A funny thing happened today. The Motorola Backflip appeared, unannounced, at my door, with a note from Telecom. It said something about a four-week loan and added:
We’d love to know what you think of the Backflip, and would appreciate your feedback via your media channels, social media or otherwise.
Sure. I’ll let you know what I think: this phone is a piece of trash. It’s a pocketable train wreck, as @Polarbearfarm suggested. Do I sound angry? I am.
It starts with the proud announcement from Telecom that the phone is “powered by Google’s Android 1.5 operating system”. Would that be the 18 month old 1.5 release that performs horribly, doesn’t support WPA-Enterprise WiFi and will only be upgraded at Motorola’s whim? Android 1.5 is a blight on the smartphone landscape and it is shameful that carriers are still foisting this bullshit on unsuspecting buyers.
Then you turn the phone on, and unbelievably it gets worse. Motorola demands that you register with their MotoBlur service. The phone is a worthless brick until you hand over an email address and password to Motorola. You can’t hit the home screen or make a phonecall. And why? So you can hand further information to Motorola by tying your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts to MotoBlur. It doesn’t even use third-party OAuth to do so, it asks for your passwords in the clear, with no warning.
And the hardware: the keyboard is clunky, the performance anemic, and the stupid touchpad on the back of the screen is impossible to use and emits random click events as you use it.
I’m really, really sorry Telecom, but I just can’t in good conscience recommend this phone to anyone. I’m surprised it came to me outside of the regular PR channels. Maybe they were too ashamed? It’s the comedy smartphone option for stupid people. Save yourself $300 and get the IDEOS from 2Degrees.