We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Android smartphones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Motorola Flipout review

Price depends on contract

Manufacturer: Motorola

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The Motorola Flipout is without doubt the oddest-looking mobile phone we've come across in 2010.

The Motorola Flipout is without doubt the oddest-looking mobile phone we've come across in 2010.

This Android smartphone is completely square and has a five-row, physical QWERTY keyboard. Aimed at people looking for an entry-level smartphone, the Motorola Flipout may hold some appeal for its target audience, but it suffers from a low-resolution display and it is awkward to hold and use.

The Motorola Flipout flips out from the bottom-left corner, hence its name. The slider feels solid enough and it is spring operated, so it requires just a light push of your thumb to open. However, the phone is awkward to hold — both when opened and when closed — and it is hard to flip the screen open with one hand without accidentally tapping the display. The rear battery cover feels flimsy and doesn't click reassuringly into place like it should. Motorola includes three interchangeable covers in the sales package — our review unit came with white, black and green covers.

The Motorola Flipout slides open to reveal a rather large five-row QWERTY keyboard; most smartphone keyboards are either three or four rows. The extra row means that the number keys aren't shared with letters, so you don't need to use the ALT key when typing digits. Apart from an awkwardly positioned D-pad in the bottom left corner (which you'll rarely use) the keyboard is well designed considering the size of the Flipout, and it is relatively comfortable to use with one hand.

Next to the awkward aspects of its design, the weakest aspect of the Motorola Flipout is its display. The 2.8in TFT, capacitive touchscreen is responsive, but it has a low resolution, is difficult to see in direct sunlight and has poor viewing angles. It also does a poor job with rendering text, and produces poor colours. Its square shape also causes problems with a few apps — for example, the official Twitter app for Android displays the wrong way around and can't be rotated, and the popular LauncherPro home screen app has the same issue.

The Flipout runs a newer version of Google Android than some of Motorola's other Android phones (the DEXT, Backflip and Quench). It uses the 2.1 version of Google's operating system, but Motorola hasn't announced whether the Flipout will be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 "Froyo" edition, which adds full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card, as well as a range of other improvements.

Mototola's MotoBlur service is a core part of the Flipout. MotoBlur is a widget-based system that combines multiple social networking and communications accounts into one portal. You can view Facebook status updates, read tweets, check your Gmail and update your MySpace profile without the need to log into each separate application. MotoBlur also automatically synchronises your contacts, but the problem is that it adds every contact from every social-networking service you use, including Twitter. Thankfully, you can sort by individual lists of contacts, so your phone book isn't full of your entire Twitter list. It also includes a number of handy widgets, such as "happenings", where at a glance you can see updates from all connected social-networking services, as well as handy airplane mode, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi toggles. We also liked the sticky note widget, which allows you to save a quick post-it style note on the home screen.

The Motorola Flipout also has a few handy applications preloaded including Google Latitude, Quickoffice and Google Talk. Its media player is a notch above most Android phones' — the "connected music player" automatically finds album art and lyrics from the Internet for any tracks in your library, while an included "song identification" feature, similar to the app Shazam, is included.

The phone has a basic 3-megapixel camera and lacks a flash for night-time photography, while the smaller display has a negative impact on Web browsing. The Motorola Flipout has multitouch support, meaning you can pinch the screen to zoom in and out of applications like maps, the browser or photo albums, but text rendering is quite poor unless you are zoomed in.

Other standard features include a built-in accelerometer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a digital compass and a GPS receiver. The Motorola Flipout also has a microSD card slot for extra storage, located behind the rear battery cover. Motorola includes a 2GB microSD card in the sales package.

Click here for the Best Deals on the Motorola Flipout.

Group test: What's the best smartphone?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Motorola Flipout Expert Verdict »
Motorola Flipout Scores 6.9 out of 10 based on 181 reviews
3.2Mp camera
Geotagging
2.8in 320x240 TFT capacitive touchscreen accelerometer
Expansion card slots
GPS
Full QWERTY, Touchscreen keyboard
email, MMS, SMS
Microsoft Exchange support
Attachment editing
Attachment viewing
512MB RAM, 512MB ROM
Mobile phone networks
1800MHz (2G), 1900MHz (2G), 2100MHz (3G), 850MHz (2G), 900MHz (2G), 900MHz (3G)
Radio support: FM
Voice recorder
Video playback
Music playback
Phone features
Sound profiles
Speakerphone
Speed dialling
Vibration alert
Voice dialling
PIM features: Alarm, Calculator, Calendar, Notes, Stopwatch
Rechargeable, Removable battery, 1130mAh
600MHz processor
Google Android
150MB
eAAC+, MP3, WAV
H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, WMV, XviD
3.5mm headphone jack
A2DP Bluetooth
Wireless 802.11b, Wireless 802.11g, Wireless 802.11n
120g
67x67x16mm
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

Motorola has tried something different with the Flipout Android smartphone, but the end result is a clunky-feeling handset that is awkward to use. The Flipout is relatively cheap, but its display has a low resolution and an odd aspect ratio. There are much better alternatives on the market for a similar price.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Motorola Atrix review

    Motorola Atrix

    The Motorola Atrix is a Google Android 2.2 'Froyo' smartphone equipped with a 1GHz dual-core processor.

  • Motorola Quench review

    Motorola Quench

    The Motorola Quench mobile phone offers all the features and benefits of the Google Android operating system and Motorola's MotoBlur software.

  • Motorola Cliq XT review

    Motorola Cliq XT

    The Motorola Cliq XT is the only MotoBlur phone that lacks a full QWERTY keyboard. We missed a physical keyboard, but the Cliq XT made up for its absence with the full-featured Connected Music Player, which combines a handful of excellent music services in a single seamless interface.

  • Motorola Defy review

    Motorola Defy

    The Motorola Defy is a very well-built Android 2.1 Eclair handset that, like the iPhone, packs in a 3.6in screen – only it’s half a centimetre smaller overall. Updated, 23 March 2011

  • Motorola Backflip review

    Motorola Backflip

    The Motorola Backflip is certainly a very different looking Google Android smartphone, boasting what the company calls a "unique reverse-flip" design.


IDG UK Sites

5 reasons not to wait for the Apple Watch: Why you shouldn't buy the iWatch

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How Emotional Debt is damaging digital design

IDG UK Sites

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8: including how to install iOS 8 if you don't have room