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AT&T: Eight Androids, One iPhone

 iPhone carrier


will expand its Android smartphone selection to eight models with the staggered
rollout of three new Motorola-made phones starting this month.

 The 3G models, priced from $79 to $129, run
the Android 2.1 OS and feature the latest version of Motorola’s Motoblur
social-network aggregation service. In an unusual move, AT&T is pricing the
phones through its channels without rebate, matching the practice by large CE
chains such as Walmart, Best Buy and RadioShack.

 All three also feature 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, include
access to AT&T’s 23,000 U.S. hot spots, and have corporate email syncing,
FM radio, MicroSD card slot with capacity to 32GB, stereo Bluetooth 2.1 with
enhanced data rate (EDR), 3-megapixel camera and Adobe Flash Lite.

first model to become available is the $79.99 Motorola


, due Oct. 16. It is a square model
that pivots open to reveal a square QWERTY keyboard below the pivoting 2.8-inch
320 by 240 QVGA TFT touchscreen. The keyboard has a dedicated fifth row for
numbers. The camera is fixed-focus with digital zoon. Dark sapphire and saffron
battery covers are included in the box. Processor speed is 720MHz. Memory capacity
consists of 512MB of embedded memory and included 2GB MicroSD card. The device
will be available Oct. 16.

 The step-up


at $99.99, due in time for the holidays, steps up to add full-size
slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, 3.1-inch 320 by 480 HVGA touchscreen with pinch-to-zoom
gesturing, laptop-like track pad to navigate with fingers off the screen,
camera image editing, full push corporate email, support for Microsoft
Exchange, unified inbox and such IT-compliance features as remote wipe and
password enforcement.

 The $129


also due in time for the holidays, steps up to an 800MHz processor, 3.7-inch 480
by 854 FWVGA touchscreen, and has Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)
certification to stream video to certified networked PCs and TVs.

latest iteration of Motorola’s Motoblur service, like before, syncs contacts,
posts, messages and photos from favorite social-media sites, work and personal
email, and

, then automatically delivers them to the phones’ home
screen. Motoblur service also locates and remotely wipes lost or stolen devices
as well as automatically restores a user’s contacts, log-in information, home
screen customizations and email via one username and password.

 The enhanced Motoblur services adds such new
features as social-networking filters and message widgets, enabling users to filter
social-network accounts by contacts or contact group. Another new feature is screen
customization, letting users move and resize preloaded widgets on up to seven
home screens. It also has a battery manager, personal and corporate email
pushed directly to the device, and additional social-networking functionality,
such as re-tweeting and Facebook comments.