Motorola i1 (Sprint Nextel) review: Motorola i1 (Sprint Nextel)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Motorola i1 has a responsive touch screen, rugged construction, and excellent call quality. It also comes with Sprint's array of broadband services and Nextel Direct Connect.

The Bad The Motorola i1 is, sadly, saddled with Android OS 1.5, which makes it feel very dated when compared with more-current smartphones.

The Bottom Line The Motorola i1 is not the best Android phone by any means, but if you must have an Android handset with iDEN push-to-talk, the i1 is your only choice.

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Though the Motorola i1 first debuted for Boost Mobile, we initially heard about it as a Sprint Nextel phone. As we mentioned in our review of the Boost Mobile version, the Motorola i1 is notable because it is the first-ever Google Android phone to run on Nextel's iDEN network. It is also one of the first Android smartphones to be certifiably "rugged," plus it supports Nextel's venerable push-to-talk network. It's by no means the best Android phone out there--it only comes with Android 1.5, and you won't get the fastest data speeds on iDEN--but Nextel addicts will be happy that they finally have an Android phone they can call their own. The Motorola i1 for Sprint Nextel is available for $149.99 after a two-year service agreement.

Design
The Motorola i1 from is 4.65 inches long by 2.34 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick, and is clad in a military-certified casing that is built to withstand the elements: blowing rain, dust, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, low pressure, salt fog, humidity, and solar radiation. However, it's not water-resistant, so we wouldn't take this on your next diving adventure.


The Motorola i1 is built to be tough with its rugged exterior.

Aside from the little things like the appearance of the clock and the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi widgets, the Motorola i1 from Sprint Nextel is physically identical to the Boost Mobile version. Because of that, we won't bore you with too many details, and direct you on over to the Motorola i1 for Boost Mobile review for more on the touch-screen and overall controls of the Motorola i1.

Features
Unfortunately, like with the Boost Mobile version, the Motorola i1 from Sprint Nextel comes with Android 1.5. This is a rather obsolete version of Android, as there are already phones on the market with OS 2.2, and most phones these days come with at least Android OS 2.1. Even the most basic Android phones are equipped with OS 1.6. Motorola claims this is because the company wanted the first iDEN Android phone to be absolutely stable and solid, which is a fine explanation, but here's hoping that Motorola rolls out an OS update to the i1 soon.

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Where to Buy

Motorola i1 (Sprint Nextel)

Part Number: i1BLKSPT
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

  • Talk Time Up to 210 min
  • Technology iDEN
  • Combined with With digital camera / digital player
  • Service Provider Sprint Nextel
  • Weight 4.63 oz
  • Diagonal Size 3.1 in
  • Sensor Resolution 5 megapixels