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Review: Motorola i870

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Although the display on the front is color, it is high enough contrast that in bright or even moderate light, the time can be checked without activating the backlight. For times when the backlight is necessary, a quick press of the large PTT call button or music controls will turn on the backlight immediately. On the main screen, the time is displayed on the home screen but not in the status bar when using any applications.

File Management

Managing content, applications and the data card all take place in separate applications. Content stored on the phone, namely pictures, is managed in the application used to manipulate that content. Applications and other downloads are managed through a download application that sits in the Java menu. Finally content on the storage card must be managed on the PC, however the storage card itself, including the initial formatting, as well as ejecting of the card from the file system is handled from the settings advanced functions menu item.

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Pairing the phone with a PC or headset was a straightforward affair. Motorola has simplified the process so that the i870 does as much as possible with as little input possible. Pictures could be shared over Bluetooth, however certain file types such as mp3s were locked out, preventing us from installing our own mp3 ringtones.


The i870 does not come with an alarm clock nor a calculator. There is a datebook, which you can use to set alarms, however they will only sound if the phone is on. The i870 also includes voice and text memo applications.

The phone is designed to be music-centric with playback buttons on the front of the phone and a well designed music player. It can read ID3 tags and sort songs by artist, album or song name. Playback is remarkably clear through the speakerphone, but strangely Motorola does not include a stereo headset with the i870. The external screen display artist, track name, and elapsed time when the phone is closed with the music player activated. The face buttons work exactly as expected once this happens.

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