Motorola Cliq and MOTOBLUR: A Quick Peek

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Rating: 4 WaterTowers (cool phone and service)

I am dreaming of owning a phone that will allow me to stay in contact with all my friend via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Email, Text, and, oh yeah, that old fashioned thing called a phone.  Imagine if you can monitor the Twitterverse on the front screen of your phone right alongside your Facebook News Feed?  What a wonderful life!

Guess what…here it is!

A friend recently purchased a Motorola Cliq with MotoBlur to use on his T-Mobile account.  He spent a few minutes showing me the phone, and giving me the lowdown on what he liked (a lot)  and what he did not like (not much) about it.

NOTE:  A couple of years ago I looked at the iPhone when it first came out (in fact, the first or second day) and decided that that technology was going to change the world of cell phones.  It pretty much has.  The Motorola Cliq offers the customer a user interface very similar to the iPhone…touch and go……and much more with MOTOBLUR putting all the pieces together in software.

Awesome.

Motorola Cliq and MOTOBLUR Features

You can visit the Motorola web site for Cliq here for a lot more information, but, really quickly here are some of the features that caught my attention (not in any particular order).

1. It uses Google’s new open source Android (1.5 Cupcake) operating system which is making inroads into many portable devices and from what I have seen and heard, is stable and reliable (so far).

2. It connects to the 3G network as well as WiFi (802.11b and g) and older telecom networks like the Edge.  It can connect to your computer via USB 2.0.  And has GPS, so you will never be lost again.

3. It has a 5 Megapixel camera with a 4x zoom.  Who needs a camera anymore?  You can snap and post to Facebook, Twitter, instantly (well, nearly).

4. You can watch video and listen to music.  It supports viewing of H.264, H.263 , MPEG 4, and YouTube.  And you can listen to audio files in MP3, AAC, WAV and a few more.

Acronyms and buzzwords aside…you can watch video and listen to songs.

5. It has a qwerty keyboard for the text’er in you.  Or maybe I should say you can make a phone call with it if you have the need.

QWERTY keyboard
QWERTY keyboard

6. There are thousands of apps you can download from the Store.   You can add memory using a microSD card.

7. MOTOBLUR takes everything (almost literally) and makes it easy to access on the Cliq.

Quincy’s Observations

Twitter and Email on Quincy's Phone
News and Email on Quincy's Phone

Initially the battery life on the Cliq was a concern, and, almost resulted in Quincy returning it.  The battery life did get longer and longer with each charging, however, and now seems to have stabilized at a point where Quincy is no longer concerned about it.

The phone keeps a number of applications live and ready to go, but, to save processing power (and battery?) there is an application killer that you can use to minimize the open apps.

One very handy feature is that the Cliq, well, MOTOBLUR, can add contacts from a number of different sources including Quincy’s Facebook, MySpace, Email, Phone, etc.

One issue is that the speaker in on the back of the phone.  When you set it down (face up) the volume of the speaker goes down.  If you put it down face down…you are looking at the back of your phone.  Quincy thinks the speaker on the side might be a better  option.

There are thousand or so free applications.  Quincy, being a cop, uses a  Zip code finder app feature at work.  He showed us how the bar code scanner worked (very well) and there is a MATH app that I would love to have for my students to practice with.

Some of the apps on Quincy's phone
Some of the apps on Quincy's phone

You can browse the Internet.  I took a turn entering my web site URL (and learned how to use my thumbs instead of index finger hunt and peck).

Browsing
Browsing

My favorite feature though is that you can use your favorite song as the ringtone, and you can upload songs from your computer.  Goodbye ringtones…hello Chris LeDoux!

Summary

Whew.

There are a LOT of features in the Motorola Cliq and MOTOBLUR service.  If I lived with it for a year, I probably would not use all the features (since that is my M-O anyway).

The world is changing very rapidly.  There are soooooo many ways to communicate that it can be overwhelming keeping track of everything.  I mean how can I possibly keep track of 10,000 followers on Twitter @TracyVirtOffice.

It is nice to see that progress is being made combining all these disparate sources of information into one easy to use package.

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