Motorola Readies Ninth Android Phone For U.S.


Libertyville, Ill. - The ninth Android smartphone announced by Motorola for the U.S. market will be the company's first to pair a touchscreen with a fixed QWERTY keyboard that neither slides out nor flips out.

The bar-style Android 2.1-based Charm, available exclusively through T-Mobile later this summer, will also be the company's first Android phone with an enhanced version of the Motorola-operated Motoblur service, which aggregates and pushes all of a user's work and personal emails, text messages, and social-network posts and status updates to two widgets on the home screen for easy management. Improvements include increased customization, filtering options and such functions as re-tweeting.

The Charm will also be the second Android-based Motorola phone with a Backtrack navigation pad on back behind the touchscreen. The pad enables users to navigate Web sites and applications without touching the touchscreen or otherwise obstructing the view of content on the screen. The navigation pad, for example, lets users move an icon to select emails, icons and pictures.

Pricing wasn't announced.

The square-ish 2.65-inch by 3.87-inch by 0.45-inch device features 2.8-inch multitouch touchscreen, Wi-Fi, FM radio, 3-megapixel camera, 512MB internal memory, included 2GB MicroSD card, support for optional 32GB MicroSD card, Adobe Flash-enabled browser and 3.6Mbps HSPA 3G technology.

Like phones with the current version of Motoblur, the Charm will stream contacts, posts, messages, photos and more from such sources such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Gmail, and work and personal e-mail. In addition, Motoblur automatically syncs contacts to the phone from personal and work email and social-network accounts. The upgraded service, however, will give users more "options to follow who and what really matters," the company said. Consumers can select filters for each source to stream only the live information they want to see on their home screen's social-network Happenings widget and their Messages widget, the company explained.

The device supports up to seven home screens, and users can select different power modes to conserve battery. Lost Charms can be located from a secure personal information portal from which their content can be remotely erased. Motorola's Moto Phone Portal lets users access and manage their phone's data from any browser through a USB or Wi-Fi connection.


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