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CES 2009

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The VA76r is a rugged clamshell PTT phone for GSM/WCDMA networks. AT&T will be launching it as the Tundra on January 13th. (Rogers in Canada already sells it as the Extreme.)

Moto Tundra VA76r  

The Tundra is rated to military specs for drops, dust, vibration, humidity, severe temperatures and rain, and indeed it feels as rugged and solid as it claims to be. The extra layer of armor does add to size, though; it's definitely a large sucker. At least with a true rubber grip cladding most of the outside, you're unlikely to drop it.

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Motorola claims the keypad is designed to be usable with gloves on, and indeed most of the keys are large very easy to use. It's a great keypad. The d-pad is a little sunken and that feels awkward, but we had no trouble pressing it correctly, at least with our bare hands.

The main display is huge and bright. With QVGA resolution, it's quite clear, too. Unfortunately, the outer display is not as nice. In fact, it's terrible. It's about as small and dim as they come. That's unfortunate, because the display is supposed to be used to quickly choose contacts to walkie-talkie.

The Tundra runs Motorola's Linux-Java platform. This provides a more modern interface than some other Motorolas. The phone is also 3G, offering services like streaming video (Cellular Video on AT&T.) Like more and more AT&T phones, it also sports GPS navigation.

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