Mobiles

Flashback: the Motorola Backflip and its loopy inside-out design


We miss outdated Motorola generally – it created a number of the greatest telephones of their day, but in addition crafted units that had us asking “It does WHAT?” and staring in confusion. We’ve already coated the RAZR, the Moto X, the Nexus 6 and, after all, the Droid (aka Milestone) with its nifty slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

If it wasn’t clear, these have been the superb fashions. However in the present day we wished to speak about one of many loopy ones as a substitute – when you meet the Motorola Backflip, which is equally onerous to overlook.


Motorola Backflip official images
Motorola Backflip official images
Motorola Backflip official images
Motorola Backflip official images

Motorola Backflip official photos

It got here out in early 2010 when {hardware} keyboards have been nonetheless seen as a great factor. Nevertheless, as a substitute of a conventional slide-out mechanism, Moto engineers devised a loopy inside-out clamshell design that earned the telephone the identify “backflip”.

The Motorola Backflip: closed
The Motorola Backflip: opened
The Motorola Backflip: from behind

The Motorola Backflip: closed • opened • from behind

We are saying inside-out for the reason that keys have been really on the surface and so was the display screen – the 2 sat on both aspect of the telephone. A hinge allowed you to rotate the display screen in order that it was dealing with the identical means because the keyboard.

You assume that doesn’t sound too loopy? Enable us to direct your consideration to the digicam and LED flash which can be tucked into the underside left nook of the keyboard. That’s a technique to save cash on a selfie digicam, we guess, however utilizing the keyboard invariably concerned smudging the lens.

There was a keyboard on the back - and a camera on the keyboard
3.5 mm headphone jack next to the Power key

There was a keyboard on the again – and a digicam on the keyboard • 3.5 mm headphone jack

The telephone has a number of extra surprises up its sleeve too. For instance, opening the display screen revealed a small touchpad on its again aspect (the “Backtrack”). This allowed you to flip by way of photos within the gallery, for instance, and a double faucet opened them. All this with out protecting the display screen together with your fingers. An identical touchpad was really featured on a number of Motorola fashions, even ones with fundamental bar shapes.

A close-up of the
A close-up of the

An in depth-up of the “Backtrack” touchpad

This design wasn’t with out its deserves, it was a superb dialog starter if nothing else. But it surely’s not simply that, you could possibly tilt the display screen at any angle and the heavy “base” would help it, excellent for watching a film.

Motorola Backflip in
Using the alarm clock mode
Using the alarm clock mode

Motorola Backflip in “tent” mode • Utilizing the alarm clock mode

The telephone additionally labored in “tent mode”, which additionally held the display screen up. Apart from movies, this was additionally used with the alarm clock mode that confirmed a giant clock with some smaller particulars beneath (e.g. the climate forecast).

One neat function unrelated to the backflip design was the LED that illuminated the microUSB port. Its colour signified the state of cost whereas the telephone was plugged in and it will begin blinking a warning when the battery fell beneath 15%.

The illuminated USB port was a neat way to show the state of charge
The illuminated USB port was a neat way to show the state of charge

The illuminated USB port was a neat strategy to present the state of cost

As for the telephone itself, it was pretty chunky at 15.3 mm thick, however not too heavy (133g). On the entrance was a 3.1” show with 320 x 480 px decision. It didn’t help multitouch at launch, a identified difficulty for the early Android OS. Makes an attempt to patch it later didn’t exercise very properly.

The show did have Gorilla Glass safety and the construct was surprisingly premium total. The hinge and the body across the show have been made out of aluminum, as was the detachable battery cowl that hid the 1,400 mAh energy cell. Additionally, the keyboard was made out of a sturdy rubberized plastic because it was always uncovered to scratch dangers.

A removeable battery
The Backflip retail package
The Backflip retail package

A removeable battery • The Backflip retail package deal

The Backflip ran Android 1.5 Cupcake initially, skinned with Motorola’s (comparatively) light-weight Blur, later shifting on to 2.1 Eclair It was powered by a Qualcomm chipset with a single 528 MHz CPU related to 256 MB of RAM and 512 MB of storage (with a microSD slot, which was pretty customary again then).

The digicam had a 5 MP sensor and was able to fundamental video seize with 342 x 288 px decision at 30 fps. Picture high quality was not preferrred in both case.

Camera samples from the Motorola Backflip
Camera samples from the Motorola Backflip
Camera samples from the Motorola Backflip
Camera samples from the Motorola Backflip

Digicam samples from the Motorola Backflip

This isn’t the one loopy keyboard design that Motorola cooked up throughout that interval. In a future installment we would go to the FlipOut, for instance, which additionally had an uncommon strategy to cover its QWERTY keyboard.

Motorola Backflip in the hand
Motorola Backflip in the hand
Motorola Backflip in the hand

Motorola Backflip within the hand

As for the Backflip itself, it proved to be an evolutionary lifeless finish, Motorola by no means made one other mannequin utilizing this inside-out clamshell design. And Nonetheless, at the same time as a one-off it should be fairly particular for us to recollect it a decade later.



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Shery Mudasir

Hey, I am Shery Mudasir an engineer by profession and a Blogger by Passion, and the Founder of Newsonhy. Newsonhy works as an operating system for bloggers to explore Blogging, SEO, and Affiliate marketing tips, Latest News, Read More

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