updated 03:30 pm EDT, Tue September 29, 2009
T-Mobile details Moto Cliq launch
T-Mobile this afternoon set out official launch details for the Motorola Cliq, its newest Android phone and Motorola's first touchscreen smartphone. Pre-orders for existing users should start on October 19th while the phone should ultimately arrive in stores on November 2nd; those who order in advance may get the phone early, T-Mobile said. The handset itself is priced at the same $200 on contract as its tougher competition, including the iPhone and BlackBerry Tour, though it's more expensive than the $150 prices of the Palm Pre or T-Mobile's own myTouch 3G.
A 2GB microSD card will be bundled with the phone, and unlike most other Android phones, T-Mobile's version will come with third-party apps beyond the Amazon MP3 storefront, such as AccuWeather, iMeem, MySpace, Shazam and Quickoffice. TeleNav access will also be preloaded, though this will need a monthly subscription.
The provider claims that the actual service costs should ensure the Cliq "stacks up well" against rivals as a combined voice and data bundle can cost as little as $55 per month versus the $70 of AT&T or Sprint.
Motorola is basing a large though not dominant amount of its effort on the Cliq, whose centerpiece is its custom MOTOBLUR front end that aims to simplify social networking and put more of it on the home screen. It represents a mild upgrade over the G1 as it has a 5-megapixel camera and a native 3.5mm headphone jack but still has a 3.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi.