Motorola unleashes midrange Android phones for AT&T and Verizon

October 6, 2010: 12:38 AM ET

All told, Motorola announced 7 Android phones: Bravo, Citrus, Defy, Droid Pro, Flipout, Flipside and Spice.

Photo via Phandroid.com

Motorola (MOT) CEO Sanjay Jha announced a whopping seven (mostly) new Android phones at CTIA today.  None are what I would call superphones but they will appeal to a broader range of prospective Android fans ...

The Droid Pro

They all are midrange devices with the Droid Pro, which will be carried on Verizon, being the most interesting and standout.  The Droid Pro is a Blackberry form factor device with a good screen and, most importantly, without much Blur hindering the Android 2.2 OS.  It also has a high-end camera with dual LED flash and 3.1-inch screen.

All of the rest of these devices are on Android 2.1 (really?!) and are hopped up on MotoBlur.  AT&T (T) will carry three of the phones, gets Bravo, Flipout and Flipside (pictured below).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being a Android snob.  These phones are good if you want something tiny.  I just think that if you are paying for a smartphone data plan that will cost somewhere around $2000 over the life of your plan, saving $50 on a significantly inferior phone doesn't make sense.

For instance, you can usually find a Samsung Captivate for close to free on Amazon and that's a much better phone than any of these, GPS notwithstanding.

Some of these phones will have a niche audience.  The Flipout (which has similar specs as the Charm on T-Mobile I reviewed earlier) is cute and may appeal to teens.

The biggest issue to me is MotoBlur overlay which will clutter and hinder the Android experience and slow upgrades.

Motorola Phones for AT&T via Engadget

Motorola also unveiled three new bluetooth accessories called the Motorola Command One, Motorola Finiti and Motorola Roadster.  These three devices are geared at loud area use, all-around use, and in-vehicle use respectively.

Update: Motorola has pushed a press release, with the important bits below:

CITRUS, SPICE, BRAVO, FLIPSIDE, FLIPOUT™, and DEFY™: the Next Generation of Smartphone Users

Nielsen projects that by the end of 2011, one out of every two Americans will own a smartphone*. To appeal to this next generation of smartphone users, Motorola is expanding its Android lineup giving consumers a range of designs and features that keep up with their on-the-go lifestyle.

CITRUS delivers all the benefits of a full-featured smartphone in a compact and affordable device.

  • Full HTML Web browser delivers a PC-like Web browsing experience with quick access to Web apps and services such as Facebook®; Google services such as Gmail™, Google Talk™ and YouTube™
  • The full capacitive touch screen display delivers fluid flick, swipe and pinch-to-zoom navigation. It also enables an easy-to-use, on-screen QWERTY keyboard (available in landscape and portrait modes) for quick messaging
  • Equipped with BACKTRACK™, a touch panel located on the back of the device that enables users to navigate and scroll through websites, home screens, e-mails, music and more without obstructing the display
  • Take customization to the next level with seven home screen panels that can be tailored with a host of available shortcuts, applications, and preloaded widgets, or download from the thousands of applications available from Android Market™.

SPICE is a perfectly packaged smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard and the power of Android™.

  • Provides a large capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch support and pinch-to-zoom, along with BACTRACK™ for one-handed use.
  • Features Motorola's new exclusive Flashback application allowing consumers to view and manage their content all from a single application.

BRAVO is a big-screen, touch tablet smartphone with a slim design.

  • Features a 3.7-inch full WVGA touch screen experience, enhanced Web-browsing and entertainment while on the go.
  • Equipped with a 3-megapixel camera with digital zoom and auto focus, so users can catch memorable moments and share with one-touch social media uploads to Facebook®, MySpace, Picasa™ and PhotoBucket®.
  • BRAVO is a Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA®) enabled device, so users can stream, store and share entertainment with multiple devices around the home - including PCs, TVs and other mobile devices using an existing home Wi-Fi network.
  • Powered by an 800 MHz processor.

FLIPSIDE enables users to seamlessly manage their work and personal life.

  • With a full slide-out QWERTY keypad, FLIPSIDE's 3.1-inch high-res HVGA display supports pinch to zoom gesturing, while the laptop-like track pad provides an alternative way to navigate with one hand while keeping your fingers off the screen.
  • Users can stay connected to work with full push corporate e-mail, support for Microsoft® Exchange, unified inbox and enhanced features for IT compliance like remote wipe and password enforcement.

FLIPOUT gives Android customers something new to flip over with a unique pivot design and enhanced user experience.

  • Packing the power of Android™ 2.1, FLIPOUT also has a 720 MHz processor and the latest version of MOTOBLUR, Motorola's exclusive smartphone experience.
  • Stylishly square, affordable and smart with an innovative design.
  • FLIPOUT opens to reveal a full keyboard below its touch screen with a dedicated fifth row for numbers.
  • Users can customize the color to match their mood with FLIPOUT's two battery covers. Additional colors will be available for purchase.

Announced last month, the slim and pocket-able, DEFY is scratch and water resistant, as well as dust proof, equipped to withstand all that life throws your way.

  • Full-touch Android device with a 3.7-inch high-resolution, scratch-resistant display that provides edge-to-edge views of your favorite Web sites, photos and videos.
  • With a 5-megapixel camera and latest version of MOTOBLUR, DEFY makes it easy to capture memories at family reunions or vacations and share them via your social networks.
  • Stream, store and share content with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compatible devices around the home such as HDTVs, game consoles and PCs.
  • CrystalTalk® PLUS intelligently filters out background noise and amplifies the users voice, eliminating the need to shout.

DROID PRO by Motorola: Combining Business-ready and Rich Personal Mobile Experiences

DROID PRO represents a new breed of easy-to-use, intuitive smartphones designed for both work and personal use. It addresses the growing desire from employers and employees for business-ready solutions with enhanced features for a richer personal mobile experience. As the first ever smartphone built on Android for business, DROID PRO is a new powerful, stronger, faster solution that meets business and consumer needs.

DROID PRO delivers speed, convenience, security, and all the productivity tools that businesses require.

  • Full-push corporate email with corporate level security, unified calendar with additional work features, pre-loaded QuickOffice Mobile Suite.
  • Powerful 1 GHz processor, 4GB of memory (2GB internal and 2GB removable) and a QWERTY keyboard designed for speed and convenience.
  • Personal mobile experience provides PC-like browsing with Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 on a full multi-touch 3.1 inch brilliant display – all built on Android 2.2.
  • Motorola security additions including AuthenTec IPSec multi-headed VPN integration, remote wipe of device & SD card, and complex password support. Plus, device and SD card encryption will be available in early 2011.
  • Capture and share content from the device's 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and dual LED flash or DVD-quality video via DLNA connectivity to compatible devices.
  • 3G Mobile Hotspot for up to five other Wi-Fi®-enabled devices/laptops.

"Motorola truly understands the greater productivity needs of both businesses and their employees beyond mobile email," said Mark Shull, Senior Vice President of Mobile, McAfee, Inc. "McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management provides Motorola smartphone users with an advanced security solution to address corporate market demand, including the increased use of mobile productivity apps. We look forward to working with Motorola to meet these needs by collaboratively harnessing the power of the open Android platform."

MotoSpeak 2.0 for Three New Hands-Free Devices

Elite Series of hands-free devices - Finiti™, CommandOne™ and Roadster™ suit all of life's conversations with an enhanced version of MotoSpeak™ that helps keep users hands-free, responsible and productive. These are the first and only hands-free devices that allow consumers to respond to texts with their voice. Motorola's Elite Series includes the most advanced hands-free devices with premium audio, robust features and industry leading design.

MotoSpeak™ delivers the latest text-to-speech and speech-to-text technology, allowing users to have their text messages read aloud and to dictate responses. MotoSpeak also informs users who is calling and texting by announcing the callers' names.

Beginning October 12 on Android Market™, and on select other operating system application stores shortly after, consumers using an Android 2.2 will be able to download the MotoSpeak application and sync to Finiti, CommandOne or Roadster.

  • Finiti is a Bluetooth® headset designed with extreme conditions in mind, coming equipped with three microphones for optimal noise and wind cancellation. The stealth mode microphone converts vocal vibrations to speech and eliminates noise in up to 40mph winds, so users can rest assured their voice will be heard in noisy environments.
  • CommandOne is equipped with CrystalTalk™ so conversations will be heard clearly, and dual-microphone noise cancellation so background noise will be blocked out. Users can remain entertained and informed while hands-free by streaming music, games and navigation directly into the headset.
  • Roadster is a Bluetooth® in-car speakerphone that allows the clearest calls from your car. It blocks out background noise in the car better than other speakerphones with dual-mic noise cancellation technology. It automatically turns on when the user enters the vehicle and off when he/she leaves, ensuring a hands-free experience, while also saving battery life. Users can even answer and ignore calls with a single word.
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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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