Motorola i335 Review

Motorola i335 Review

The i335 may be Motorola’s latest entry-level iDEN phone, but it represents a shift in Nextel thinking. While entry-level in price, it has some uncommon features for iDEN units including Bluetooth, an internal antenna and a thin form-factor. This waif of a unit comes in at only half inch (12.7mm), but still manages to meet Military Standard 810 F for dust, shock, and vibration. Along with its i425 Boost Mobile cousin, the i335 is the first full iDEN unit to feature a miniUSB charging port. Included in the box you’ll find:

  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Charger
  • User’s Manual


The i335 is a slim, sleek and stylish candybar phone, unlike anything else in Sprint’s iDEN lineup. The body is mostly black, with a sliver trim ring running around the phone. The front housing and side buttons are composed of a soft, rubbery material whereas the back is a harder rubber. The silver trim is hard plastic.

The i335 will eventually replace the i325 and i265, but shares almost nothing in common with the two units. For starters, there is no external antenna. It is also the thinnest and lightest iDEN unit ever to be carried by Sprint.

You can compare the Motorola i335 to many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.

At the top of the face is the stylized Motorola logo, which serves to draw attention away from the two earpiece holes that flank it. The display below is a rather small 1.5” TFT LCD, with a 130x130 resolution. Though miniscule it gets the job done, and can be read in all lighting conditions without hassle. We’re glad to see Motorola move from their typical low-end STN screens to a higher quality TFT panel.

The keypad is a unique, if not odd, mashup of rubbery bumps and perforations. There are two soft keys, a five-way directional pad and Menu and Speakerphone hard keys to go along with the Send/End buttons and 12 key dialpad. The four directional keys of the d-pad are scarlet red and form a circle around the OK button in the middle. They are individually raised from the keypad surface, whereas the remainder of the keys are simply bumps under the rubbery skin.

Above each of the four rows of numbers is a strip of perforation where the speakerphone emanates from. Beyond this, the perforations nicely display the unique red keypad backlight. The keys themselves are well spaced and easy to use, offering plenty of travel so that you know they have been pushed. The keypad is really unlike anything we’ve used before, but it’s functional and gets the job done so we appreciate its uniqueness.

The right side of the phone is bare, save for the embossed “Motorola” in the silver trim. On the left side you will find the volume rocker, Direct Connect (DC) button and a door which swivels out to reveal the 2.5mm headphone jack and miniUSB connector. The headphone jack will accept any standard 2.5mm headset and also has the special ring around it which allows it to accommodate PTT capable headsets.

The bottom of the i335 is slanted upwards towards the user and features a perforated black insert in the silver trim. In the same vein of the keypad perforations there is a red insert behind the black grill, though it is not backlit.

The back of the phone is simply the battery door, with a small lanyard loop at the top. The door comes off relatively easily to expose the battery and SIM card slot, but getting it back on can be slightly tricky. The door snaps back into place easy enough, but we usually found that not all the contact points actually snapped in. This required us to either push on that area or take it off and put it back on altogether. There was also some play when it was secured, and when we pushed on the door it creaked. This was really the only manufacturing flaw we found however, and overall the i335 is superbly constructed.


1 Comment

1. unregistered

Good review of the i335; thanks. I disagree wholeheartedly with your characterization of and complaints about the Nextel iDEN user interface. The UI may not be new, but the traditional Nextel iDEN UI is by far the most capable and usable of all US wireless carriers. Nextel's Profiles capability is awesome and blows away all other US carriers so-called "profiles". IT is highly configurable and very powerful in comparison to others. The ability to reorder the menues is a very much appreciated capability that most other mobile-phone UI's don't allow (to which you did give credit in your review). Also, the number of customizable buttons is useful and appreciated and in my experience more extensive on Nextel's UI than other carriers' UI's. I am frequently asked to program the new mobile phones of friends & family, covering the gamut of Nextel, Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, and there is no doubt in my mind that the current Nextel iDEN UI is far more capable, configurable, customizable and useful than any of the other US carriers' UI's. I tried one of Sprint-Nextel's "Hybrid" phones, and one of the primary reasons I turned it back in at the end of the 30-day trial was because the UI is all Sprint, not at all like a normal Nextel iDEN phone, and I hated that Sprint UI. So methinks your characterization of Nextel's iDEN UI is not accurate and/or misinformed.
  • Display 130 x 130 pixels
  • Battery 1000 mAh(3.13h talk time)

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