We’ve seen some great stuff at CTIA so far this year but as we’re sure you are well aware, there really hasn’t been anything too earth shattering on display. As such, we might go as far as to call the Motorola Evoke QA4 the most interesting handset we’ve gotten our grubby mitts on so far at the show. The QA4 first made an appearance earlier this month, and it was subsequently announced for Cricket just before CTIA lifted off. We must admit, the handset didn’t exactly bowl us over on paper but now that we’ve had some face time with it, things have changed. Surprised and impressed are two words that most certainly encapsulate our reaction. Pinned somewhere between a feature phone and a smartphone, the Evoke packs a Moto-customized Linux OS — think of the Ming, then imagine something 100 times cooler — sitting beneath a solid build and a terrific design.

The UI on the QA4 is essentially widget-based as many are these days but Moto’s interpretation is well thought out, well organized and responsive. The 2.8-inch touchscreen also returns some nice haptic feedback as you swipe and poke your way through various menus and widgets. Sure to please anyone and everyone, there are also three different keyboards available: A physical 0-9 pad, a virtual 0-9 pad when the handset is held vertically and a landscape virtual QWERTY invoked by the accelerometer when the device is turned on its side. The QA4 is by no means a savior but at the right price it’s a fantastic handset with a wide range as far as target market is concerned. Hit the jump for more shots of the Evoke, due out this quarter in both the US and Canada.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.