Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

AT&T announced today that its first Android device, the Motorola Backflip, will be available on its network starting March 7. In January, AT&T announced big Android plans, promising five devices within the first half of this year.

The phone includes Motorola’s Motoblur interface, which integrates closely with a user’s social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. It also offers an interesting new feature called Backtrack, which uses an additional touch panel, accessible when the device is folded open, to allow users to scroll through websites without blocking the screen with their fingertips.

Motorola’s recent innovations to smart phone interfaces have been impressive, though my own use of Motoblur suggests that bugginess sometimes interrupts the overall good user experience. For example, the connection to my social networks periodically breaks, requiring me to reboot to fix the problem. Motorola is investing heavily in the interface, however–it even ran an ad for Motoblur during the Super Bowl.

It’s unclear how the Backflip will fare going head-to-head with the iPhone, but Motorola is probably glad to get another opportunity at making a big entry into the market. The momentum the company built with other recent Android phones, the Droid (Verizon) and the Cliq (T-Mobile), was damaged by Google’s introduction of the Nexus One.

With a two-year contract, the Backflip will cost $199.99, though AT&T is also offering a $100 rebate to sweeten the deal. With the rebate, this makes the Backflip’s price comparable to that of the iPhone 3G.

The video below shows several of the phone’s features, including Backtrack, in action.

1 comment. Share your thoughts »

Tagged: Communications, iPhone, Android, smart phone, Motorola, AT&T

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me