Motorola Tattoo i860 - gray (Nextel) review:

Motorola Tattoo i860 - gray (Nextel)

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Custom digital content; stylish, compact form factor; dual color screens; integrated VGA camera; speakerphone.

The Bad At $1.50 per day, Boost's push-to-talk feature can become expensive; so-so picture quality; short standby time.

The Bottom Line Boost Mobile's Motorola i860 offers Nextel form and functionality in a package designed for younger users.

Visit the manufacturer's or carrier's Web site to purchase this product.

7.3 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0

Motorola i860 Tattoo

If there's one thing that Nextel phones are missing, it's the "cool" factor. But based on their staunchly loyal user base, Nextel couldn't care less. Since the company has acquired Boost Mobile, however, Nextel can focus on pushing more utilitarian products to business-minded users while its newer division goes after the younger, hipper market. That said, when it comes to the hardware, the Motorola i860 Tattoo, offered by Boost Mobile, is identical in almost every way to the Nextel i860. You get many of the same features, including a camera with video recording, a speakerphone, organizer applications, and a version of Nextel's famed push-to-talk service. Of course, once you move past the hardware, there are stark differences. In particular, Boost Mobile's prepaid service is poles apart from Nextel's traditional contract-based service. Both phones are $299, but Boost Mobile should offer a rebate.

Signature style: Though it's the same size and shape, the i860 has a non-Nextel look.

The first thing that will strike you about the Motorola i860 Tattoo is the design on the outer cover. The phone's graphics, which resemble a primitive tattoo, surround the internal and external displays as well as the lens and flash, and they nicely complement the gunmetal housing. In addition to the i860 Tattoo, Boost Mobile also offers a limited version called the i860 Woody, which is designed to look like the wood-paneled station wagons that are a staple of surf culture.

Light up: The i860 has a flash but no self-portrait mirror.

Beyond the physical variations, the i860 also comes preloaded with content that Boost Mobile believes will appeal to the younger crowd. You get three preloaded Java (J2ME) games: Boost Mobile Pro of Surf, Driver 3 Demo, and Fox Sports Yao Ming Basketball Demo; and MP3 ring tones created by Kanye West, Ludacris, and The Game. Of course, additional digital content such as wallpaper and polyphonic and MP3 ring tones can be downloaded via the mobile's Web browser from Boost Live.

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