By good luck and ill fortune, we were recently given 5 minutes of time with a Motorola A780 “Ming” – one of the first Linux touchscreen phones ever. Mobile Linux didn’t grow much in the last years…was it the Ming’s fault?

Size-wise, the machine is very similar to Nokia’s N71:
0a The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone 0b The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone 0c The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone

Motorola chose a very interesting concept in order to make the phone usable without a stylus. The keys are on the outside of the flip – if the lid is closed, the phone behaves like a regular phone:
1a The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone

The user interface has a ‘japanese’ touch, but worked very well. The phone’s home screen has two bars that allow quick access to a few applications.
2a The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone

When a third-party application is fired up(I was shown Picsel Viewer), the bars remain on top(allowing instant access to important phone apps):
3a The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone 3b The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone 3c The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone

The device that we were given was an early engineering sample, but nevertheless seemed very stable and well-built:
4a The Motorola A780   a look at an early Linux phone

In the end, the A780 is a very impressive touchscreen phone…especially given its age. Mobile Linux has been capable to power a decent phone on 2004′s hardware(aka max. 200MhZ CPU) – if Google can stay as effective, I predict that Android will have no issues…

Related posts:

  1. The Motorola Q
  2. Palm launches Early Access program for webOS
  3. Motorola or Access-who is the better home for Palm OS
  4. 40% of Americans do web surfing, e-mail or IM on their phones
  5. Palm Linux development finished soon?

4 Responses to “The Motorola A780 – a look at an early Linux phone”

  1. One icon looks like Picsel Browser or Viewer. Will you write about that?

  2. Hi Folks,
    one thing straight away: I NO LONGER have access to this device, and will never ever have access to it again as the owner has already left the country.

    Sorry!

    Tam

  3. My friend has Motorola A780 and I was able to hold and have a look at this phone. This is a user-friendly phone; the applications are organized and can be accessed instantly.

  4. Wow that looks like a really sharp phone. After the nightmare I had with my windows based phone, a Linux based phone sounds fantastic to me.

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