keyboard mode also requires some getting used to since the phone's shape is unusual and unfamiliar. Call quality and reception was good to very good around Toronto.
With its innovative yet funky styling, strong feature and specs- the Motorola FLIPOUT makes an interesting option for Rogers subscribers looking to get into the Android game. It seems specifically attractive to the text-heavy, social media entrenched student segment which Rogers has released some discounted data plans for. The Motorola FLIPOUT is available now for $29.99 on a three-year plan or for a cash price of $375.00.
Rating:4.5 out of 5