Motorola CHARM:

on 1:06 PM



The Motorola CHARM looks very much like a more sane version of the Motorola FLIPOUT, sharing almost identical specifications, but in a more traditional form factor.
Although it shares the square-ish looking design of the FLIPOUT, the CHARM is more of a BlackBerry-style handset, a bit wider and shorter than the Curve (for example) but otherwise roughly comparable.
Heading exclusively to T-Mobile in the USA, the Motorola CHARM has very little competition in the market - this is an Android 2.1 device with a fairly small 2.8" QVGA touchscreen but a decently laid out QWERTY keypad which does make it pretty unique (apart from the FLIPOUT that is).
On the back of the Motorola CHARM is a 3 megapixel fixed focus camera with Kodak software enhancements. The rear of the phone also has a small pad on it called the BACKTRACK, which works like a standard navigation pad for selecting options and scrolling through menus. The idea is that the user can use the BACKTRACK without having to obscure the smallish screen with their finger.
Inside is 1700/2100 MHz 3.5G support, WiFi, Bluetooth and quad-band GSM. There's a fairly large 1170 mAh battery which can power the CHARM for up to 5 hours talktime and just under 14 days standby time on 3G. The CHARM also includes an integrated GPS receiver, and the whole handset measures 98 x 67 x 11mm and weighs 110 grams.
As this is an Android 2.1 handset then most media types are supported, and there is also an FM radio. The Motorola CHARM supports microSD cards up to 32GB with a 2GB card included in the standard sales package, so there should be enough storage space out of the box for quite of lot of music and short video clips.
Android 2.1 includes all the usual Google features, including turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps. Motorola have also integrated the CHARM with their MOTOBLUR service to keep contacts and updates all in one place, and MOTOBLUR also has a remote data wipe facility in case the phone is lost or stolen.
Think of the CHARM as an Android-based BlackBerry alternative aimed at consumers, and you can see the potential market appeal. Most Android handsets are almost identical looking black slabby things, so it is nice to see some choice.
The Motorola CHARM should be available this summer on T-Mobile USA. If you're not in the US then fear not - the FLIPOUT does almost exactly the same thing and it is available now in Europe for about €300 to €350 SIM free.

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