Basic features include text and multimedia messaging, a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, voice commands, a datebook, an alarm clock, a world clock, a calculator, and a notepad. You also get a mobile Web browser, GPS with TeleNav support, instant messaging (Yahoo, AIM, and Windows Live Messenger), stereo Bluetooth, and e-mail. The e-mail app is similar to the one on other Sprint Nextel phones; it supports Web providers such as Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, AIM Mail, Hotmail, and Gmail, but you can also enter in your own POP or IMAP settings. Outlook syncing is not available with the Bali, however.
The Bali has a simple music player, which you can only use by popping in a microSD card. The player is fairly basic, but you can still set songs on repeat and shuffle and you can create and edit playlists as well. The phone can take up to 4GB cards.
The 1.3-megapixel camera on the Bali can take pictures in four resolutions (1,280x1,024 pixels; 640x480 pixels; 320x240 pixels; and Picture ID), with settings like a self-timer, picture frames, brightness, six white-balance presets (includes an auto mode), four color effects, up to 4x zoom, and four shutter tones (with a silent option). The camera's picture quality sadly did not impress us. Images looked blurry, colors were washed out, and it did not perform well in low light at all. There's also a camcorder option on the Bali, which can record in four different video lengths: 2 minutes, 5 minutes, fit to memory, or fit to MMS.
You can customize the Bali with graphics and sounds to be used as wallpapers or ringtones. You can add your own or download them from the Boost Mobile store. The Bali comes with a few Java-based games and apps, too, like Guitar Hero 5 Mobile and Hookt.
We tested the Motorola Bali in San Francisco using Boost Mobile. Call quality was excellent, from both sides. On our end, we could hardly hear any static or background hiss, and our callers came through with crisp and clear voices.
On their end, callers said we sounded great for the most part. They reported no static, but did say our voice sounded rather brash and harsh at times. Still, they said the quality was great overall. Speakerphone calls were very good, too, though callers did sound a bit tinny through the phone's small speakers.
Similarly, the audio quality of music playback didn't sound so good with the phone's speakers. It was nice and loud, but the overall quality was flat and hollow. It's too bad the phone doesn't have a 3.5mm headset jack since it does have a music player.
The Bali has a rated battery life of 5 hours talk time and 20 hours standby time. The Bali has a tested talk time of 4 hours and 22 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, it has a digital SAR of 0.8 watt per kilogram.