Android-Based Motorola i1 Unveiled for Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel on Monday announced the Motorola i1, its first Android smartphone specifically for Nextel’s iDEN network. The device will also be available for SouthernLINC Wireless, a regional iDEN carrier that serves many areas of the Southeast U.S.
Since this is a Nextel iDEN phone, it comes with lots of Nextel Direct Connect extras, including one-to-one push-to-talk with any other Nextel subscriber – the first time an Android phone has taken advantage of this feature. It also includes Group Connect, International Direct Connect, Direct Talk, Direct Send and Group Messaging — features Nextel likes to push front and center with its phones.
The Motorola i1 will run Android 1.5 and has a 3.1-inch, 320-by-480 TFT touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and Opera Mini 5 Web browsing. It appears to share many build similarities with the Motorola CLIQ XT, another slab-style Android phone with mostly equal specs.
That said, the i1 will not run on 3G because it is Nextel’s network, and there’s no word if the phone will run MotoBlur, the social-networking oriented build of Android 1.5. If it doesn’t run MotoBlur, there will be questions about why the phone doesn’t have a newer version of stock Android.
The device is also the first truly rugged Android phone we’ve seen. Like several earlier “rugged” products from Motorola, the i1 meets military specification 810F, which means it should be able to tolerate dust, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, humidity, and more. It will support up to a 32GB microSD card and claims about three and a half hours of talk time. The phone will be available for Nextel and SouthernLINC some time this summer.
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