AT&T May Offer Acrobatic Android

Motorola Enzo or Backflip

The Motorola ‘Backflip’ or ‘Enzo’ is depicted in this photo leaked to Phandroid by an anonymous tipster.

Motorola is rumored to be bringing another Android phone to market — one that’s named either “Backflip” or “Enzo,” according to information and photos an anonymous source provided to Phandroid.

The device supposedly will run on the AT&T Wireless network.

Motorola’s Kathy Van Buskirk and AT&T’s Michael Coe declined to comment for this story.

Keyboard Location

The most striking thing about the Backflip, based on the photos, is the placement of the QWERTY keyboard: When it’s closed, the screen is on one side, and the keyboard is on the other. When it’s open, the keyboard is positioned beneath the screen.

Other features that may be included in the Backflip/Enzo are Yahoo Search, AT&T Nav, AT&T Music and the AT&T Mobile App store. No Google Apps will be included on the phone, except perhaps Google Maps.

It has a 5 megapixel camera, according to an earlier post on Android and Me, which referenced it as the “Motus.” Other specs: 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A; 512 MB ROM; 256 MB RAM; 3.1 inch display; Bluetooth 2.0.

It will run Android 1.5 with Motoblur, according to Android and Me. There is also a rear directional touchpad.

Motorola’s Comeback?

It is not surprising that Motorola is the manufacturer supposedly developing the Backflip, Allen Nogee, principal analyst with In-Stat, told LinuxInsider. “Motorola has made a big push for Android. It developed the Droid, for example, which has become a very competitive phone.”

Motorola, which has been undergoing financial and competitive difficulties for several years, appears to have linked its fate to Android, to a certain degree, observed Nogee.

“It has been enthusiastically supporting Linux-type phones for several years,” he said.

Unusual Form Factor

The Backflip’s strange design is not necessarily a bad thing, suggested Nogee.

“I think if a phone manufacturer can figure out a new form factor to develop — one that is functional for users, that is — it will draw in buyers,” he maintained.

People want a phone that stands out and is unique, Nogee said, especially as there are so many high-end devices on the market already.

Indeed, device manufacturers are going to have to become more creative as Android after Android comes to market, Greg Sterling, principal with Sterling Market Intelligence, told LinuxInsider.

“It remains to be seen if the keyboard innovation is accepted or not by consumers. Also, of course, price will be a big driver of adoption as well, he said. For the most part, price points for Android smartphones have settled in around $175.

iPhone Killer?

Could the phone potentially be an iPhone killer? Though unlikely, that would be ironic, since AT&T is still the exclusive iPhone carrier.

That state of affairs is certainly due to change sooner or later, however, and AT&T is wise to have an Android phone in its product pipeline, Sterling said.

Even so, “I just don’t see this phone taking away market share from the iPhone — or even trying for that matter,” he added.

Backflip vs. Nexus One?

The device the Enzo may compete against is the Nexus One: the Google-branded Android phone reputed to be going on sale as early as Jan. 5.

The HTC-manufactured phone is quite good, according to Sterling, who saw a prototype.

“It has a big screen, and it is very, very fast,” he commented. The only drawback was the lack of multitouch.

The smartphone market is increasingly becoming commoditized due to the growing number of devices, noted Sterling. Only a few phones are able to assume a special “star quality” status. The iPhone is such a device, and the Droid is arguably one as well. The Nexus One also shows potential to stand out from the crowd. It follows that devices such as the Backflip will be quickly relegated to the crowd of Androids on the market after enjoying some initial buzz.

“We are getting to the point where the consumer will not be able to distinguish between the Android phones that are on the market,” Sterling said.

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PRODUCT REVIEW

InnoView’s 15.6″ 4K Portable Panel Could Be the Ultimate Touchscreen Accessory

InnoView 15.6" PM004 portable monitor

The InnoView 15.6″ 4K HDR touchscreen portable monitor is a superior accessory for productivity and entertainment on your desktop and mobile devices. It checks nearly all the boxes for performance and usefulness.

Portable screens are often more of a hassle to use than they are a convenience, especially when traveling. They also do not usually measure up to enjoyable game playing and movie viewing as secondary screens unless the tablet or computer monitor is crimped for space.

However, the 10-points touch technology and metal construction of this portable IPS LCD screen leave very little to wish for, regardless of which mobile or desktop hardware is attached.

It is made of premium aluminum alloy board, built-in dual stereo speakers, adjustable metal kickstand, and a 4K touchscreen that delivers a 16:9 aspect ratio view. The portable screen offers 500 nits of brightness and clarity with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Overall, this model provides the best performance that I found from both larger and smaller portable monitors. Unlike many portable screens I tested, this one powered on with just a single USB-C cable tethered to the host device.

Not having to plug into the wall socket with a separate cable brings new meaning to mobility for portable monitors.

Light Weight Yet Heavy Duty

Until my hands-on experience with this two-pound featherweight 15.6″ monitor, I generally shunned lower-end portable screens. Typically, they are little more than a computing accessory to tolerate when on the go. The limited functionality and lesser capable visual displays make them literally a last resort for business and home office productivity as second monitors.

That is not the case with this InnoView model. Granted, this unit is not a budget or mid-range device, however. Still, it is worth the higher price for the performance it delivers. 

InnoView’s PM004 is solidly built and modern looking, with rounded thin bezels on three sides in a space gray aluminum frame. The color looks grayish on the back panel, but the predominantly black hue of the bezel bottom quadrant blends in nicely with the blackish screen when not turned on.

The display is sharp and brilliant with an excellent resolution that has a 178-degree full visual angle. Video performance has no lag and has eye-pleasing contrast. The performance is consistently impressive whether game playing, consuming videos, or engaging streamed content.

The item measures 13.98 x 8.86 x 0.43 inches. It comes with an attractive padded slipcover case.

No special drivers are needed. Out of the box, this model works with no configuration changes on the host computer or portable device. It comes with cables to connect to most devices. These include two USB Type-C to USB Type-C cables, one Mini HDMI to HDMI cable, and one On-the-Go (OTG) cable with a 30-watt wall socket adapter.

InnoView 15.6" Portable Monitor, what is in the box

The monitor is compatible with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux PCs and laptops, as well as Chromebooks, most smartphones, and a variety of Android tablets. It also works well with PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, plus other game devices.

Side View Rundown

The PM004’s compact design lines up ample connection ports and controls on both the left and right sides of the bottom portion of the monitor where a thicker base holds the unit’s hardware components. The ports are located in a recessed area behind the bezel.

On the underside of this base reside dual speakers. They are one of the few disappointing aspects of this otherwise exemplary portable monitor. The sound lacks much in the way of base or stereo sound separation. Their bottom-facing position somewhat muffles the volume when the monitor is not being held or placed flat on a desk.

InnoView 15.6" side view

The left side houses three USB Type-C ports to accommodate the power adapter (if needed) and cables to connect to the host computer, game console, tablet, or smartphone. The right side houses the on-off power button, Mini HDMI port, and mini headphone port.

Push in the power toggle to turn the portable monitor on/off. The power button doubles as the access point for the on-screen function controls.

InnoView 15.6" touchscreen controls

The screen controls are touch-based, making it easy to adjust settings. Slide the power toggle downward to launch the touchscreen control panel.

High-Performance Elements

The G+FF (cover glass, plus double film sensor) technology supports a more precise and sensitive touch for both fingertips and stylus for drawing. Adobe RGB wide color gamut covers more range to see more color details, gives full play to RAW format photos, and provides photographers with more post-production space.

The 10-bit high color depth capacity compared to 8-bit presents up to 1.07 billion colors, which can bring a more natural and smooth color transition. This monitor also supports hardware color calibration.

This portable monitor works well to mirror or extend the primary monitor for whatever you are creating, watching, or playing with its 4K-UHD onscreen capabilities.

When connected to a mobile phone or laptop, the portable monitor senses orientation and automatically switches the display into horizontal or vertical modes according to the product’s position. This feature improves work efficiency and entertainment when you use the monitor as a hand-held device, place it on a flat surface, or angle it with the adjustable stand.

Overall, the real plug-and-play functionality of the dual USB Type-C ports lets you use this monitor with only one USB-C cable attached. This brings you better video streaming and an awesome viewing experience when screen-sharing, editing images and videos, watching a movie, or gaming.

Hands-On Impressions

InnoView set the high mark with its PM004 portable monitor. It is a trouble-free companion for extending screen real estate with cell phones, laptops, and small-screen tablets.

Frankly, its ease of use and functionality caught me by surprise. This portable monitor easily doubles its usefulness as a quite capable second monitor for my desktop workstation.

Why? Its 4K crisp resolution and 15.6″ view allow me to spread out my viewing space when creating content and doing graphic editing. Even watching streaming content is much more enjoyable thanks to the vivid colors and stellar screen display.

Yet Another Productivity Benefit

Typically, second monitors — portable or full-size desktop — will show only the contents of a window dragged to it. You cannot access menus or other launchers because no panel bar desktop elements live on the secondary display. Not so with the PM004.

The InnoView 4K touchscreen can replicate the desktop view available on the main display. Including, as shown here, the dock and icons in Chrome OS which are fully functional.

InnoView 15.6" 4K portable monitor

That functionality also exists with another InnoView portable monitor I recently tested. But that functionality does not exist with computers running Windows and Linux. I did not test this on a Mac computer.

This is an ideal feature if you use Chromebooks. It gives you the ability to operate the computer from either display, enabling more productivity as if you were using two computers in one.

Where To Buy

The InnoView PMO04 15.6″ touchscreen portable monitor is available on the manufacturer’s website and at Amazon. Published prices currently range from $599.99 to $669.99.


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Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open-source technologies. He is an esteemed reviewer of Linux distros and other open-source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Email Jack.

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