[Android] Motorola Backflip - DON'T BUY, HERE'S WHY!

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aikeru

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2009
147
9
OK, so I've been using a Kaiser/Tilt with Eclair on it for awhile. I've spent countless hours drooling after the Nexus One. When AT&T finally got the "Backflip" from Motorola, I just couldn't resist. I took the plunge.

I should've known better. I have plenty of AT&T horror stories, and this is the same carrier that wont allow you to tell your Java apps NOT to ask for permission more than once (making Opera mini a PITA but the only usable browser for non-smart-phones).

There is NO option to install applications from untrusted sources. This means anything on your SD card, downloaded from the web or over your wifi at home WILL NOT WORK. Naturally, you also cannot use the "su" command in terminal.
Motoblur is nice I guess, but the uninstallable AT&T paid apps, the limitations of 1.5 firmware (ie: no google navigator, no voice search) and the locked-to-yahoo-search-bar are enough to get me to say NO to any further AT&T abuse.

With the Kaiser's bloatware, they removed/hid apps from you so you wouldn't try to use them and replaced them with their crapware.

AT&T does not know the meaning of "open" and they do not understand Android. You are not buying an Android phone when you buy from AT&T.
You are buying a device LOCKED to a market with a smaller number of applications than the iPhone (I don't use Apple products either :)) forced to use a lesser search engine for your most convenient option and subject to losing any application that was once on the market but then removed. You can't install your own apps or even test them on your device. Period.

Also on my first day of using it I got a number of "Force Close" messages including on the built-in applications (ie: Motorola's flavor of the desk clock).

It's decent hardware, it feels pretty zippy to me, but this is exactly why I WONT buy an iPhone. :(

Screw you, AT&T. I will make sure that everyone I know is properly informed about this crippled device that is nothing like the Android experience is supposed to (expected to!) be.

/endrant :) phew, going to go breathe for awhile.

EDIT: I will add:
- Set "orientation" on this phone when you tilt it and somehow it gets stuck in one orientation or the other (who knows maybe this one is just me, not seen any other backflips) if you set it back to just when you open/close it it's fine again though
- The desk clock can't be launched manually and is tricky to get to appear trying to get the phone in that perfect angle to display it
- I don't have a separate camera on me right now to show you the menu but to back up with sources:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/1910...n_atandt_not_the_full_android_experience.html
https://supportforums.motorola.com/message/121849

Don't buy this phone. :( Stay away from AT&T, stay away from Motorola (IMO or at least the motorola backflip).
 
Last edited:

Is_907

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2009
213
5
N of Ft Worth, TX
This is pretty horrible.

I have two questions, though.
1) Can you take a screen cap of the Settings > Applications screen so we can see the lack of Unknown Sources option? That'd really help people see the validity of this issue.

2) I hope you have some kind of 30-day money-back guarantee when buying a handset from AT&T like Sprint offers. Otherwise, ouch =/
 

adendum

Member
Sep 29, 2009
24
10
.de
... It's not only AT&T who manages to confuse their customers about an OSS... Don't forget who decided to lock down an open software system boot-loader for everyone *cough*Motorola*cough*
 

IConrad01

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2009
219
2
Someone more familiar than I needs to figure out the proper java system call to enable unknown/untrusted sources and then post on this thread the proper at command to execute it via CLI. You wouldn't even need root to do this.
 
Mar 8, 2010
17
3
Springfield, MO
Someone more familiar than I needs to figure out the proper java system call to enable unknown/untrusted sources and then post on this thread the proper at command to execute it via CLI. You wouldn't even need root to do this.

Assuming the software running on the Backflip is the same software they released the source to on opensource.motorola.com, there may be hope of that. I'll dig into it when I get time.
 

sleze

Senior Member
Nov 6, 2007
203
15
Wow. I am surprised that this was picked up by Gizmodo. Do we have anyone corroborating this? Doesn't this somehow violate Google's terms of service?
 

Squeaky369

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2008
168
10
Indianapolis
My hope for an even somewhat open x10 on AT&T is starting to dwindle.

Mine too! Just means to spend the couple extra hundred dollars and get an unlocked unbranded one.

I got the Backflip just because I am moving on from my jailbroken iPhone and I wanted something neat and shiny.

I can say that there is a lot of smack talk here, but give these guys a chance here to root the phone and get some things working on it.

It's been two days since the release and I can already say, that I like the phone a hell of a lot more today then I did on Sunday. I've been able to install untrusted sources using the Droid Explorer, a bit of a pain in the ass, but it's okay, considering that if I want Android, then this is the only way to go for now.

But I have faith in someone out there... Someone will figure this out.

I just hope it's within my 30 day return policy. :)

EDIT: I Installed "GDE" on my device and I am able to use the Google search widget... So that issue is sort of solved...
 
Last edited:
Dec 9, 2007
26
1
This may just be my unit but the A2DP doesn't work right, it starts playing music then begins to fast forward whatever you are watching or listening to. Did a hard reset, no luck. Looks like I already need a replacement lol.
 

Squeaky369

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2008
168
10
Indianapolis
Can you please explain how you got the google search widget working?

Eh; fail on my part. It's mostly a cosmetic fix. I didn't actually test it, but when you click on it, it changes to "Yahoo".

So my bad on that one.

God, I hate Yahoo. Ever since that stupid ass cowboy did that commercial, it's ate away at my soul...
 

wm1

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2006
145
0
40
Topeka
www.twitter.com
I don't know why...

To think we were all worried about how Verizon was going to cripple android only to have ATT do it instead. At first I was amazed and then I realized that any android phone would have outshown their prized phone...oh well one more reason to love being on T-Mobile. ;-)
 

Xodium

Senior Member
Oct 10, 2009
174
6
Concord
I played with a Backflip. My god it's a horrid phone. And yeah, Android is completely locked down, with no way to delete those AT&T apps and no installing off-Market Android Apps out of the box.

I was going to wait to see what AT&T was going to bring to the table, but I'm not holding my breath.

Btw, I noticed that AT&T trained to sell the Backflip pretty hard. Like, seriously, I was looking at phones today, and every other word out of the rep's mouth was that I should buy the Backflip. Thankfully I'm more informed than that. I walked out with an iPhone instead. (Don't grill me, I use a Touch Pro2, I just needed a good phone for my work line >_<)
 

beaster98

New member
Mar 11, 2010
1
0
Help i ****ed up my phone

So i just rooted my g1 to get the nexus one features to it and now all it is doing is foreclosing instead of going to the home screen if anyone can help can you please email me at [email protected] thank you
 

Squeaky369

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2008
168
10
Indianapolis
I played with a Backflip. My god it's a horrid phone. And yeah, Android is completely locked down, with no way to delete those AT&T apps and no installing off-Market Android Apps out of the box.

I was going to wait to see what AT&T was going to bring to the table, but I'm not holding my breath.

Btw, I noticed that AT&T trained to sell the Backflip pretty hard. Like, seriously, I was looking at phones today, and every other word out of the rep's mouth was that I should buy the Backflip. Thankfully I'm more informed than that. I walked out with an iPhone instead. (Don't grill me, I use a Touch Pro2, I just needed a good phone for my work line >_<)

I really do think though that this is going to end up to be a decent phone.

I know I am a little pro for that comment, just because I bought one. But lets look at every phone that ever comes out. There is always some sort of challenge that we have to overcome.

And; with all the threads I've been reading about this; it looks like it was BOTH AT&T and Motorola that are to blame for locking this phone down. ATT cause they don't want us to install from anything but an "App Store" and Motorola because they don't want their devices used for what "there were not intended to be used for," is the wording I've seen floating around the internet.

But in all seriousness. I am coming from an iPhone 3GS which I had jailbroken. So I am coming from a phone that I had everything and anything on to this, and I am, overall, happy with it. Although it's only been 5 days, I can say I don't think I'll change my mind in the next 25 days.

But that's just my two-cents.