CNET First Look
Motorola i890The Motorola i890 isn't the best camera phone, but it offers the usual Nextel goodies in a slick design.
[ Background Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hi, I'm Kent German, Senior Editor here at CNET.com. Today, we're taking a first look at the Motorola i890. This is a new phone for Nextel service. This phone looks a lot like the Motorola i9, so, it is pretty thin. You might think it looks like the Razor, which is pretty old now. But even though it's not -- it doesn't bring a lot new, I think it is an attractive phone. It feels pretty nice in the hand. It's not encased in rubber like a lot of Nextel phones. Only the back has a little bit of soft touch material. But, it's pretty weighty. It has a nice construction, the hinge feels solid. I didn't worry about its durability at all. On the outside here, there's a very nice external display. It's pretty large, it's bright, it's colorful. It shows caller ID and date time, all the battery life, things you need. When you press that Nextel Smart Key on the top of the phone, you can actually access a few features just from the external display, like the music player, the camera. So it's pretty useful there. There are some external controls down below as well. They are touch controls, but they let you cycle through the music player without ever opening the phone. And also, there's a handset opening switch. So that's what you see right here. You press that and the flip will open automatically. This isn't a common feature. We've see it on a couple Nokias. You know, it's kind of cool when you first look at it, but you do need to be careful, first of all, that you have the phone firmly in your hand when you open. If it's just sort of sitting there, there's a chance that it could fly out. Open the phone, you'll find the internal display. About what you'd expect from a phone like this, not the brightest or clearest resolution around, but perfectly passable. Nextel continues to improve its menus and even have some icons, I just still never liked that I have to press more to get to a next page for the Nextel menus. I'd much prefer to just be able to move the toggle down and just cycle through all the icons like we can on other devices. Navigation area is well designed, pretty spacious. The keys are flat, but it's easy to use. You'll find a toggle, a couple of soft keys and a dedicated shortcut for the web browser. Numbers and the letters are just a little bit small. They are backlit, but if you're visually impaired, you might want to give this phone a test drive just to make sure you can see those. Features are just what we'd expect from a Nextel phone. There's all the direct connect features, so push to talk like Group Connect and Direct Send. It does have a 2 megapixel camera, it does have Bluetooth, it does have a personal organizer, messaging, speaker phone. So, i890's camera lens is in a unique place. It's actually located on the hinge. Now, we've seen this a couple times before, and not for a while. But, that means when the phone is open, the lens is facing toward you, so you can use it for self-portraits, but when you close the phone, the lens is facing away from you. [ Background Music ] And so you can take shots of any, you know, friends or anything else you want. If you're just looking for that standard Nextel phone with a little more style, the phone is probably for you. Call quality is good as well. Both were push to talk calls. I'm Kent German, and this is the Motorola i890.