- PhoneArena Team , PhoneArena
Although the Motorola BACKFLIP provides customers a glimpse into the power of Android, the experience is somewhat less tasteful as there are still some decisions that hinder it from truly becoming triumphant in making Android’s presence known on AT&T.
It wasn’t that long ago that some cell phone pundits had written off Motorola as a major player in the industry. The introduction of the Backflip may prove some of them wrong.
The Backflip offers up an honest and modern cell phone experience, meeting all the new baselines set by demanding, savvy customers, including a large touch screen, a powerful Android operating system, and a variety of new ways to use the device not previously available.
One example is that the Backflip offers a track pad on the back of the screen, where you can actually control the front display simply by moving your finger. This makes for a comfortable navigation experience and a creative alternative to the heretofore idea that touching the screen directly was the only way to interact with it.
Motorola has found an interesting way to keep the thickness of the Backflip to a minimum by using a design which, when closed, actually exposes the full QWERTY keypad as the back of the phone. While this may seem shocking to some, shocking can be good, as it breaks new ground and provides a viable architecture that solves a thickness problem without creating a new one. Also, when closed, the rear, exposed QWERTY keypad remains inactive, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally touching a key that connects you with a foreign embassy or your ex-girlfriend. And we know how awkward that can be.
When opened, the spacious QWERTY keypad lights up, making texting a delight, and you can adjust the keyboard brightness. The keypad is effective and holds its own among many other devices, but lacks the subtle, hyper-engineered, contoured keys one finds on a BlackBerry.
The overall size of the Motorola Backflip is comparable to most popular touch screen phones, and slimmer than some.
As for specs, the Backflip is powerful and quick. It can render web pages quickly, in both portrait and landscape mode, the capacitive touch interface also offers haptic feedback, so you know you hit the correct button, and the resolution, while not best in class, is respectable. It also offers a 5 megapixel camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a number of dedicated keys that allow one-touch access to the Internet, home screen, search, etc.
The Backflip is a powerful device that offers users access to everything they need, from email and internet access, to tremendous customization and of course, a myriad of applications via the Android app store.
If you feel like taking a second look at Motorola, take a look at the Backflip.
Reviews (7.1/10 Avg. rating)
Creative design balances style and function
It's about time Motorola did something crazy. The Cliq was predictably sleek. The Droid was pragmatically chunky. But AT&T's new Backflip is just ... odd.
At first glance the touchscreen channels the Cliq, but flipping it over reveals an exposed QWERTY keyboard. The phone opens like a reverse clamshell, and once you swing the keyboard around through 180 degrees, it's facing you, resting beneath the screen. And, get this — hidden away on the back of the touchscreen is a small navigational touchpad (called the "Backtrack") used for scrolling and selecting menu items.<... Full review
The BACKFLIP can attract customers that have been stuck on the mindset of seeing the iPhone OS as the carrier’s flagship platform
Unlike Verizon’s plunge into Android, AT&T has decided to go with a less than magnificent entourage with their dive. It’s not to say that the Motorola BACKFLIP might not be garnered as the flagship Android device we would’ve envisioned, but it’s uniqueness in various aspects meticulously elevates it to a higher platform for AT&T customers that have been Android-less. Although the Motorola BACKFLIP provides customers a glimpse into the power of Android, the experience is somewhat less tasteful as there are still some decisions that hinder it from truly becomin... Full review
The Motorola BACKFLIP is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
For me, the Motorola BACKFLIP is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The good doctor, which represents the top half of the device, offers a good touchscreen experience and a nice user interface that is heavily focused on social networking and messaging. I love it. Mr. Hyde's temperamental keyboard design and oddball BACKTRACK directional controller, however, leave me totally underwhelmed.
If you are set on being an AT&T customer and want to get yourself some Android love, the BACKFLIP is certainly a solid choice. You'll get used to the keyboard with time, and will probably... Full review
The Backflip from Motorola is not going to score a perfect 10 from any judge that I know
The form factor is odd for no good reason at all, though the larger keyboard and solid design help a little bit. Only time will tell whether or not people take to the backwards clamshell design.
The keyboard is strong, large, and the keys have good travel and feedback. The lack of any shape to the keys, however, means typing is a mixed bag.
It's neat to have a rear touch pad on a phone, but this one takes getting used to. For the careless, it can spell trouble.
Neither Motoblur nor the media experience of the Backflip have been updated in any... Full review
Interesting design, and that's about it.
I'm a huge lover of the Android platform and when I saw the opportunity to buy a new and unlocked version of this phone, which caught my eye because of it's awesome design, I jumped on it. Customs slapped eighty dollars on top of it (I bought it from the States) but I thought, whatever, two hundred dollars isn't "too" bad for a relatively good phone, or so I thought. I instantly had major regrets for purchasing the model I did just shortly after using the phone. MotoBlur, Motorola's Android skin, is an incredible power hog. It uses up almost all of my RAM, the majority of my CPU, and causes the phone to freeze and reboot on a regular basis. I updated my phone manually to Android 2.1, which stopped a lot of the rebooting, but caused the phone to freeze more often. I just couldn't win. I found myself having to close applications almost immediately after opening them, and God forbid I ran two applications simultaneously. This phone did NOT offer the multi-tasking abilities Android promises. Aside from software, the camera is sub-par to my last phone (the LG Prada II KF900), regardless of also being 5MP. The video quality was quite poor. The messaging system and the keyboard really made the phone worthwhile, for me anyway. The keys are large and firm, but are still very responsive. The 3" screen also offers enough space for quick on-screen typing. The speakers are alright, but distort when turned up to full volume. A phone's a phone, not a boombox, so it does a great job when I need it too. Being the "hacker" that I am, I recently rooted and flashed to phone to an operating system called "Speedy ROM" I found on a website called modmymobile. The phone is considerably faster than before (the processor is overclocked to 748MHz;similarly, MotoBlur has been removed), and I can actually run games like Angry Birds or emulators without extreme lagg. This came at the cost of the awesome messaging system the phone had before and the ability to use the regular Contacts app. Note, rooting and flashing is a somewhat difficult task and in doing so, there's always a good chance that you can permanently brick your phone. In summary, the phone's a great messaging phone with an amazing keyboard and touch screen, but that's basically it unfortunately. MotoBlur really limits what Android can really do. For a "txter", I recommend the phone, though there are a number of more powerful/practical messaging phones out there.Less
A GREAT 1ST PHONE!!!!!
I've had my backflip for just over a week and a half. I couldn't be more happy and I have a great plan with TELUS! PROS: * 5 customizable backgrounds * easily to access the internet but it won't happen accidently! * easy to text on keyboard and on the screen itself * tons of apps to be downloaded for free * sound quality during calls is very good * doesn't freeze * texts, e-mails, updates from social networking sites are very convenient to access with notifications (a bar @ the top of the phone you slide down with your finger) * when on the internet the phone compress' everything so you use less data than an iphone (still looks similar what you'd see on a computer) * sealed keyboard so no dirt, dust or food can get inside the phone CONS: * takes about 30- 45s to turn on the phone * somewhat short battery life if you're using the internet a lot/ texting a lot (but mine always lasts through the day even w/ a lot of texting) * the phone itself is quite $$$$ unless you get a deal NEUTRAL: * backtrack on the back of the phone. You can only use this is the phone is open (con) but it does take your finger out of the way when using the touchscreen (pro) I put this as neutral b/c it is depends on the user if its a pro or a con. I don't use it very much. * touchscreen. for me this is a pro since I wanted one but again depends on the userLess
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Manuals / User Guides
- Motorola BACKFLIP Manual (PDF)
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