Following our recent look at the X10 Mini we’ve now got another dinky Android device. This is the Motorola FLIPOUT. It’s named FLIPOUT because the keyboard rotates down from the lower left corner of the screen. It’s a 2.8″ screen and, without the keyboard flipped down, you cup the phone in your hand. Here we have an engineering model (which you may see stamped on the side in the photos) with an orange back. There’s other colours available, including blue, black, red and pink to match your mood, or wardrobe. For that reason alone it’s probably aimed at the younger generation who want a cool-looking phone with a twist (did you see what I did there?)
As with all of our reviews, we’ve started off with two overview videos. The first is filmed in HD and gives you a look at the device itself, whilst the second is a more close-up look at the screen and the
Inside is Android 2.1 and the Android Market, giving access into a vast library of applications. Other specs include..
Screen – 2.8″ QVGA 320×240 TFT
Networks – WCDMA 850/1900, GSM 850/900/1800/1900
HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, HSUPA 2.0 Mbps
Bluetooth – Version 2.1+EDR
Camera – Fixed focus 3.1 Megapixel camera with zoom
GPS – eCompass/aGPS (GeoTagging etc)
WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n
Battery – 1180 mAh
Headset – 3.5mm
GUI – MOTOBLUR 1.5
Memory – 2GB MicroSD included. Allows up to 32GB.
The phone itself is a small thing and isn’t your “normal” phone shape. You may find it a little strange to hold at first purely because it’s so square. The microUSB connector (now standard in phones) sits at the bottom which will charge your phone or connect to your computer….
On the opposite side are the volume up / down buttons…
Then at the top, or however you want to look at it, is the power button and 3.5mm audio port for plugging in standard headphones..
There’s bags more photos that we simply can’t fit into this review, so please do head
over here and soak them all up.
On the back is that 3.1 megapixel shooter – no flash here, but a little mirror instead. It did seem to be in a strange position and, for right-handed people like me, it was sometimes a little too easy to cover as you snapped a photo. Photos can be taken with the keyboard down or up, but you’ll get a portrait-style shot if the keyboard isn’t open. We’ve included some sample photos later on..
Moving inside, the MOTOBLUR (Motorola love their capital letters) sits on top of the Android 2.1 interface. Pretty much everything is changeable – the ringtones, background and how everything is laid out. All it takes is a bit of dragging, dropping and choosing. Easy stuff.
First, the things I liked. For most of the time this device doesn’t need to do any screen rotation changing. If you do then it’ll happen quickly. The CPU speed has been bounced around the internet – some say 600MHz, we’ve previously stated 700MHz. There’s no definite answer on the Motorola website, but we’ve checked and it actually shows up as 720MHz.
I also liked the fact that the phone unlocked itself when opened, a nice little touch that meant no screen fiddling. The keyboard actually isn’t bad – it’s a full 5-row-high keyboard and I loved the fact that I didn’t need to fiddle around with a shift or ALT key to get numbers. A lot of people I showed this too were shocked to find that it was a touch-screen and I liked the fact that Google Maps and the browser had multi-
touch built in.
All the social media stuff is built in and the MOTOBLUR account will now hook into MySpace, Facebook, LastFM, Twitter, POP3 email, Exchange Servers, Picasa, Photobucket, Bebo, Yahoo Mail and Google. These can be fed into a “Happenings” widget on the main screen and you can even use the IM app to chat on AIM, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo.
It’s an obvious messaging handset, but Motorola have also chucked a whole load of media stuff in too. There’s a Media Share function for letting other devices (like PC’s or your XBox) connect to your Motorola FLIPOUT across the WiFi and listen to your music, watch videos using DLNA – which is basically an industry standard way of moving media around.
There’s also a Music app which will play connected music including FM radio, streaming radio, music videos (over YouTube, GoTV or your own library) and there’s also a song identification app (like Shazam) for finding the name of your favourite tune.
Other goodies include the Moto Phone Portal for managing you phone and its’ content.
Other funky bits include the Voice Command feature for telling your phone what to do (like “Send Text” or “Send Picture”), YouTube for viewing videos, Quickoffice for editing documents on the go, a News app for reading RSS news and other feeds, an Alarm and Timer and a Gallery where you can Share your pictures or videos over Bluetooth, Email, MOTOBLUR, MySpace, Picasa and text. You can edit pictures too – crop,
rotate or use “Kodak Perfect Touch” to enhance a shot. You’ll probably be needing this as the camera isn’t amazing. It’s “ok” and produces passable shots in good light, but in a room lit by electric light it can struggle and produces washed-out shots.
The gallery system also includes a slideshow and you can geo-tag your shots so you’ll be able to find out when and where you took shots.
Below are some example shots. As usual these are directly from the phone itself, so just click on to view the originals..
The camera is fixed focus and, at 3 megapixel, it’s not going to replace your normal digital camera any time soon, but it does the job and includes a panorama mode and video option for capturing those special moments. As usual with Android you can set shots to be your background or your contact pictures.
The power button did puzzle me a little. With the screen up and the keyboard down it sits behind the screen, which can get a little awkward to press. Thankfully you can press space or a few other keys to wake it
This is definitely aimed at the younger end of the market too. There’s a data meter for keeping track of your data use – ideal for Pay As You Go customers and those on a tight budget.
To sum up, this is a good a funky phone aimed at the teenage and youth market. It’ll do quite well too, although I doubt it’ll appeal to business users or more higher-end customers due to the limited camera
and the “love it or hate it” design.
Link – More pictures