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Motorola debuts next Linux-based smartphone

Jan 9, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Motorola's next Linux-based smartphone will have a slim, lightweight flip-phone design similar to its Razr phones. The A1200 was debuted by fashion designer Vivienne Tam at a Dec. 26 Shanghai press event. It has been registered with the FCC, suggesting it may soon reach the US.

Dec. 26 debut of the A1200 with fashion designer Vivienne Tam (and Santa Claus)
(Click image for more debut photos)

The A1200 has a compact, keypad-less design with a clear plastic flip lid that enables it to have only one LCD, a 2.4-inch QVGA (320 x 240) TFT touchscreen display with 262K colors. Hardware controls include a 5-way joystick, volume controls, camera button, voice recognition dialing button, and a “smart menu” key for controlling basic closed-lid functions. The device weighs 95 grams, or about 3 ounces.

Like the Linux-based Rokr E2 announced last week at CES in Las Vegas, the A1200 will have a stereo headphone jack aimed at music listening headsets rather than mobile phone headsets. It also has a built-in speaker.

Like Motorola's earlier A780, the A1200 is based on an Intel XScale PXA270 processor. It will reportedly come with 8MB of user storage, expandable to 512MB through microSD or “T-cards.”

A1200 photos filed with the FCC
(Click to enlarge)

The A1200's electronics, top and bottom view, with and without shields
(Click either image to enlarge)

The A1200's case
(Click to enlarge)

The version of the A1200 registered with the FCC will be a GSM/EDGE phone operating on the 850/1800/1900MHz bands. The US version will also have a bluetooth radio, and a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera that doubles as a business-card scanner. One clever feature is a mirror just below the camera lens, to assist with self-portraits.

Software features include an Opera web browser, Picsel's software for viewing Microsoft Office and other proprietary document formats, Real One multimedia player, IM client, SMS/MMS client, call log, calendar, notepad, alarm, POP/IMAP/SMTP email client, task manager, world time clock, calculator, file manager, still and video camera capture software, and a multimedia recorder and editor. Additionally, the A1200 will support Java-based games and other user-installable applications, as well as SIM-card applications.

Additional software features include handwriting recognition, soft keyboards for English, Pinyin, and Zhuyin, and Motorola's bluetooth synchronization client, dubbed “MotoSync”. MotoSync supports the SyncML standard, as well as Microsoft's Exchange Server 2003, according to a draft of the A1200's user manual. A USB cable can also be used to sync the phone.


The A1200 is expected to launch in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in mid-February, with US availability sometime after that.

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