Motorola BACKFLIP Review: Back And Forth

By 12:33 Tue, 10 Aug 2021 Comments


Android elders must be staring at this one in disbelief. Looking down at it for all we know, measuring it up. What about the BACKFLIP? We guess it’s exactly the kind of gadacquire to stare back, humble but defiant.

Android was a life-saving blood transfusion for Motorola. Not only did the MILESTONE put them back on the map – it gave them a license to experiment. They didn’t think twice to hold it. So here we are, watching the BACKFLIP do the robot dance. This one is no ordinary droid, though at first it might see like a faithful follower of the G1. QWERTY keyboards fell out of Android favor soon after the G1 but we’re witnessing a strong comeback, much credit for which goes to Motorola.

Motorola BACKFLIP official photos

So, QWERTY it is but the Motorola BACKFLIP wants to have it its own way. So much so that it doesn’t seem to care what you think. Unique as in “shame no one thought of it before” or in a freak of nature sort of way, the BACKFLIP won’t leave you indifferent. It’s got a one-of-a-kind form factor written into its name but the whole backflip thing seems to serve a higher purpose than simply drawing attention to an otherwise ordinary package.

It all makes sense once you’ve used the BACKFLIP for a while. The uniquely folding full QWERTY keyboard, the BACKTRACK touchpad and the capacitive touchclassy screen are all there to put you in control. It’s an unusual phone to interact with but in a fine way. On the inside, premium connectivity options are standard here, but the earliest Android version does sound underwhelming. It has the social-networking-centric Motoblur on top and that makes sense in a QWERTY-enabled midrange smartphone. More importantly though, the promised Android upgradeability makes the BACKFLIP likely to stick around.

Key features

  • Unique form factor and sturdy build quality
  • Quad-band Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) and quad-band 3G support (7.2 Mbps HSDPA)
  • 3.1" 256K-color 320x480 pixel capacitive touchscreen
  • Android Operating System (OS) v1.5 (upgradeable to later versions) with MOTOBLUR UI and Live Widgets
  • Folding four-row QWERTY keyboard
  • BACKTRACK touchpad at the back of the screen
  • elegant Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 Mega Hertz (MHz) processor; 256 Mega Bytes (MB) of RAM
  • 5 MegaPixel (MP) autofocus capturing camera with Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash and geotagging
  • CIF (352 × 288 pixel) video recording @ 30fps
  • Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) and GPS with A-GPS
  • 512Mega Bytes (MB) storage, microSD slot, bundled with a 2GB card
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
  • Noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone

  • Office document viewer

Main disadvantages

  • Poor sunlight legibility
  • No multi-touch
  • One-finger zoom works only on the BACKTRACK touchpad
  • No smart and voice dialing
  • Limited capturing camera features, lens on the QWERTY keyboard
  • No free GPS navigation solution
  • No Flash support for the web browser
  • No Frequency Modulation (FM) radio
  • No DivX and XviD video playback
  • Below par audio quality

Everyone is keen to create Android phones, but Motorola seem to know how to create a difference. The BACKFLIP hits the correct spot and the novel form factor puts together standard navigation tools to offer unique handling. The back-folding keyboard may see like a questionable choice, but it won’t hold you long to reconsider.

Motorola BACKFLIP at ours

The BACKTRACK touchpad at the back of the classy screen is another nice touch. It does what a front-mounted trackball will do but on the BACKFLIP you scratch the phone’s back instead. Anyway, effectively you have three different ways to interact with the handset: touchscreen, touchpad and a full QWERTY keyboard. Just imagine BACKTRACK on a transparent display – wicked stuff. But who knows maybe that’s where it’s all heading.

Well, we for one are not going anywhere before we’ve seen all of the BACKFLIP.



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