Attention AT&T-faithful: your wait for the first Android-powered device to grace AT&T’s airwaves has finally come to an end. The Motorola Backflip is the first Android phone available to subscribers on the nation’s second largest wireless network, and offers a mid-range smartphone in a never-before-seen form factor that has stirred some intense emotion on both sides of the aisle.
Rather than adopting the traditional sliding QWERTY keyboard like its DROID, DEVOUR and CLIQ brethren, the Backflip actually flips backwards to reveal a huge and comfortable QWERTY keyboard. The keys are among the biggest we’ve seen, and offer a superior typing experience, particularly for those with bigger hands. When not flipped open, the keyboard makes up the back of the phone — a look and feel outside the norm certainly, but one that is a wholly functional alternative to the conventional if you can first wrap your arms around the concept.
Equipped with Motorola’s MOTOBLUR interface built on top of Android version 1.5, the Backflip offers tight and always-on integration with popular social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. The Backflip also has a powerful 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and an LED flash that rivals that of the DROID. Uniquely enough, the camera is built into the back of the phone alongside the keyboard, making it ideal for self-portraits.
Motorola’s latest also offers most of the usual Android fare, including a YouTube application for watching high-quality video over AT&T’s 3G network and access to the Android Market for downloading thousands more free and paid applications for the device. While the phone does come loaded with Google Maps, it will unfortunately not support Google Maps with Navigation until it receives a scheduled software update.
A 2GB microSD card comes pre-installed, and the Backflip can support up to a 32GB microSD card for plenty of extra storage space for music, video, and images. There’s also a standard-size 3.5mm headphone jack, and stereo Bluetooth support for wireless listening.
For a closer look at everything the BACKFLIP has to offer, check out our complete video review [at right].