The new Motorola Charm will go on sale at T-Mobile this summer. If it’s cheap enough, and if T-Mobile’s salespeople push it, it might effectively compete with RIM devices and all the popular non-smartphone messaging phones.It would be helpful if T-Mobile followed AT&T’s lead and offered a cheaper entry-level data plan, if it really wanted to move these types of phones….
Ever since Google officially launched their open source mobile operating system entitled Android, handset manufacturers like HTC and Motorola have seemingly been scrambling to get as many smartphones onto the market, powered by platform, as humanly possible. While devices like the Droid X and HTC EVO 4G with their super fast processors, bucket fulls of RAM, huge touch screens and several other highly sought after features are ruling the market, the need for some lower end devices is still apparent.
The rumored Charm has just gotten a proper unveiling from Motorola — and while it’s not getting nearly the media fanfare its Droid X corporate cousin did, it’s arguably even more unique. The phone features a full portrait QWERTY keyboard placed directly below a 2.8-inch landscape touchscreen, but for most operations, you don’t have to touch it if you don’t want to because you’ve also got a touchpad mounted on the back of the phone (the so-called “Backtrack”) much like AT&T’s Backflip.
The Android 2.1-powered Charm hosts a full QWERTY keyboard, a 2.8-inch touchscreen display and even a navigation pad on the rear of the smartphone. Motorola is also probably pleased with this device since it is the company’s first to integrate its signature Motoblur software with Android 2.1.
Motorola says the Charm has a new version of MOTOBLUR, which will allow users to better filter their messages and customize the software’s behavior. That’s a good thing, because in my experience MOTOBLUR can be a dangerous battery hog and a major distraction. Motorola says the new software offers users the ability to tweak MOTOBLUR’s power consumption.
Not only is this the first widely-launched Android phone to employ such a form factor, it’s also the first to run Android 2.1 with Blur — and interestingly, they’ve carried over the old version’s general look and feel rather than going with the Droid X’s updated skin. It’s got a 3 megapixel camera (with Kodak co-branding, something we haven’t seen on a Moto in a long time), WiFi, and a noise-canceling second microphone. Pricing and availability haven’t been announced, but T-Mobile customers can expect it “this Summer.”
Here’s a list of specs and features:
- 2.8 inch QVGA touchscreen display
- GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA/HSUPA 1700/2100
- A-GPS, eCompass
- Google services (Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Android Market)
- 3.5mm headset jack
- Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
- FM radio
- CrystalTalk Plus
- 3MP photo camera with fixed focus and Kodak Perfect Touch technology
- 512MB internal memory, 2GB MicroSD card included
- 98.4 x 67 x 11.4 mm
- 110 grams