Motorola on Monday announced the Cliq XT Google Android-based handset, a keyboard-less new handset that will use the Motoblur platform and be known as Quench overseas.
The device, which uses a full virtual QWERTY and sports a rounded square navigational touchpad on the front, offers a new messaging feature called Swype for text entry.
Judging from this promotional video, Swype is a drag-your-finger-around instead of tap type of input:
The Cliq XT/Quench is Motorola’s eighth Android device to date, and was announced at Mobile World Congress 2010.
The handset is aimed at the same social media-meets-multimedia audience that the original Cliq was, and its new media player allows users buy and download music from a store as well as integrate third-party apps such as TuneWiki, SoundHound, GoTV, and YouTube.
Interestingly, the Web browser features pinch-to-zoom gestures, Adobe Flash Lite, and both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The handset also offers a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash.
Otherwise, it's much of the same as the Cliq: the Motoblur platform (on top of Android 1.5) syncs contacts and messages from Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and offers a universal inbox for e-mail.
From the looks of things on paper, the Cliq XT/Quench addresses some of my initial concerns about the original Cliq: it offers a virtual keyboard-only alternative to the original Cliq's physical QWERTY keyboard, offers Flash support, pinch-to-zoom and a better camera.
Unfortunately, it retains the comparatively smallish 3.1-inch, 320x480 touchscreen, now a bit cramped and outdated compared to the best Android handsets on the market, such as Motorola's Droid (Verizon) and HTC's Nexus One (T-Mobile).
Still, it's a welcome upgrade and a great option for a consumer interested in a first Android handset that doesn't need all the bells and whistles. I'm anxious to get my hands on one to see how it holds up to the original Cliq.
The Motorola Cliq XT (Quench) will be available next month on T-Mobile and in the first quarter of 2010 elsewhere.