Can 2008 be the year when Motorola gets back on its game?
Today's suggests it may be off to a good start with the formal announcement of its Z10 and ROKR E8 handsets. Those with sharp memories may remember I outted the E8 way back in early September, but let's take a second look for the cheap seats.
Arguably the more remarkable of the two, the ROKR E8 is most notable for what it lacks: physical keys. Instead, the completely solid handset features context sensitive LCDs with tactile vibration feedback which change depending on whether you are listening to music, typing a text message or making a phone call. It isn't quite the iPhone's full screen approach, but it looks a fine half way measure and - of course - is far more economic to produce.
Backing up this ingenuity is a decent midrange feature set too with a 2in QVGA screen, 2MP camera, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, 2GB of internal memory, that all-important 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD slot and portable 115mm x 53mm x 10.6mm dimensions and 100g weight. Expect it in mid Q1.
As for the Z10, this Symbian based follow up to the Z8 keeps the familiar, if polarising, banana slider format and ups its game with HSDPA, a 2.2in display, 3.2MP camera, 30fps QVGA video capture, extensive video editing software with the ability to upload clips directly to YouTube / Flickr, etc. Bluetooth with A2DP is also in there along with multimedia playback and a micro SDHC compatible expansion card slot. Watch for this in March.
So 2008 is off to a good start and in the E8 Motorola may have just found the handset to reinvigorate itself...