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Motorola Unveils First Android Powered BlackBerry Clone

Gordon Kelly


Motorola Unveils First Android Powered BlackBerry Clone

Ever wanted RIM to make a BlackBerry running Android? Motorola hears you…

The rejuvenated handset maker has announced the 'Charm', surprisingly the first Android smartphone we have seen to sport this renowned form factor. Sadly then, it really isn't all that exciting.

As is always the case when strapping a physical Qwerty keyboard to the facia of a handset, the screen is small – in the Charm's case just 2.8 inches and (by 2010 standards) a rather ho hum 320 x 240 pixels. That said it is a capacitive touchscreen and supports multi-touch.

Elsewhere we find a decent enough 600MHz CPU, HSDPA, wireless n, GPS, a microSD expansion slot and Flash Lite to bolster the Android 2.1 version it will ship with – though Android 2.2 with integrated Flash 10.1 will come sooner rather than later. There is no mention of what native memory is aboard (normally a sign that's its miniscule) and the camera is a bog standard three megapixeller. It will launch initially on T-Mobile in the US "this summer" and shouldn't set you back a great deal. Hopefully we'll get news of a global launch soon.

In short the Charm is only slightly more exciting that Motorola's last quirky form factor handset, the Flipout, but it is at least taking risks and that in its own right is a major step forward from where Motorola was a few years ago

Link: Motorola Press Release


July 7, 2010, 10:14 pm

Um. Not sure what to think. Bit speechless.

It's a rather odd shape, isn't it? Looks a bit wide.

As for 2010 standards on screen size/res, it's slightly better than the x10 Mini ;).

Also what happened to that SE smartphone with touchscreen running WM6.5.3?

Palm Pixi'll be reviewed soon too apparently...

Might be interesting to do a round-up of all these "small touchscreens but full qwerty KB phones" some time soon :).


July 8, 2010, 2:49 am

Am i the only one thinking this could be like an 'near-iOS slickness married with BlackBerry qwerty convenience' phone that may make more than just a ripple in this now rather crowded pond?


July 8, 2010, 7:15 am

You could argue that this is what the kin was supposed to be. Well i'm going to argue it *sits in quiet corner alone*


July 8, 2010, 7:39 am

Oh so close Motorola! I'm one of those that have been looking for this type of form factor with a touchscreen. 2.8" is perfectly fine I think and should (may?) help in extending battery life a bit further (ships with a 1170mAh one it seems). I loved my old Nokia e61i, but felt it was a bit heavy, a bit too 'thick', a bit too wide, and lacking a touch screen. This addresses most of those issues except however - it's not wide..its VERY wide..a whopping 67.2mm wide..woah! So close....


July 8, 2010, 7:46 am

On the plus side it apparently also has a 'Gorilla glass' display which puts it on par with that other phone that that I won't name that has reception quality (displaying?) issues...


July 8, 2010, 1:15 pm

Looks very promising... anyone like me who has been hankering for a decent upgrade to the Nokia E71 will be interested in this I think.

Impressive turnaround by Moto - until 18 months ago their entire phone strategy seemed to be revolved around relaunching the Razr (a phone that was first seen in the late mezazoic era I believe) in a different colour.

Neil B

July 8, 2010, 2:18 pm

This is so close to my perfect form factor. Make it less wide by using a standard numeric keypad, chuck in a FM transmitter and make it run ovi maps (so I don't need to connect to the internet to use my sat-nav) and I'd bite your hand off.


July 8, 2010, 4:11 pm

What happened to the htc salsa that was suppose to be this same form factor running android?

Motorola... no thanks

HTC in the same form factor... Yes please


July 13, 2010, 2:16 pm

what's up with this alarming new trend of phones getting bigger? Personally, I think my e63 is big enough, and stretching it out like that would just make it hard to hold in one hand. Ugh.


July 13, 2010, 3:31 pm

@AlexMck: I don't think it's a trend really, the E71/E63 form factor was just more "squashed" than most (not complaining, I can type perfectly fine on my E71).

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