Motorola today announced some specs, images and availability details for a new Android phone.
Dubbed the Motorola Charm, this oddly shaped device will ship to T-Mobile subscribers this summer with a 2.8-inch screen, the current Android 2.1 operating system (not Froyo), and a slew of social features.
If you’re thinking this looks and sounds a bit like the ill-fated Kin — small screen, square-ish shape, social emphasis, physical keyboard — we can’t really blame you for your déjà vu. But we won’t consign the Charm to the technological junk heap just yet; we still don’t know just why the Kin failed, so we aren’t convinced that similar features in another phone will lead it to the same demise.
In addition to its keyboard — a welcome feature for heavy texters and social media addicts — the Charm sports a touchscreen and a navigation pad. Called the “Backtrack” pad, this hardware feature is located on the back of the device and works like a laptop touch panel. Without having a review model, we can’t say whether this feature will be a blessing — saving space on a tiny touchscreen so you can actually see what you’re navigating around — or a curse — you can’t tell what you’re navigating around or accidentally use the pad while holding the phone. Another hardware perk is its two-microphone noise cancellation functionality for clearer calls in ambient noise-filled areas.
The phone’s social features will have customization and filtering options. Charm will also play nicely with Flash, and it’ll come pre-loaded with the usual suite of Google apps. Its 3MP camera might not compete with a more media-centric device like the Droid X, but this phone is aimed at a more social, less “artistic” crowd, we’re guessing.
And, like the Kin’s Studio feature, the Charm features browser-based access to all the device’s data, including media such as videos and photos. Data can be transfered via a USB port or WiFi connection.
We’re expecting to see the Charm hit shelves before the end of the summer.
As far as smartphones go, most of the big-name devices have launched on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. The former network has the blockbuster Droid, and Sprint is seeing plenty of buzz around the Evo, which it’s billing as the first 4G device on a 4G network. And of course, the iPhone 4 is selling like hotcakes, much to the delight of AT&T, with whom Apple still has an exclusive contract.
If the Charm turns into the high-volume, tween-friendly phone the Kin wanted to be, T-Mobile might have a winner on their hands. What do you think — is the Charm a device that interests you? [Motorola via Mashable]