ATandT Gets First Android Smartphone, the Motorola Backflip
The Motorola Backflip
is now available on the AT&T network, making it the carrier's first
device to run the Google Android operating system.
The Backflip - which runs Android 1.5, or Cupcake - is the first of five planned Android-based phones that AT&T will support, and is the 11th smartphone to take advantage of AT&T's newly deployed HSPA 7.2 technology, as well as its 20,000-plus hotspots.
The worldphone features a 3.1-inch HVGA high-resolution touchscreen, a full HTML browser, a slide-out QWERTY keypad and a feature called Backtrack, which lets users navigate the device using a touch panel behind the screen, so that every centimeter of its roomy display can remain in view.
Mobile e-mail, Xpress Mail, Microsoft Outlook and additional e-mail platforms are supported, along with instant messaging and text messaging. Multiple music formats are also supported, a 5-megapixel camera with four-times zoom is included, and connectivity options include Bluetooth 2.0, 3G service on UMTS 850/1900/2100MHz networks, EDGE high speed data network access on HSDPA 7.2 networks and GSM/GPRS on 850/900/1800/1900MHz networks.
Then there's the name, pointing to the Backflip's flexible nature. It can be used with the QWERTY keypad slid down and the screen above, folded in half, candybar style, or flipped backward, so it tidily stands on its own.
Motorola has also included its Motoblur technology, which funnels together contact information, social networking details, Twitter feeds and more, to offer comprehensive profiles for users' contacts, and the expected Google goodies, such as Google Talk and quick access to the Android Market, are also included
After a mail-in $100 rebate, and with a new two-year service contract, the Backflip will run you $99.99.
AT&T announced in February that the equipment partners for its 4G LTE network will be Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. The carrier plans to conduct field trials later this year, and roll out LTE in 2011.
"AT&T has a key advantage in that LTE is an evolution of the existing GSM family of technologies that powers our network and the vast majority of the world's global wireless infrastructure today," John Stankey, president of AT&T, said in a February statement.