Evoke Might Be Motorola's Best Touch-Screen Phone Yet

Sleek model with slide-out dialpad making a good first impression


The struggling wireless division at Motorola may be getting renewed traction. A new cellphone called the Evoke QA4 is making a good impression in anticipation of its launch next quarter.

The handset is a sleek touch-screen model with a slide-out dialpad. That makes it look vaguely like the upcoming Palm Pre, though the Pre's slider is a full Qwerty keyboard. The Evoke isn't yet a fully powered smartphone, though it has a customizable home screen. It includes widgets that link to MySpace, YouTube and RSS feeds.

Intriguingly, the phone could get added smarts.

Stan Beer at ITWire reports the phone can run other operating systems. That could include Google's Android smartphone software. The ability comes through tech from a company called Open Kernel Labs:

According to OK Labs, this will enable Motorola to offer the Evoke QA4 to consumers at a feature phone price, hundreds of dollars cheaper than most smartphones like the iPhone and [BlackBerry].

Even without the added smarts, Ian Paul at PCWorld says the new phone is Motorola's best answer yet to the iPhone:

This time Motorola looks as if it got it right with this Web-savvy Evoke...

He adds that Motorola left out enough capability, including Wi-Fi, to suggest it could never unseat the iPhone. But it looks like Motorola's taking some innovative risks to get back into the game.

The company has struggled to find a new hit after its Razr line, which was a huge success after it appeared five or six years ago. That's a lifetime in the wireless business.