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printed November 28, 2014
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CES 2005

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In the iDEN department, Motorola is now publicly showing the i605 and i930.

The i605 is Motorola's first iDEN phone with Bluetooth. It has a huge display, but it otherwise similar to other bar-style iDEN phones. The i605 is expected in the second quarter.

 

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The i930 is Motorola's new ultra-high-end iDEN phone. It's a really ambitious model, with dual color displays, a camera, Windows Mobile, GSM, infrared, and an SD card slot. It might be a bit too ambitious, though... It's been in the rumor mill for about a year and a half now, and according to Moto, it still won't be out until the second half of 2005.

 

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One slight disappointment is that the i930 doesn't have Bluetooth. But then again, as delayed as it is already, if the i930 had Bluetooth it probably wouldn't be out until 2006...

Making the i930 even more ambitious for Motorola is the fact that the i930 is planned to be the first phone with the new WiDEN high-speed data technology, which provides data rates four times faster than current iDEN technology.

But that may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak. All of these cutting-edge features have a multiplier effect that makes the phone exponentially more complicated to engineer and difficult to test, hence the delays.

But with all of these delays, some features of the phone - like the mere VGA camera and lack of Bluetooth - are making the phone look outdated by now. Which is why a Motorola representative admitted it's likely that the i930 will simply be scrapped in favor of a new model that has a megapixel camera and Bluetooth. Unfortunately, that would mean an even longer wait for an iDEN smartphone...

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The i930 is a bit chunky. Not the smallest phone, for sure. It has the same push-to-open flip mechanism as the i860, which some will like and others might not.

Both i605 and i930 have status lights, something that other recent iDEN phones have not had. The i930's status light is a ring that surrounds the flip-open button.

The i930 currently has tri-band GSM - 900/1800/1900 MHz - although engineers I talked to said it was likely the final version would only be dual-band, due to some kind of iDEN antenna issue.

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