The Motorola CLIQ, the company’s first phone to run the Google Android operating system, was announced today in the USA.

In form factor, the CLIQ is similar to the HTC Dream, offering not only the touchscreen interface, but also the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. And yes, it is up and running on the latest version of Android v1.5, aka Cupcake.

The battery, all important on your modern day energy-hungry smartphone, is a 1420 mAh lithium polymer type, offering up to 6 hours continuous usage, or up to 325 hours of standby time.

The CLIQ’s screen is a 3.1 inch HVGA, 320 x 480 pixels, 187 PPI. On that screen you’ll be able to playback video files iH.264, H.263 and MPEG 4 formats, or shoot video with the CLIQ in MPEG4. Music formats, you can listen to AAC, AAC+, AAC+ Enhanced, AMR NB, MIDI, MP3 and WAV, and photo file formats include BMP, PNG, GIF and JPEG. Music lovers will also appreciate the 3.5 mm headphone jack, so you can use your favourite headphones with the phone.

The on-board camera is 5 megapixel, with auto focus, and complementary tools for the camera include picture editing and geotagging.

Also offered on the CLIQ is some of the address book smarts we’ve seen with HTC’s about-to-be-released Hero and Tattoo phones, in that you’re able right from your contacts list pull up all the calls, messages, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter updates associated with that person.

Speaking of social networking, the CLIQ uses Motorola’s new MotoBlur user interface, which allows you to update your Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts right from the phone’s homescreen, or indeed see your friend’s updates, with no need to login to the account each time.

The CLIQ was only announced in the USA overnight, so at the moment there are no details for Australian release date, price or carriers. There are reports by an insider on the Whirlpool forum site that there is shortly to be a second Android phone announced by Motorola.