Does the MING
series have a place in North America? The stylish (well, depending on who you ask) Linux-based Moto smartphones have always been designed from the ground up for the Chinese market going back to the original A1200
, but from afar, it's easy to see why you might want to put one in your pocket no matter where you live; after all, they look unlike anything else on the market, they're smartphones, they're delightfully compact, and they rock touchscreens. But realistically, is it possible to make a MING your daily dialer? Read on!
Thanks to the good folks at Wireless Imports
for the hookup!
Hands-on with Motorola's MOTOMING A1600
We spent a little time recently with the new A1600
, and physically, we were blown away. It's a very small device which means the screen is a bit small at 2.4 inches, but it's bright, crisp, it's got a nice finger-friendly feel to it -- and thankfully, it's flush with the surrounding case. The back of the phone is done up in a great soft-touch plastic that we wanted to run our hands over, the hinge has a solid feel, and overall, we got the impression that this is a well-manufactured phone.
The software is a more disappointing experience, but it has potential. It comes out of the box with a full suite of productivity and entertainment apps, and we were delighted that we were able to spend almost all our time navigating with a finger alone. There's a stylus (a surprisingly long one, in fact) in the upper right corner for one you need it, which you will once you need to input text. This sucks, but it's a reality of a screen this small. You've got both character recognition and a QWERTY keyboard available, and one look at the keys on that keyboard are a stark reminder of just how badly you need the stylus here -- they're seriously just a few pixels wide.
If Motorola were to drop Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, HSDPA, and WiFi onto this exact
physical form factor, they could bill it as a really unique, high-end fashion smartphone and make a little cash for themselves, because we really don't see a compelling reason why the MING has to be a China special. As it stands, though, the A1600's probably a little too raw for your average Joe -- and that's a crying shame.