updated 08:20 pm EDT, Wed October 7, 2009
Moto's upcoming entry-level Android handset
Electronista had a chance to stop by Motorola's booth at CTIA and take a closer look at the upcoming Cliq handset. The device is powered by the Android OS, with Motorola's own Motoblur user interface. The UI is designed to be widget-based, presenting additional features such as Facebook and Twitter in the same manner as basic phone functions. A virtual button reveals the entire range of apps, with a fairly long list pre-loaded.
The overall design isn't bad, as the phone features a slightly smaller form factor than many other Android handsets. The sliding surfaces are metal and the keyboard deploys with a solid feel. The company integrates a directional pad to the left of the QWERTY keyboard. Typing seemed easy despite the cramped keyboard, although it would likely require a bit of familiarization before cranking out speedy text messages.
Although the Cliq lacks the AMOLED display that Samsung has been utilizing in its higher-end phones, the UI still appeared bright and vibrant. The 3.1-inch LCD matches the iPhone's resolution of 320x480 pixels. Touch sensitivity appeared to be excellent, while the directional pad makes it easier to bump around the interface when using the physical keyboard.
Picture quality was hard to determine, as the demo units did not have MicroSD cards inserted. Despite the likelihood that Motorola will offer the device at an entry-level price, the company added a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and video capture capabilities. GPS functionality couldn't be tested indoors, but the phone also integrates geo-tagging options and an electronic compass.
Considering the wide range of features and pre-loaded apps, the Cliq could be a formidable contender amongst the growing list of Android sliders. The Motoblur interface is slightly different than the basic Android setup, although the Widget-style layout is geared for social-networking addicts.
The Cliq is scheduled to arrive at T-Mobile beginning November 2nd, with titanium or white color options.