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printed July 28, 2014
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MotoSummer 2004

Intro RAZR V3 MPx Series A780 A630 Comments  43  

While the V3 is undoubtedly the flashiest new Moto, I would say the A780 is actually the most important. This feature-packed model is the company's first EDGE smartphone. And while its predecessor - the A760 - was released only in Asia, this model will be released worldwide, including with multiple carriers in the U.S.

The feature list is extensive, but the highlights are: Linux + Java OS, large QVGA touchscreen, megapixel camera, Bluetooth, quad-band GSM with EDGE, and a TransFlash memory card slot.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The design is somewhat unique. Essentially, the A780 has dual personalities. When it's open, it's a full-fledged smartphone. But when you close the flip, it transforms into a simple but capable bar-style phone, with its own keypad and special phone-oriented user interface. The A630 also has this feature, as does the Sony Ericsson P900. The advantage of the A780's "window" approach is that a second display (which would add weight) is not necessary, yet the display is fully protected.

Other tidbits about the A780: It has a "jog dial" on the left side, for navigation both open and closed. It's actually more of an up/down toggle switch than a "dial", but no one seems to have come up with a good name to describe that kind of thing yet.

Also, it has mini-USB and stereo headset jacks on the bottom. The TransFlash card slot is located on the top.

There are two exciting things about this phone. First, it's a smartphone with EDGE, something that is unfortunately still rare. A powerful device like this is twice as powerful when you pair it with a high-speed wireless data technology like EDGE.

The second exciting thing about the A780 is that it will be the first serious Linux-based phone for the U.S. Having spent time with the similar A760 about a year ago, and briefly seeing some of the improvements in the newer OS on the A780, I can tell you that I'm pretty impressed. I'm anxious to see how the U.S. market reacts to this device.

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