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printed October 21, 2014
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Review: Motorola i886

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The i886 has a 2.2-inch display with 240 x 320 pixels. It fits right in with the current crop of quick messaging devices using the same form factor. Text, icons, and other imagery looked pretty good on the display, though some ragged edges were visible from time to time. Brightness was reasonable for indoor performance and out. Colors became washed out when outside, but it was still easy enough to see what you were doing. The only task that was really affected by sunlight was the camera. It became nearly impossible to use when outdoors.

Signal

The i886 is an iDEN device. It doesn't offer CDMA connectivity at all. It scored well on signal tests. It nearly always had five bars of iDEN service. Sprint's iDEN network was readily available everywhere I went with the i886 in tow. The only time I noticed the signal drop was when deep inside large buildings or in basements. Otherwise, the i886 was always connected. It never dropped a call, nor did it miss any calls during my review period. It was able to use the iDEN network for data as well as voice services, but data via iDEN is horrendously slow. It really stinks that this phone doesn't have Wi-Fi, as that would solve some of the problems I encountered.

Sound

The i886 has a capable earpiece speaker when it comes to volume; conversations are easily heard in loud environments. However, they aren't necessarily comprehensible; there was always a nasty background hiss present during voice calls. I couldn't understand what the heck people were saying sometimes. Other than the hiss, there wasn't anything amiss with voice calls. I didn't notice interference or anything such as that. Call quality is slightly better via the speakerphone. The volume it provides is substantial, and the hiss seems to be somewhat less present. Set to high volumes, the speakerphone will distort a bit. PTT calls sounded about the same as standard voice calls. The vibrate strength was good.

Battery

The i886 provided very good battery life. The phone easily worked its way through two full days, with a few hours of use left for day three. You can probably get away with leaving the charger home if traveling for the weekend, but any longer than that and I'd bring it along just in case.

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