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Motorola FIRE (Motorola XT316 / Motorola SPICE Key)

 Motorola FIRE / XT316 Available now
13th July 2011

Known as the Motorola FIRE in Europe, the SPICE Key in Latin America and the XT316 in China and neighbouring countries, this handset is a budget Android smartphone in a BlackBerry-style form factor.

A much simpler and cheaper device than the Motorola PRO, the FIRE is an Android 2.3 device with a 2.8" 240 x 320 pixel touchscreen, a 3 megapixel camera with VGA video recording capabilities and an FM radio in addition to the standard Android features of 3.5G support, WiFi and GPS.

It isn't a very powerful device - inside is a 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227-1 CPU coupled with 256MB of RAM and about 512MB of on-board flash memory expandable through a microSD slot. The QWERTY keyboard means that the display is relatively small too.

This is a somewhat unconventional design for an Android phone. The Motorola FIRE looks to be targeting customers who want something like a BlackBerry, but would prefer the ease-of-use of an Android device. The FIRE competes with the BlackBerry Curve range in this respect, and it seems that with weakening sales of BlackBerry devices then it might have a chance of success.

Underneath, this is a quad-band GSM device with 3.5G data support in three dual-band WCDMA variants depending on region. 802.11 b, g and n WiFi is supported, as is Bluetooth 2.1. The FIRE weighs 110 grams and has a large 1420 mAh battery that can provide up to 8 hours talktime and 27 days standby time on 3G.

The Chinese XT316 is currently shipping with Android 2.2 with an upgrade promised soon, the FIRE and SPICE Key variants will ship with Android 2.3 when they ship later this summer. All versions include Motorola's MOTOBLUR add-on on top of the normal Android OS.

We don't know how much the Motorola FIRE will retail for, but our best guess is that it should cost around €250 SIM-free including sales tax when it launches in Europe.

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Motorola FIRE (SPICE Key / XT316) at a glance

Available:

Now (China), Q3 2011 (Elsewhere)

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 850 / 1900 or 850 / 2100 or 900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA + WiFi

Screen:

2.8" 240 x 320 pixels

Camera:

3 megapixels

Size:

Messaging device
117 x 58 x 13mm / 110 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

MicroSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Optional

GPS:

Yes

OS:

Android 2.2 (XT316)
Android 2.3 (FIRE / SPICE Key)

Battery life:

8 hours talk / 27 days standby (3G)

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