updated 06:25 pm EDT, Fri September 25, 2009
Moto Cliq gets early hands-on
An early look at the Motorola Cliq suggests that the device may be heavily flawed if released in its current state. Having obtained a pre-release unit, BGR notes that the MOTOBLUR interface at the heart of the phone is a flawed concept and makes it "even more difficult" to handle social networking than on a regular Android phone. Besides only supporting a small number of updates at a time, the feature doesn't allow manual updates or even contextual options.
The primary advantage is the integration of social network contacts from Facebook in a single interface, according to the preview. The keyboard
Hardware is also notably mixed. Although poor battery life might be blamed on the pre-production hardware and software, the physical keyboard is described as too small for most adults while the 3.1-inch screen is similarly too small for some tasks, particularly when the onscreen keyboard is necessary. Unless affected by software, the Cliq is "annoyingly slow" in parts of its interface.
The disappointments could pose trouble for Motorola, which has seen a rapid slide in market share and is counting on Android smartphones to put it back into relevancy, particularly in its home market of the US where the iPhone and BlackBerry combined have knocked Motorola entirely out of the top-selling device list. It's assumed, though, that the Sholes for Verizon will be Motorola's most direct rival to competing smartphones with a much larger, sharper display and metal construction.