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Nextel's new phones

Nextel's new phones

After a long slumber, Nextel awoke this week with two new handsets in its gallery. The Motorola i580, which made its debut earlier this year at CTIA, is a flip phone with a rubberized exterior for extra durability. Features are more or less what you'd expect from a Nextel phone, but that's not to say it doesn't bring any surprises. There's a 1.3-megapixel camera (one of the first megapixel cameras for the carrier) with a 4X zoom, a flash, and a self-timer; video recording and playback; integrated GPS services; Bluetooth for headsets and data transfers; a Micro SD card slot (another Nextel rarity); support for Nextel's Direct Connect and Direct Send push-to-talk (PTT) networks; and a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Also, in a departure from previous Nextel phones, where the speaker is on the back of the phone, the i580 has dual speakers on the front. The i580 is available now for $229 with service.

Nextel's other new handset is the Motorola i670. As the polar opposite of the i580, the i670 offers a simple feature set that includes a speakerphone, PTT support, voice dialing, basic organizer applications, and an airplane mode. The i670 doesn't offer an external display, but the internal screen supports 65,000 colors. The i670 is $49 with service.

And in more Nextel news, Phone Scoop reported last week that the FCC has approved the first dual-mode, iDEN/CDMA cell phone. The Motorola iC502 will use Sprint's CDMA network for voice and data calls and Nextel's iDEN network for push-to-talk calls. Few other features are known at this time, but the iC502 should make its formal debut in October.