Motorola FLIPOUT Review

Interface and Functionality:
 
The Motorola FLIPOUT runs a customized version Android 2.1 with MOTOBLUR integrated. With a landscape screen of this size and a resolution of 320x240, Motorola has had to make some extensive tweaks to the OS to ensure the UI compliments the hardware, while retaining Android's usability.

Fortunately, for the most part, the Motorola FLIPOUT does a fine job of delivering the goods. The home-screen forgoes frills of other iterations of Android, such as a pull out menu, home-screen indicators and oodles of empty space and fills the precious screen real-estate with the basics: notification bar in the top of the screen with the data connection indicator, reception, battery meter, clock all within. Along the right hand side of the screen are the icons that would normally appear at the bottom of Android handsets: contacts, menu, dialer. Finally, the main portion of the screen gives you space for your home-screen widgets and shortcuts. The lower pixel-count occasionally results in clipping of icon text, though this was rare and did little to mar the overall user-experience.



The no-frills appearance extends to the far-reaches of the handset, with the menu sporting simple low-res icons on a plain black background. This visual simplicity may be a little bit bland compared to the shiny bright lights of say, the Galaxy S, however, it does mean that coupled with the on-board 600 MHz processor, everything tends to run smoothly.
 
The inclusion of the keyboard greatly enhances usability of the Motorola FLIPOUT’s phonebook and organizer. From the home-screen, start typing the name to get to any contact quickly. We synced the handset with our Gmail accounts, so within 5 minutes of powering the phone up, had all 400+ contacts loaded on the phone. It also pulled information such as pictures and email addresses from Facebook and matched them with the contacts as well as syncing calendar appointments with the phone’s calendar. The calendar takes advantage of the keyboard or the touch screen, or indeed both, giving you the ability to finger-swipe between dates or scroll using the d-pad, while also giving you the freedom to enter new appointments with the on-screen Android keyboard or the physical QWERTY. The Motorola FLIPOUT also includes standard Android organizer features such as a calculator, multiple alarms and a timer, all of which worked well.



Camera and Multimedia:
 
The multimedia options on the Motorola FLIPOUT are pretty comprehensive, with a 3.1 megapixel camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a decent loudspeaker, an FM radio on board as well as a 2GB microSD card in the box.
 
The camera starts up quickly and captures pictures relatively instantaneously upon pressing the shutter-release button. This speed likely comes down to the lack of photo-light or autofocus, however is still useful. As a result of the omissions, scene-modes aren’t available, with the only variables being the picture resolution (3, 2, or 1 megapixel) and the digital zoom (up to 4x). Pictures on the camera aren’t great as they are over-softened in our opinion. While this does mean less noise than other handsets with similarly classed cameras, it also means a softer, duller overall image. Video is also underwhelming with CIF (352x288) QVGA (320x240) and QCIF(220x176) resolutions. The images and video from the camera can be viewed using the onboard gallery, providing a 3D coverflow like interface to thumb through pictures. Unfortunately, this is jerky and unresponsive, leaving us wishing Motorola had implemented a simpler, grid-like gallery option. Video playback options include MPEG-4, H.264 and WMV. In our tests, the only file format to successfully playback out of the box was MPEG-4, playing up to a resolution of 480x320, however, there are some codec-rich players available through Android Market. RockPlayer for example was able to play back DivX files up to 800x480 and Xvid files upto 400x240. Video playback on the device was okay. While colors are a bit soft and resolution low, the screen allows for comfortable viewing of a 30 minute sitcom, although a feature film might be pushing it.






On the flipside, Listening to music on the phone is a pleasure. With ‘My Music’, ‘Radio’, ‘Music Videos’, ‘Community’ and ‘Song Identification’ on board, the options for hearing your favourite tracks are extensive. The music player interface does a great job of getting album art for your music, and the phone sorts music by artist, albums, songs, playlists or shuffle. The media player is intuitive and simple to use, and resides in the top pull down bar when it is running in the background. This was a real highlight of the phone as even though the included headphones weren’t great, with hollow sounds, our better pair made a real difference, highlighting the device’s potential. The phone supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AMR.
 

Even though the on-board loud speaker wasn’t the loudest we’ve heard, we are pleased to say it provided a good balance between volume and clarity, making listening to music on it viable for extended periods.

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10 Comments

1. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1245; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

That screen has no right being on a android phone...

5. Guest unregistered

Do you have this phone?

2. mr. blue unregistered

interesting phone! unfortunately lack of resolution as an android phone! motorola must build the upgrade of it!

6. Guest unregistered

do you phone?

3. Johnley unregistered

samsung could pop one of those amoleds in this thing, a 1 ghz dual core A9, and wireless n, and this thing would be FREAKING AWESOME.

4. Guest unregistered

Hi I am planning to buy this phone in the weekend, But i am still not sure if i want to pay $400 for a small screen. The one thing putting me off is the keypad. Is it easy to do a lot of texting on?

7. Blogmaniac unregistered

amazon.com carries it for $170. Just bought one.

8. hoki unregistered

Android 2.2 for Motorola Flipout We subscribe at Motorola to make them develop a 2.2 or even 2.3 upgrade for Flipout. http://www.groubal.com/android-2-2-for-motorola-flipout/

9. faaar unregistered

I just bought this phone a few months ago and its spoilt!

10. hellohowdoyoudo

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 04, 2012

This phone sucks i have it and the touch screen always messes up, and the top part ends up getting out of place. it makes me really mad. i always end up having to use my friends phones. if i were you i definitely wouldnt get this phone, its just a waste of your money. spend it on a better phone. :)
FLIPOUT
  • Display 2.8" 320 x 240 pixels
  • Camera 3 MP
  • Battery 1170 mAh(4.58h 3G talk time)

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