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Motorola Clutch i475 (Boost Mobile) review: Motorola Clutch i475 (Boost Mobile)

Motorola Clutch i475 (Boost Mobile)

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Nicole Lee
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Nicole Lee

Former Editor

Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.

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4 min read

Motorola Clutch i475 (Boost Mobile)
6.3

Motorola Clutch i475 (Boost Mobile)

The Good

The <b>Motorola Clutch i475</b> is a cute and compact messenger phone with push-to-talk capabilities. The keyboard is roomy, and call quality is good.

The Bad

The Motorola Clutch i475 only has a VGA camera and does not record video. Features are largely unchanged from those of its predecessor.

The Bottom Line

The Motorola Clutch i475 is not a multimedia wonder, but it works as an affordable basic messaging phone for Boost Mobile.

It has been almost two years since Boost Mobile released its first messaging phone, the Motorola Clutch i465, and it's about time for a refresh. Motorola has indeed come through with a successor, dubbed the Clutch +i475. Though its features are largely unchanged, the Clutch has undergone a design overhaul that results in a roomier keyboard and a larger display. The iDEN phone has support for Boost's Push-to-Talk network, too. The Clutch +i475 is $99.99 without a contract.

Design
The Clutch +i475 looks like a very different phone from the Clutch i465. At 4.23 inches long by 2.31 inches wide by 0.64 inch thick, the Clutch i475 is smaller and rounder, with curved corners and sloped sides. The back is clad in a rubbery textured finish that adds to its comfortable feel in the hand. Instead of red and silver edges, the Clutch is all black. The Clutch i475 is not as tough and durable as its predecessor, however; it is not certified against environmental hazards.


The Motorola Clutch +i475 has a roomy keyboard for messaging.

The small 2-inch display of the i475 is slightly bigger than the 1.79-inch screen on the i465, but that doesn't mean it's that much better. It's still rather lackluster, with a piddling 220x176-pixel resolution and 64,000 colors. Images lacked oomph, and while text is legible, it's not as smooth as we would like. The menu interface requires you to flip through multiple pages, which we aren't pleased with, either. You can adjust the backlight time and font size, however.

The Send and End/Power keys are large and flank the navigation array on both sides. The array consists of two soft keys on the top, the main menu and speakerphone keys on the bottom, and a circular navigation toggle in the middle. In the center of the toggle is a round select key. The toggle can also be configured to act as shortcuts to four user-defined functions.

We're happy to note that the keyboard on the Clutch i475 is much roomier than on its predecessor. The keys' bubblelike texture makes them easier to text and dial by feel as well. The number keys are highlighted in white and share the same space as letter keys, but we thought that was fine. The space bar is nice and spacious, and we appreciate the dedicated period key, plus the alt, shift, symbol, and return keys.

Rounding out the phone's exterior are the volume rocker and push-to-talk button on the left spine, and the Micro-USB port on the right. On the top is the 2.5mm headset jack, and the camera lens is on the back.

Features
The Clutch i475's features are largely unchanged from the original Clutch. It has a decent 600-entry phone book with room in each entry for seven numbers, an e-mail address, and notes. As usual, you can organize contracts into groups or PTT Talk Groups, plus you can pair the entries with any of 12 polyphonic ringtones. Basic features include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, a memo pad, a voice memo recorder, call timers, Bluetooth, and a calendar/datebook. And as we mentioned, the Clutch i475 is fully compatible with Boost Mobile's push-to-talk network.

The key feature of the Clutch i475 is text and multimedia messaging, which features threaded texting so back-and-forth conversations are displayed in a single thread. The Clutch i475 also supports a selection of POP3 e-mail accounts, though it's via a Web-based interface. There's instant messaging support as well. However, it does not support IMAP4 e-mail or Exchange server syncing. Other features include GPS, Bluetooth, and a wireless Web browser.


The Motorola Clutch +i475's VGA camera takes poor photos.

We're quite disappointed with the VGA camera here, especially since we were hoping for a slight improvement over the previous model. It can shoot in four resolutions, from 640x480 to 220x176, and camera settings include 4x zoom, a self-timer, a low light mode, brightness, and two shutter sounds. As you might expect, the photo quality on the VGA camera is quite poor. Images were so blurry; you could hardly make out what the objects were. Colors looked dim and overcast as well. The phone only has 8MB of memory, so you likely won't take too many photos anyway.

You can customize the Clutch i475 with graphics for wallpaper and more. You can get ringtones from the Boost Mobile store as well. The Clutch i475 supports Java apps too--the phone comes with Uno, Alarm Clock Plus, and Calculator Suite.

Performance
We tested the Motorola Clutch i475 in San Francisco using Boost Mobile's network. Boost Mobile is a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel, so we're in effect using Nextel's network for calls. Call quality was very good. On our end, we experienced decent volume levels and clear audio. Voice quality did seem a little digitized, but it wasn't a bother. Overall, the quality is very similar to landline calls.

Motorola Clutch +i475 call quality sample Listen now:

On their end, callers reported similar good call quality. Even on speakerphones, callers said our voice sounded loud and clear, without static or interference.

The i475 has a rated battery life of 4.8 hours talk time and 4.2 days standby time. We received a tested talk time of 4 hours and 55 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Clutch i475 has a digital SAR of 1.01 watts per kilogram.

Conclusion
The Motorola Clutch +i475 has an improved design over its predecessor, but the features are mostly unchanged. It lacks the durability of the i465, and it still has that same terrible VGA camera. However, the Clutch +i475 is cheaper at $99.99 without a contract. So if all you want is a basic messenger with push-to-talk capabilities and you don't want a contract, the Motorola Clutch +i475 might be good for you.

Motorola Clutch i475 (Boost Mobile)
6.3

Motorola Clutch i475 (Boost Mobile)

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 5Performance 7
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