Motorola Android CLIQ
Today Motorola unveiled its Android strategy, encompassed by MOTOBLUR and the new CLIQ Android phone. Phone Scoop was on site and spent some quality time with the CLIQ. Read our full hands-on report here.
This evening Motorola hosted an event for press where we were finally able to get some hands on time with the new Motorola CLIQ. I think it is safe to say that the CLIQ is the best phone that Motorola has made in recent memory.
I'd rate the hardware at a solid 7 out of 10. I am not the biggest fan of sideways sliders, but the demo units Motorola had on hand were solid. They felt well put together.
The CLIQ is a sizable phone — any device that boasts a 3.1-inch touch screen ain't gonna be small. Even so, it feels pretty good in the hand. It is comfortable to hold, and the hardware certainly didn't get in the way of using the phone. The three buttons on the front (menu, select, back) all felt good and had decent travel and feedback. The volume toggle on the side felt ok, not super great.
The slider mechanism that controls the slide was perhaps the one real weak spot of the device. I am willing to give Motorola some wiggle room here, however, as we only got to see pre-production units.
The keyboard is wide and spacious, and the keys had plenty of contour so it was easy to tell as you moved your thumbs from key to key. I felt that the D-pad to the left of the keyboard was a bit superfluous, but it worked well. I am glad to note that the CLIQ has a 3.5mm headset jack and supports microSD cards up to 32GB.
In all, the hardware gets the basics right, and lets users interact with the phone with no issues.
The real news from Motorola isn't really the hardware, but the MOTOBLUR software and services that Motorola has developed on top of the Android platform.
Android has its strengths and weaknesses, but Motorola was able to really capitalize on the platforms strengths — which are deep integration with the mobile web.
MOTOBLUR is similar to Palm's Synergy (on webOS), whereby it collects all the contact information that users have spread across multiple email systems and social networks and integrates it into one, powerful contact management application. But Motorola takes it all a step further. A big step further.
Rather than simply pile a person's multiple points of contact in one place, it brings all the power of social networking together in a way that allows users to interact with their friends, family and colleagues from practically any place on the phone.
What does this mean? Well, for example, if a person calls you, not only will you see their name and profile picture, but you'll also their most recent status updates and messages displayed on the screen. This gives you a flavor of what that person has been up to and reminds you of things they may have sent as they are calling.
Further, when scrolling through the contact application, you can sort by those who have most recently updated their status, alphabetically, or via the most recent communications they've sent you. From a contact card, it is easy to respond to a person through which whatever medium they most recently contacted you.
There is also the Happenings feed. Happenings collects all the updates submitted by your contacts — whether it be Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. — and streams them in a live feed directly onto a homescreen widget. If social networking is your thing, this is the phone to get it done. I've seen no other platform rise to the challenge presented by multiple social networks so well.
Other things Motorola has brought to Android are new widgets for collected news, weather and other nuggets of information directly to the homescreen.
In using the CLIQ, we noticed no lag, and no other serious or minor performance issues. Everything flowed smoothly and launched faster than I've seen launch on other Android hardware.
In sum, Motorola has done a really good job here. The hardware may not be an absolute home run, but it's pretty good. Now that Motorola has proven that it still has some user interface chops, I think we can start to see light at the end of the dark tunnel that Motorola has been traveling through for so long.
Wow... a "non-event" event
so hear is my question...
first off, does it have an accelerometer? it was never mentioned and it seemed like the moto guy showing it off was sure to slide that bad boy out every time he put it on its side. while i'm on the side issue, what about a soft keyboard? i'm almost sure that him not using it was more an issue of showing off the full qwerty it comes with and the soft is just part of android and all, but still.
next question is, half vga? i know there was another soon-to-be android phone that was something along the lines of half vga and it caused issues with some of apps, in fact, it didn't even have a link to the app store due to it.
and, although i'm sure more will arise, my final question for the evening, internal memory, how much?