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Review: Motorola i870

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Our phone was not activated for web use, which caused some confusion. Originally we thought Nextel only allowed online access through the Java applications which could be downloaded to the device. Despite our limited access, we were able to browse text-only pages that Nextel has set up to buy ringtones, applications and more. Text browsing was quick, as expected for a modern phone and network. Text is rendered in a large, bold, highly legible font but is not adjustable.


The standard ringtones on the i870 are primitive monophonic ringers for the most part. Three polyphonc ringtones are included on the phone, which all have a vaguely pop / dance quality about them. You can download new polyphonic and mp3 ringtones for the i870 through Nextel's web site, however you cannot move mp3s from your PC and use them as a ringtone. Instead of using the profiles to assign vibrate and ring, it must be done using the options menu in the ringtone picker, which took us quite some time to find.

Like all modern Motorola phones, the looks of the i870 can be customized with both wallpapers, which just affect the home screen, and themes, which change all visual aspects of the interface. The i870 comes with 3 themes, all of which are more legible than the themes typically included on Motos. Nextel does not offer additional themes for download. You can use any picture on the phone, including ones you take with the camera or download from Nextel as the wallpaper.

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As stated before, navigation is highly customizable. Seven different home screen shortcuts can be assigned to the D-pad and soft keys. In addition you can change the order of all the applications on the main menu. If ordered correctly, applications could appear together on subsequent screens of the main menu.

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