Dec 16 AT 8:20 PM Taylor Wimberly 41 Comments

AT&T ready to backflip for Android

The wait has been long and difficult for AT&T Wireless customers looking for an Android phone. They were teased earlier this year by the HTC Lancaster which apparently got canned. Recent rumors have linked AT&T with the Acer Liquid A1, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, and a possible Dell Android phone. However, nothing official has appeared to materialize.

That was until today. An anonymous tipster sent our friend Rob at Phandroid some pics of the Motorola Backflip and we can clearly see AT&T branding on the device.

I wonder what that key does?

I wonder what that key does?

Phandroid is reporting the device was referred to as the Motorola Enzo and we have also heard the codename Motus used. CellPassion reported that Motorola had registered the trademark Backflip, but even that name could change by launch time.

I’m just going to call it the CLIQ 1.5 because that is essentially what this device is. We have the same internals as the CLIQ, Android 1.5, and the unique reverse flip keyboard.

The keyboard is always exposed.

The keyboard is always exposed.

Speaking of the keyboard, we can see above how the phone looks when closed. Since the keyboard is on the back of the phone, Motorola was forced to put the camera and flash in the lower left area. This has to be the first keyboard I have seen that comes with a LED flash.

Rear directional trackpad.

Rear directional trackpad.

On the back of the keyboard you will find a trackpad that is similar to what you would find on a notebook. This phone was codenamed Motus, which is latin for gesture. We expect Motorola will take advantage of the gesture controls found in Android that no one else has exploited yet.

For those who missed it, we were the ones who leaked the specs of the Backflip. They include:

  • 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A
  • 512 MB ROM
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 3.1 inch display 320 x 480 (HVGA)
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • WiFi / Bluetooth 2.0 / GPS
  • OS Android 1.5 with Motoblur
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 W-CDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100
  • Reverse flip keyboard
  • Rear directional touchpad

Engadget posted a rumor that the Backflip might be upgraded to a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, but I think we can say that is busted now. Motorola is working on a Snapdragon device, but this is not it.

So what do you think AT&T fans? Is this a worthy device for your first possible Android phone?

For addition pictures, head over to Phandroid.

Source: Phandroid

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website wootroot

    i see alot of broken keyboards in the near future for this phone

    cool concept though

  • http://Website Forrest

    only if it has a 1GHz and can be rooted with roms. Other than that HELL NO!

    • http://Website IOWA

      Only if it has 1Ghz? Asking a bit much, right now there is only 1 phone on the market that has that, and it’s the Nexus One. Get over yourself, really.

  • jj

    Dunno…these moto android phones are just not doin it for me…..

  • http://Website beerbelly

    the keyboard actually looks useful, the question i’m asking is, why in hell did moto fail so hard on the droids keyboard?

  • nEx.Software

    Of course to make much use of gestures it would really have to be running Android 1.6 , which it is not. Motus also means movement which would tie in with the unique yet bizarre motion of the keyboard.

  • kevind

    Hmm, keyboards are like ash wholes, everybody has one. And in this case I can see that early reports are that I hate it, beerbelly thinks it is useful looking, and wootroot thinks it is brokenly cool.

    So maybe mine is the wrong answer, but no, I don’t want an exposed keyboard to randomly press and break keys on. Actually looking at this vs the Nexus One with no keyboard, I’ll go with the rumored Nexus One. Now if the Nexus One just had AT&T 3G frequencies, I would be super happy.

    For now, I’ll just live with my AT&T Tilt running Donut. The number of times I’ve opened my Tilt to use the keyboard are so low that I can’t remember them. And it was almost always with a poorly designed input buffer.

    For me, NO.

  • alex

    I bet that mystery button is for going to the at&t market like tmobile has tzones. That’s just a guess but I don’t know why they wou,d have that on an android phone where you can go to the android market. I think its rediculous that it will be running android 1.5. I have it on my cliq and it pisses me off when there are apps I can’t get cuz I don’t have android 1.6 or 2.0. Besides that the phone looks nice. It’ll be something very unique. The track pad is a cool idea that I could see being useful

  • Tony Rivera

    I don’t think that’s a good idea… to have the keyboard expose all the all the time. TERRIBLE idea! I can predict lots and lots of broken keyboards for this device.

  • http://Website ari-free

    messed up design, yahoo search on an Android phone…only from AT&T.

  • schwiz

    buahahaha a cliq? that sucks for att customers :P

  • http://Website Dave

    The screen is too small, processor too slow, and no OLED. It appears to be a good starter Android for people that don’t know any better. That’s about it.

    • http://Website I

      you people are funny. Clock speed isn’t everything. If you knew anything about computer components you would know that.
      It’s like saying a 3ghz P4 is faster than a 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2

  • Gautch

    Is the GPS the AT&T GPS or full on GPS? I don’t want to pay extra for GPS access. Just give it to me like all the others.

  • http://Website Josh

    I was hoping the whole screen opened to show the keyboard like the Sidekick. I don’t like the exposed keyboard.

    One cool thing it could do because the camera is on the keyboard is video chat.

  • smojo

    I have seen so many different phone prototypes coming from Motorola and this is the design they choose? Horrible decision by Motorola to even offer this phone. This will be the worst android phone to buy. Do yourself a favor ATT and don’t even bother advertising this phone. Just hope that you get a phone from Dell and Sony very soon.

  • http://Website Derek

    Another “new” phone with an old OS. 1.5???!!!! WTF??

  • http://Website Bob

    It’s been said before, but, the exposed keyboard is a bad idea. Also, if you are going to procrastinate so long to finally offer an Android phone, why come out with 1.5?

    Specs look OK, but, would like it to have Snapdragon.

    Given a choice between this and the Liquid, unless it’s $150 difference, I’ll choose Liquid to finally part with a Blackberry after 7 years.

  • http://Website Paul

    What about the Sony-Ericsson X10? My current understanding is that it’s headed both to AT&T and T-Mobile? I will do a “back flip” over that phone.

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  • http://Website Cameron

    I had the Cliq unlocked for AT&T and went back to my G1, The keyboard was tight and you really come to miss a trackball. Moto blur was pretty cool but a little overwhelming. I’m holding out for the Nexus One!

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  • http://Website shaneaus

    It’s crap! No competition for the ATT market. SAD, SAD, SAD!!

    Makes me want to cry!!!!! I want something like the X10 or Nexus One! When Oh when will ATT come out with a great Android phone! And, why would they start their foray into Android territory with crap?!?!?!?

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  • http://Website Jeb

    Oh great and here I was hoping for a decent Android phone. Why did I even expect AT&T to be capable of competent decision making. At least they are saving me money in the long run. Until they get a DROID/MARATHON/SHULES/SHOLES in, I’m not upgrading my phone again. And for those of you looking into the NexusOne, I’ve heard that Google is hoarding it for themselves, that it can’t run AT&T 3G, and have been getting a number of returns.

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  • http://Website Ryan

    Hey guys, I have had my backflip since the 3rd. Here are my speculations. The phone is actually built great. I actually really like the keyboard, and this is coming from a guy that said he would never use another physical keyboard again. I’ve grown pretty fond of the phone, but I do have 1 complaint. The 528 Mhz Qualcomm processor. This processor just simply cannot keep up with the phone. Everything is is a huge plus, but useless due to the small processor. AT&T customers, if you are craving Android, in my opinion, wait for the HTC Desire or Xperia X10 by Sony.

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