Aside from the usual PIM and Google functions, the Motorola i1 from Sprint Nextel is equipped with a few Sprint-specific features like Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile, Sprint Zone, and Sprint Football Live. And, of course, the i1 uses Nextel Direct Connect for its push-to-talk service. The i1 also comes with Wi-Fi, Opera Mobile, the Amazon MP3 Store, GPS, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. Again, check out the Boost Mobile version of the phone for the full rundown of the phone's features.
We tested the Motorola i1 in San Francisco using Sprint Nextel. Happily, the sound quality over Sprint Nextel is the same as over Boost Mobile. This shouldn't be a surprise, as both use the same airwaves (Boost Mobile is owned by Sprint). Callers' voices came through with excellent quality all around, with little to no static and great volume and clarity.
Similarly, callers enjoyed good call quality on their end. Voice quality was maybe a bit harsher than that of a landline call, but it was not a deal breaker by any means. Speakerphone calls went very well, too; volume was nice and loud, though we did suffer some tinny and echo effects on our end. The same goes for audio playback over the phone's speakers, so we would recommend the use of a headset when possible.
The network speeds on the Motorola i1 were satisfactory for the most part. Loading the CNET home page took around 15 seconds; the BBC Web site loaded in about 32 seconds on Opera Mini. YouTube clips took quite a while to buffer--about 10 seconds per video--and video quality was very pixelated.
The i1 has a 600MHz ARM11 Freescale processor, which worked well enough for us. The proximity sensor kicked in quickly, as did the accelerometer. Applications closed and opened quickly, though the phone bogged down a little bit as we multitasked among apps. The camera activated in just a second or two after pressing the camera key.
The Motorola i1 has a 1,400mAH lithium ion battery with a rated battery life of 3.5 hours talk time and 4.17 days standby time. In our battery drain tests, we had a tested talk time of 2 hours and 58 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the i1 has a digital SAR of 0.81 watt per kilogram.