In this mobile phone review, we take a gander at the Motorola Flipside and Motorola Bravo.
The Flipside is an Android smartphone by Motorola made for AT&T customers. Packed with a useful design and solid features, it offers plenty to those looking for a well-rounded smartphone with a messaging twist. The Flipside is available for $69.99 after a two-year contract with AT&T.
The Flipside comes with the Android 2.1 platform, giving its users plenty of Google-based extras to tinker with. The smartphone offers such services like YouTube and Picasa, as well as Google Search by Voice. You also get quick access to any Gmail accounts, contacts, and calendars. Perhaps the most desired Android feature on the phone is its capability to access the Android Market and its huge catalog of apps that stretch across various genres.
Moving beyond the Android-based features and into the basics, we find tools such as an alarm clock, a calculator, a speakerphone, a calendar, and other standard personal organizer features. The Flipside can hold as many contacts as will fit in its available memory. For each contact, you can enter multiple phone numbers, email addresses, notes, and more. Contacts can be separated into groups for better organization. If you choose, you can also pair a photo and ringtone to each contact. For a quicker way to import contacts, the Flipside comes with Motorola's exclusive Motoblur feature. Motoblur essentially lets you sync contacts, photos, messages, posts, and more from email services and social networking sites. This feature not only saves time and integrates all of your contacts quickly, but it also gives you enhanced contact information beyond just a name and phone number.
More advanced features on the Flipside begin with voice dialing and Bluetooth 2.1 with support for profiles such as hands-free car kits, wireless headsets, and more. The smartphone also supports USB connectivity. If you are on the road frequently, the integrated GPS will come in handy, especially if paired with AT&T's Navigator service to provide voice-guided directions. You can connect to the internet via 802.11n Wi-Fi or using AT&T's 3G network. Once connected, you can surf the net using the Android HTML browser. The browser offers Flash Lite support, tabbed browsing, and zooming, among other features.
Messaging options include standard text and multimedia messaging. There's also instant messaging capability via popular services like AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and others. Email options include standard POP3 account support, as well as support for Microsoft Exchange accounts.
The Flipside isn't strictly a communication device, as it can entertain as well. The smartphone's music player allows you to create and edit playlists, listen in shuffle and repeat modes, and view album art. You can also listen to FM and streaming radio on the Flipside, in addition to accessing AT&T Mobile Music and all the features it has to offer. Besides the apps you can download from the Android market, the phone already comes with some apps pre-loaded, such as MobiTV, e-Translate, mobile banking, and many more.
A 3-megapixel camera finishes off the Flipside's feature set. The camera can record video and snap photos in different resolutions. It also offers several editing options and effects. Both the photo and video quality are pretty average.
The Motorola Flipside's design is rather standard. It has a black color scheme highlighted by a silver border around its front panel's rounded corners. The phone is not the lightest or most portable out there, as it weighs 5.1 ounces and measures 4.3 inches tall by 2.2 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick. It is portable enough to fit in a pocket, however.
The Flipside's front panel is dominated by a 3.1-inch touch screen display with a 320 x 480 resolution. The display is a tad on the small side, making its virtual QWERTY keyboard seem cramped. It is responsive, however. Below the display are four touch-sensitive buttons and a square track pad that can be used to navigate the phone's interface. As an added design bonus, the Flipside can slide out to reveal its physical full QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard is a decent size and works well for messaging, despite its sandy texture that coats its keys.
The Motorola Flipside is not the most attractive or flashy Android smartphone, but it is solid overall. Its feature set, use of Motoblur, and combination of a touch-screen and physical keyboard make it a good choice for messaging fans looking to jump into the Android market.
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