Friends at Motorola had hinted to me that an Android-powered Motorola phone was planned for this fall and they were right. Exclusive to T-Mobile, and just one day after no new iPhone announcement from Apple, the newest Motorola phone, the CLIQ, made its debut yesterday at the GigaOM’s Mobilize 09 conference.
Like the first Android-powered phone, the CLIQ features a slide out QWERTY keyboard. It also features software called MOTOBLUR, which is supposed to manage and integrate disparate communications networks; whether email, social networking, such as Twitter and Facebook, or photos.
The 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and 24-frame video capability seems very competitive. What is nice for the newbie is that must-have Android applications, like Shazam and the Amazon MP3 store, are pre-loaded.
From my perspective as an early G1 user, the best thing about this device is probably the lowest tech and that is the 3.5 mm headset jack, which allows the phone to double as an MP3 player. The removable memory (pre-installed with 2 GB microSD memory card) allows for plenty of songs, as one can install up to 32-Gigabytes via microSD cards. Pricing will be announced later.
The significant thing is that, with a variety of new devices like CLIQ slated for introduction from various manufacturers, Android may start to become a more ubiquitous smart phone platform (of course that might be wishful thinking, since I have one of the first Android powered phones).
Update added on 9/20/09
I had my first chance to actually view the CLIQ in real-life and it’s peformance, compared to the G1 from HTC is amazing. It responds much faster to searches for contact names and appears to be a much more practical phone than the HTC. It is slightly thinner than the G1, but still has an easy to use keyboard. Integration of all a person’s social media applications (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc.) will be very convenient. Since all of this data lives in the cloud, in the MOTOBLUR application, it is possible to remotely erase the phone’s settings in case it is lost or stolen. The camera and video application are easy to use.