Motorola’s Growing Android Army: Are There Any Winners

Motorola (s mot) isn’t content to rest on the success of its Droid line of Android (s goog) phones; it’s announced six Android phones to join the ranks. The new phones cover a wide range of form factors and sizes, from the square Motorola Spice to the Flipout with the unique rotating screen. The new Android handsets include two for Verizon (s vz) and three for AT&T (s t), and there’s one potential winner in the lot.

The Droid Pro is the next handset in the Droid line, and it changes things up radically. The phone sports a BlackBerry-like (s rimm) QWERTY keyboard below the  3.1-inch display, and with both CDMA (EVDO) and GSM, is ready for world travelers. Motorola has included advanced remote management utilities on the Droid Pro, making it a good fit for the enterprise. It will be available through Verizon in the U.S., and will be running Android 2.2 (Froyo).

The Citrus will also be carried by Verizon and is aimed at the younger crowd. The small (3-inch display) handset forgoes a QWERTY keyboard with a touchscreen that’s home to the MotoBlur social networking widgets from Motorola. The 3 MP camera is good enough for the casual photographer, but won’t win any awards. There’s a unique touch panel for navigation on the back of the handset next to the camera, dubbed BACKTRACK, that allows for moving around the display without obstructing the view on the display. The Citrus will run Android 2.1, with no word on if an update to Froyo will be forthcoming.

A quirky little phone not committed to appear on any carrier yet is the Spice. The Spice looks reminiscent of the ill-fated Microsoft (s msft) Kin, with the QWERTY keyboard exposed. A BACKTRACK panel is present, continuing the trend started with the Citrus. The 3-inch display keeps the handset very small and easy to use, yet has the full keyboard when needed.

The AT&T lineup has the most unusual offerings from Motorola, starting with a 3.7-inch slider, the Bravo. This phone picks things up with enhanced, user-customizable MotoBlur widgets for tracking social networks. Motorola kept the size of the handset down by minimizing the bezel around the screen, and added a second microphone like that found on the Nexus One to provide crystal clear communication.

Motorola is offering the Flipside with a horizontal sliding QWERTY keyboard for those needing to do heavy text entry. The 3.1-inch touch display is augmented with a unique touch panel beneath it for navigation, similar to the BACKTRACK on other handsets, but on the front of the phone. The additional space allocated to this touch panel allows for a wider keyboard.

The square Flipout is a strange form to start with, and Motorola has added a rotating 2.8-inch display that opens to expose a QWERTY keyboard. It’s designed to appeal to the younger crowd, with social networking incorporated throughout the phone. That appeal is evident in the color selection available: at least eight colors to choose from.

The Motorola Android army is growing by leaps and bounds with these six phones joining the earlier models from the company. The winner in the lot is the Droid Pro, with a form (and keyboard) that will appeal to BlackBerry customers wanting to board the Android train.

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