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Motorola Joins HTC In Offering Android Phones

Motorola unveiled the first of several planned Android-based phones that it expects to turn around the company’s fortunes.

With the announcement, Motorola becomes only the second handset maker to offer an Android phone in the U.S. market.

HTC makes the Android-based G1 and MyTouch 3G for T-Mobile and the Android-based Hero, which is due from Sprint beginning Oct. 11.

Motorola’s Android entry, the Cliq, is a 3G horizontal slider with 3.1-inch HVGA touchscreen display. It will be available exclusively from T-Mobile in time for the holidays, and a second Motorola Android phone will be announced in the next several weeks, the handset supplier said.

The phone will be available in the fall in titanium and winter white. T-Mobile hasn’t announced pricing.

The Cliq features Motorola’s new Motoblur service, which combines email, social networks and messages into a single stream to deliver what Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha called, “Your life in a single stream.”

Motoblur will differentiate the company’s Android handsets from other Android handsets, said Jha during the GigaOM Mobilize 09 conference.

“Motoblur is the first and only solution to sync contacts, posts, messages, photos and much more from sources such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Gmail, work and personal e-mail, and LastFM, and automatically deliver it to the home screen,” the company said.

The streams are viewable through user-customized home screens featuring live customized widgets. One widget might show all Facebook, Twitter and MySpace updates, and another might show all emails, text messages, and IMs.

If users lose their Cliq phone, their data will remain on Motoblur servers to be reloaded onto the device when it is found or onto a new phone.

Cliq features include multitasking, a slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, 5-megapixel camera, 24 fps video and what Motorola termed a “best in class” HTML browser by Google. The Cliq will allow turn-by-turn GPS directions, Google maps and access to “thousands of apps” from the Android Marketplace app store, the company added.

Its music player features pre-loaded Amazon MP3 store application to download music. A pre-installed 2GB microSD memory card is included, and the microSD slot supports 32GB cards. The Cliq also has a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack so users can use their own stereo headphones.

In 2010, Motorola will offer many additional phones that access the Motoblur service and will provide the service overseas.

Other Cliq features include one-touch access to Google services such as Google Search, Google Maps with Street View, YouTube, and Picasa.

Access to personal and corporate email is provided by Microsft Exchange Server and Gmail support. Yahoo!, Windows Live Hotmail, and other POP3 and IMAP e-mail and contact-list services are also supported.

T-Mobile’s 3G network operates in 200 cities covering 150 million people, but by the end of 2009, the network will be expanded to about 200 million people.