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Motorola i1 Review

Motorola i1

Posted: , by John V.


Motorola i1 Review

As long as you've got sufficient network coverage, you're probably going to be pleased with the calling quality on the handset since the earpiece was extremely loud and vibrant to hear natural sounding voices. There's some slight static at the highest volume, but notching it down a couple of levels diminishes it. Our callers also stated that our voice had a firm and natural tone to them. Seeing that this is a push-to-talk device, we were ecstatic about the audible and strong sounds produced by the speaker phone. Just a tad hollow to the hear, voices were still more than distinguishable thanks to the raw tones emitted by it. However, you'll have to talk close to the handset when using the speaker phone because straying more than a few feet from it considerably reduces the tone on the other end.

Although there were few instances of choppy connection to the network outdoors, we did find the handset fluctuating in signal bars indoors here in the greater Philadelphia region. Additionally, we did experience our voice calls cutting in and out due to the handset struggling to steady its connection.

Seeing that this is an always connected device, which is part of Android's stance of keeping in sync with Google's most popular services, battery life was somewhat disheartening as we received less than a day on a full charge. Yes, you'll manage to get through a solid 8 hour work shift, but just expect to keep a charger on hand if you're a power user just because it'll tap out around the 10 hour mark on normal use. The manufacturer has it rated for 3.5 hours of talk and 100 hours of standby.


Always proving to be a good thing, the addition of the Motorola i1 on Sprint's lineup is a great thing for those customers who rely heavily on the iDEN network to directly connect with pals. Thankfully it is able to distinguish itself prominently with its nice looks that are equally adept in repelling the most brutal drops thanks to the rugged design. However, its decided sub-par implementation of Android 1.5 misses the mark as it's already behind the curve versus other recent offerings – it's nice for first time users, maybe, but it's horrifying for veteran ones. Naturally it managed to hit the mark in most categories, but also had some clear misses – but you've got to juggle your options to see if it's a relevant purchase. Priced at $149.99 on-contract, it definitely is an agonizing buy for those who necessarily don't require push-to-talk service – plus there are many more offerings on Sprint's lineup that are better buys. Ultimately, the Motorola i1 has the fresh looking young body that's resilient to the elements, but clearly show off its age in the platform experience.

Motorola i1 Video Review:


  • Rugged design that's pretty
  • Good photo quality outdoors
  • Pleasant call quality


  • Dated Android 1.5 platform
  • Poor battery life
  • Slow data speeds
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. ace1122 (Posts: 237; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)

I like the idea of a rugged smart phone except this phone seems so outdated. I want a rugged DROID. That'd be awesome. But this phone would still be cool but not with the pricey smartphone plan.

posted on 28 Jul 2010, 16:46

2. cartman (Posts: 45; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

They still should have put a CDMA radio to use EVDO data. Or they could have done with WiMax. Does anyone know the data speeds on iden? I'm guessing its like couple of hundred kbs

posted on 02 Aug 2010, 10:23

3. stuntz (Posts: 178; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

iden data speeds are like 56K

posted on 30 Oct 2010, 19:14

4. Chris (unregistered)

I am a dispatcher for a busy taxi service. I use the Motorola i1, and our drivers use a "standard" Nextel PTT. The i1 is packed with features that make my job easier. With traditional iDEN phones, you can't use PTT and data service at the same time. The i1 is wifi enabled. While connected to wifi, the all the PTT features are available. This allows me to use Google maps, and other internet utilities, without missing PTT call. Running on the Android platform there are tons of cool apps., but use caution. Some apps. make a constant internet connection through the "data" (not wifi) connection on the i1. This WILL block incoming/outgoing PTT calls. There is also some modulation issues. On older Nextell equipment, the i1 sounds over modulated. PTT calls that are i1 to i1, are great. But if you PTT a buddy with an old phone, you will blow his ear drums out. The only problem that I have with the phone is the charger. This platform is picky, I have used an aftermarket charger with poor results. The phone hangs and freezes.

posted on 25 Dec 2010, 11:13

5. Eddie Z (unregistered)

I've had this phone a couple of months and it's not that bad. Sure, if you want a full PC in the palm of your hand then there are better to chose from. I wanted a rugged phone and this is the only one that fits the bill. I've dropped it from 4 feet with no damage whatsoever. The screen is responsive and since I don't rely on data the speed isn't a real concern. I have access to enough wi-fi points so that's not a real concern. Opera is the choice to use however. I've loaded this up with a number of apps with good results. Be ready to trim some apps or change some settings to bet good battery results. I think Motorola should offer a major rebate or deal once the get another rugged droid out there that would use a more up to date version of Android. One major flaw is the on screen keyboard. It is way too small to easily use. I've installed Big Buttons and that makes texting a whole lot easier. Screen picture quality is more than acceptable. I wouldn't even think of video on a screen this small so I'm not going to comment on it. Overall it's a good phone, certainly not Motorolas best effort but you have to remember they wanted a stable OS platform for the IDEN network. Rugged, nice size, good sound quality and a good selection of apps makes this a safe choice for the outdoor folks. If you need it to be prettier and certainly faster with all of the best there is to offer then this phone is not for you.

posted on 07 Feb 2011, 08:56

6. Ms (unregistered)

Al fin motorola tiene un telefono a la altura de su servicio. Un cagada!

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 23:12

7. jcgg (unregistered)

mmmmh i cant agree with your comments by im really unhappy with this phone its slow dont have tha same capability of other androids and the sarvice with nextel is horrible!!! i have nextel becoause of the international services they got but other than that i wouldnt have this phone.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 23:13

8. jcgg (unregistered)

ahuevo es malisimo!!!!!!!!!

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Motorola i1

Motorola i1

OS: Android 1.5
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display3.1 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (186 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Single core, 500 MHz, Freescale Zeus 2.0 ARM1136 processor
0.25 GB RAM
Size4.65 x 2.28 x 0.50 inches
(118 x 58 x 12.8 mm)
4.62 oz  (131 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 3.5 hours talk time

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