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Motorola Evoke QA4: See me, feel me, touch me, dial me

Motorola is the sluggish fat kid in the race to release a touchscreen mobile, but it's off the blocks with a new touchscreen phone with a slide-out alphanumeric keypad

The nerd armies have once again marched upon Las Vegas, this time for the CTIA, which starts tomorrow. This showcase of all things mobile phone mostly features dog-ugly American-style messaging handsets that, thank the gods, we'll never see on our stylish streets in the UK.

But our spidey senses did tingle at the sight of a new touchscreen handset that Motorola announced today in advance of the show: the Evoke QA4.

Motorola says the Evoke will feature a 2.8-inch (71mm) touchscreen and a slide-out alphanumeric keypad -- a configuration that, until now, only the Samsung Tocco Ultra has flirted with.

We think it's a great idea, since the three-by-four keypad is smaller, so it can be tucked away in a more elegant slider, and we've honed our texting skills on it already. And it's handy for making a phone call, if we ever have to do that obscure task.

The Evoke will also sport a soft Qwerty keypad and a customisable home screen with widgets for RSS feeds and social-networking sites. Motorola is pitching the Evoke as a social-networking tool, and said that it'll have MySpace and Tube gadgets built-in.

Motorola told us the Evoke is likely to make the transatlantic trip, but wouldn't specify when it will be launched here.