Motorola's Backflip with Blur is a unique smart phone with a physical keyboard running Android 1.5. What makes the Backflip stand out is that the keyboard folds open like a book instead of having the kind of slider keyboard found on the Droid or G1. Another difference is something called "backtrack" which is a small indented square behind the screen meant to be used much like a mouse and keep the screen clear of fingers when trying to access its apps or the web.
The Backflip does have a neat design and provides a physical keyboard for those who need one. Because of its unique clamshell approach for the keyboard, the Backflip can be partially opened and used like a desktop clock. This half folding feature can also be utilized as a way to present information to small group, like when wanting to show a photo album to family and friends.
Blur is Motorola's software layer over the top of Android. It combines messaging streams from SMS, Email, and social networks and pushes the information through Blur, essentially Motorola's brand of widgets for android. If Blur is not your style, you can remove it from your screen or replace it with other options found on the market.
If you are looking for a top of the line new Android phone, this is not it. Despite its cosmetically different look, the hardware is similar to the G1 released in 2008. The Backflip sports a 528 MHz Qualcomm processor, 172 MB of memory, and a 5 mega pixel camera. The screen is smaller than the iPhone's and lacks pinch to zoom.
Google is already leaking Android version 2.2 updates to more capable phones and even though Motorola promised an update to 2.1, it seems unlikely to arrive anytime soon or at all. Also, AT&T has substituted much of the Google experience which makes Android popular with Yahoo. Even if the Backflip does get an Android 2.1, features like voice search might not work due to contract negotiations which obligate the phone to use Yahoo search over Google.
Now that Android's latest update is delivering Flash, apps to SD, and performance/speed boosts, Motorola's Backflip feels like a dinosaur.
However, if you could care less about the cutting edge, the Backflip excels at providing a decent phone capable of running apps and keeping connected with social sites like Facebook and Twitter. It surfs the net and lets you check and respond to email on the go.
Originally posted on Helium