On March 7, AT&T will release its first Google Android smartphone, the Motorola Backflip, for $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
The Backflip made its debut at CES 2010 where it earned our Best of CES award for the cell phones and smartphones category because of its unique design, which includes a rear-facing QWERTY keyboard and a trackpad behind the display. Unfortunately, after now spending some time with the final product, this seems to be the only real highlight of the phone.
The Backflip suffers from performance issues and runs Android 1.5, making it a rather lackluster Android debut for AT&T in our opinion. You've also probably heard by now that AT&T replaced Google Search with Yahoo search, both on the home screen search widget and in the Web browser. As tAndroid Community points out, the Motorola Backflip isn't a true Google Experience phone, so it gives AT&T the freedom to customize the device to its needs. Is this, as some are saying, the carrier's way of keeping Apple happy?
Still, there is much more to the story than just choice of search engines, so check out our full review of the Motorola Backflip to learn more.