Announced at CTIA 2010, the Motorola i1 is the first Google Android smartphone for Nextel. It is expected to ship during the summer, but neither a specific release date nor pricing was revealed at this time.
Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," was at CTIA 2010 (pictured here with IntoMobile's Will Park) to introduce the Motorola i1. Rowe's show takes a look at some of the toughest and dirtiest jobs in the nation; jobs for which people need rugged phones. Like many of Nextel's handsets, the i1 meets Military Specifications 810f so it can withstand dust, shock, vibration, rain, humidity, fog, and more.
The Moto i1 runs on Android 1.5. It's disappointing that the phone doesn't ship with at least Android 1.6, but Motorola said that it wanted to develop the phone's iDEN capabilities on an established platform. Though Moto said the i1 can support over-the-air updates, the company would not comment on future software updates.
The Moto i1 is the first Google Android device to support push-to-talk capabilities, specifically Nextel's Direct Connect services, so you can instantly chat with your contacts. Direct Connect also includes Group Connect, International Direct Connect, Direct Talk, Direct Send, Group Messaging, and Next Mail.
The Motorola i1 has a traditional Android keyboard as well as a Swype keyboard. Swype lets you spell out a word by dragging your finger on the keyboard from letter to letter. Swype's algorithm then does its best to figure out what word you're trying to input, and it actually works really well. We've become fans of Swype and often prefer it to the traditional virtual keyboard.
In addition to the Android WebKit browser, the Moto i1 comes preloaded with the Opera mini browser. There's no support for the pinch-to-zoom gesture, but you can double-tap the screen to zoom in on a page.