I was happily surprised by my visit to Motorola's booth at CES, where they were featuring two new handsets announced at Sunday night's press conference.
The Z10 is a "kick slider" (it bends to the contour of your face, like the Z8) with some serious photo and video capabilities. Packed with a 3.2mp camera, the Z10 can capture video at a full 30 frames per second and also playback 30fps video on its 2.2" QVGA display. Really impressive, however, was the Z10's video editing capabilities. I watched as a Moto rep demoed the video editing and storyboarding features, which let you trim and reorder video clips and then sequence them together with transitions and other video effects. It's like using a stripped down version of iMovie on a mobile phone. Crazy! The Z10 runs on the Symbian UIQ platform and also features HSDPA high speed data access.
The ROKR E8 is a 10mm thin candybar phone with a unique design that MOTO's calling ModeShift. As the press release puts it, "the quad-band GPRS/EDGE device presents users with only the controls they need, at the time they need them, instantly transforming from music player to phone to imaging device with the touch of a button. Simply move a thumb across the FastScroll navigation wheel to search for music (music mode), contacts (phone mode), calendar (phone mode) and multimedia (imaging mode)."
I tried it, and it's pretty cool, though perhaps not as flexible as a full-on touchscreen. The controls provide haptic feedback, which is great, and the three-quarter circle navigation wheel adjusts scroll speeds depending on how far towards the end you've pushed your finger. It's definitely a unique looking device, and the integrated 3.5mm headphone jack and SongID technology give it a leg up in the music department. But the E8 is somewhat hampered by EDGE-only data speeds.
Both new MOTOs are slated for Q1 ship dates.