Push-to-talk is chirping its way soon to an Android smartphone near you with the Motorola i1 as Sprint is on the heels of getting this device. Looking quite similar to the recent Motorola CLIQ XT over on T-Mobile, the Motorola i1 clearly has some polished edges that make it stand out more with its high quality workmanship. Overall the size and shape remains to be intact with the CLIQ XT, but it manages to clearly set it apart with its rubberized side cushions and quality construction that won't make you worry about its durability down the road. Instead of featuring a touchpad for an alternative navigational tool, the i1 relies on using a circular directional pad that does give it that gem like look when it glows for notifications. Although it still may not truly embody the epitome of a true rugged phone that aims to withstand some punishing blows, it exudes a sense of elegance that will appeal to many people.
As it was confirmed earlier, the Motorola i1 is MOTOBLUR-less and is powered by Android 1.5 – still makes you wonder why its lacking behind some of the current offerings. Despite that shortcoming, we were treated to a couple of new thing right out of the bat – it offers three different input options and the choice of which web browser to use. If it does play to the Motorola CLIQ XT's strengths, its on-screen keyboards should be no different – you have the option to use Swype, XT9 keypad, and the stock Android keyboard. When it comes to surfing a web site, you'll have your choice of going with either the stock Android browser or Opera Mini that's sure to provide an equally impressive experience. Although it was not a production unit, we did notice that it was a bit slow launching applications and that the screen wasn't as responsive as we would've like. Luckily, we're confident that these minor things will be ironed out shortly to really Android into the push-to-talk realm.
All in all, there's a lot to like about the Motorola i1 which also features a 3.1” HVGA touchscreen with support for 262k colors, Wi-Fi, and 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. Not to mention it will also offer push-to-talk right out of the box, the Motorola i1 is clearly looking to make Motorola's presence on Sprint's lineup something to talk about.