Motorola announces Charm smartphone with trackpad on back

Motorola today announced its new Charm smartphone, which will run Android 2.1 with the Motoblur overlay, have a full QWERTY keyboard, and, unusually, will have a trackpad on the back of the phone.

The Motorola Charm is somewhat blocky in shape and looks a little like the ill-fated Microsoft Kin. It has a 2.8-inch multi-touch touchscreen, three buttons below for menu, home, and back, and then a compact QWERTY keyboard, which also has buttons for e-mail and camera.

This will be the first Motorola smartphone to feature an updated version of Motoblur, its UI overlay, designed for Android 2.1. This update allows greater synchronisation of contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Myspace, and other sources, and also allows for more customisation. 

The most striking feature about this new smartphone, however, is the trackpad at the back of the phone, which Motorola is calling a “backtrack” navigation pad. This is an interesting place to put a trackpad, which usually goes on the front of the device, but Motorola says that this placement will enable an unobstructured view of the web, texts, e-mails, and news feeds. 

The new smartphone also has a 3 megapixel camera with Kodak Perfect Touch, and CrystalTalk Plus with a second microphone for better voice quality and background noise filtering.

It comes with a 2GB microSD card and allows up to 32GB cards. It has a 1170mAh Lithium-ion battery which Motorola claims will give up to 405 minutes of continuous usage.

Motorola was keen to highlight that the Charm is Flash-enabled, allowing access to “content-rich” websites, a fact which is most likely aimed at potential iPhone customers who are not impressed with Apple’s stance on Flash.

It will only be available in the US with T-Mobile at first, with a launch date some time this summer, but it probably won’t be long before a European release is added to the mix.

Motorola CharmMotorola Charm