T-Mobile pushes Motorola Cliq into wide release

The Android-powered Motorola Cliq is being billed by T-Mobile as a social-networking machine.

The Motorola Cliq is now available on the T-Mobile network.

"The social fanatic's dream."

That's the tag-line for the Cliq, a new smartphone built by Motorola – and T-Mobile is hoping it will be enough to pry a swath of young consumers away from their iPhones. In a statement timed to coincide with the release of the Cliq, Motorola said that the phone pulls data from "Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Gmail, work and personal email," and "automatically delivered to the home screen of the Cliq in easy-to-view streams.”

The key selling point here is accessibility. With an iPhone, for instance, a Twitter application would remain separate from the MySpace application; the Facebook app would not be integrated with email. The Cliq, which is powered by Google's Android operating system, uses platform called Motoblur, which Motorola is billing as a social networking "solution." Feeds from various sites are integrated on the Cliq interface, which could make sorting updates and photos and emails a little easier.

"Smartphones are fast becoming the primary way many consumers engage with social networking services, e-mail and the Web, which makes the Motorola CLIQ with Motoblur the right phone at the right time," said Travis Warren, director of product marketing at T-Mobile USA. "T-Mobile continues to expand upon its industry-leading lineup of Android smartphones for the holiday season with the launch of the CLIQ, and we expect it to be very popular among our highly connected customers."

The Cliq currently retails for $199, with a two-year contract. The phone, which comes in two colors – titanium and white – is outfitted with both 3G and Wi-Fi access; features include QWERTY keyboard, a3.1-inch HVGA full touch-screen display, a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with video capture, a 3.5mm headset jack, a music player with pre-loaded Amazon MP3 store application, and a pre-installed 2GB microSD memory.

In a review posted on the T3 site, Katherine Hannaford lauded the Cliq's usability:

Social status widgets similarly enable status updates to all your profiles or just one. The messaging widgets show the latest emails or texts you’ve received. Perhaps most interesting of all is the “happenings” widget, which is a live feed of all your friends’ activities from whichever social networking sites you’ve registered. Twitter and Facebook statuses blend in together easily, as well as updates about uploaded photos or relationship changes – whatever your friends are polluting Facebook with.

Of course the Cliq isn't the only Motorola smartphone to churn up a good deal of blog buzz. On Friday, consumers in the US will finally be able to get their hands on the Verizon Droid, a smartphone driven by Google’s Android 2.0 operating system. As we noted last week, early tests of the Droid have been enthusiastic – reviewers like the Droid’s navigation capabilities, the state-of-the-art OS, its full QWERTY keyboard, and its 3.7-inch display, which is said to be a major improvement on the resolution offered by the Apple iPhone.


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