Motorola WX445 leaked -- Big Red's low-end Android entry?

Images of the unreleased Motorola WX455 have shown up today online, with very little fanfare.  If the rumors about it's specifications are correct, we can see why.  Supposedly it's a pretty anemic offering, and beside the recent onslaught of superphones like the Galaxy S series and the Motorola Droid X, it's hard to get excited over a mid- to low-end handset.  Speaking of specs, all we can be sure of is what you see -- it's running Eclair, has a weird mix of capacitive buttons and some sort of physical pad, a smallish touchscreen, and headed to Verizon.  Rumored specs also include a camera (megapixels unknown) with no flash, and a 1170 mAh battery.  It should also sport the standard Android array of radios and sensors; GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, compass, etc., but that's just an educated guess. 

We've talked about the validity of low end Android models on the last couple of podcasts, what do you guys think?  Yea or nay to the entry level stuff?  [Engadget]

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Low end phones give android a bad name and, from a financial point of view, are incredibly stupid. On a 2 year contract, a phone is going to cost you about $2000. So what kind of a person buys an outdated, poorly built, slow, ugly device just so they can get it for $1900 instead of $2000? The percentage difference in price is in the single digits. It just makes no sense. On the other hand, choice is good, and some people like the cheap crap, so why not?
  • I don't really care, the more android phones the better!
  • Low end phones can be $50 or free. So in the long run, it is better. Once someone gets a low end free Android phone, they will want more, and more, then upgrade to a better and better phone.
  • Imagine a phone that cheap which allows Google Search, YouTube, Facebook, and some sort of web browsing. That puts the power of the mobile internet into the hands of those without very much money who only care about phone calls and certain app functions. That increases the Android user base by MILLIONS alone. Pretty soon even loaner phones will have YouTube. {{-_-}}
  • good outlook on the situation. i totally agree with you man
  • I wonder if Apple can say that they're doing as much to help out the lower-income masses as Google is doing. {{-_-}}
  • Look at all the people who buy Blackberry Curves. They're not great phones, but they count in the sales figures. Android is already kicking butt in the new sales department, but low-end entries can allow us to get an installed base much faster and dethrone RIM as well as that fruity company people like to talk about. Besides, getting a cheap revenue stream from low-end phones helps to reduce the risk when doing R&D on the superphones I like. Imagine how much Motorola would be hurting if the DroidX and/or Droid2 ended up being a flop? With cheap, low risk phones flying off the shelves they could absorb this and recoup. Without the diverse portfolio they may fold their mobile division as was threatened before. But what I care about is that low end Android phones are probably more likely to be used for the web than low-end Blackberries. This means that more people look in their W3C logs and see Android agent IDs instead of iPhone agent IDs. Suddenly mindshare shifts from "let's treat the iPhone as a special case" to "let's make the web better for all phones."
  • That was far too logical for the interweb. :thumbsup:
  • Not everybody is into the big screens and faster than fast processors. I know some friends that honestly will not switch to an Android phone only because of the cost. If the big 5 carriers release more phones like this, the Charm, Flipout, etc; then you eventualy will see these people switch over to the almighty Android because of lower priced smartphones. They have to cater to everyone. MyTouch Slide Owner
  • Big 5? MetroPCS and U.S. Cellular duking it out for that 5th spot?
  • GhettroPCS wins. {{-_-}}
  • We call it MetroPOS
  • Ya lost me. {{o_0}}
  • Some people are in position where they have to pay full retail. I know I would prefer an android handset over and feature phone.
  • This phone is perfect for my mom. I consider it as training wheels... :-)
  • for sure. without a doubt, Verizon really should of taken a "there's a droid for that" with their marketing campaign. CURRENTLY: the HTC Droid Eris, and LG Ally are the "entry level device", the Motorola Devour is for the 12 year old facebook whore (whore as in junkie..not whore as in whore), and the Moto Droid and Droid Incredible are your high end phones, and the Droid X is when you ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY need to KILL EVERYBODY IN THE ROOM. ...these are the droids you're looking for.
  • Well first of all, realize that most of the people who pop into the store for a smart phone probably aren't reading blogs or forums like this. Would seem a bit off to have another phone in the running, with Verizon already offering up a sweet-kickin selection with its Droid series, along side the LG Alley and the Samsung Fascinate. And of course, figuring the long-run cost of ownership of an Android phone, or any smartphone for that matter, you'd think the lower end phones would get passed over. If you could afford the data plan, shouldn't you be able to afford an extra $50 for a phone? However, consumers asked for a greater selection of smartphones, that that's what Verizon seems to be doing, even at the price point.
  • I think that as long as we see even entry level devices going with 2.1 forward, we'll be ok. What I don't want to see is a device being "legacy" before it's released, though that doesn't seem to be happening too much in the U.S. Fragmentation is still a factor that app developers think about i assume. Thoughts?
  • Seen to me a problem in those low end devices with Android OS is the fact that a regular guy buying this phone
    Will find Android god but with lack in hardware going to be confused blaming the OS so the beauty of Android is to be playing in great hardware. Though
  • who gives a shit. making a big deal over nothing. runs on eclair, who cares. i love eating those. what the heck is eclair on a phone anyway. i love my droid, but its a cell phone, does what its supposed to. make calls. im sure that New LOW END PHONE is just fine.
  • The fact that everybody post in the Android central show you that all android community give more than a little shit and yes we care allot about Android developments, obvious is that what you need is a flip phone not a High end computer with phone capabilities.
  • I like having some lower end phones to choose from. Some people don't need killer phones like the incredible, droid x, evo or the nexus one. Plus some people don't want to shell out the up front cost on a phone they are not sure they'd like. This way it lets people wade into the android side at their own speed. We need more people on android.
  • Stop being elitist people. Come on, lets those who can't afford the high end smartphones have a taste of Android. Low end phones great way to get into the smartphone family. It be wrong to deny them that.
  • i have a DROID and i love it. but lets face it, it makes and recieves calls. We all have a computer at home. so no real need for super duper phones. AND if companies are getting rid of unlimited plans like AT&T did. Whats the point have having one.
  • Weird mix of captive buttons? It it is the same weird mix that are on the un-rootable Droid X. I have been playing with a droid x for the last week. It is cool, but if un-rootable it is undesirable to me.