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Review: Motorola i1

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The i1's display is identical to the screen used on the Motorola Cliq XT and Backflip. It measures 3.1 inches with 320 x 480 pixels. I wish the display were at least half an inch bigger. It is noticeably smaller than the screens the competition is delivering, which fall in the 3.5- to 4.3-inch range. It is bright enough indoors and is colorful, no doubt. Surprisingly it fared much better than its predecessors when outside. I was able to use it with little trouble, even in direct sunlight. Motorola knows a phone such as this is going to spend a lot of time outside.


The i1 performed excellently on all signal tests. If there was Sprint-Nextel iDEN signal nearby, the i1 found it and latched on tight. I had no missed calls, no delayed messages, and no other problems related to signal strength or quality. Nor did the i1 drop any calls. Data is a different story. The i1 is iDEN only, no EVDO on board at all. That means very slow browsing speeds. Thankfully it has Wi-Fi as backup, and I found Wi-Fi to be essential for mobile data.


True to Motorola form, the i1 has really good call quality. The earpiece was loud enough for me to hear callers in most everyday environments. Calls were free and clear of static, noise, hissing, echoes or other odd happenings. Those to whom I was speaking registered no problems, either. The speakerphone and ringtones were plenty loud. I can't say they'd overcome a noisy construction site, but the i1 could easily be used for a conference call in a busy office setting.


The i1 delivers acceptable battery performance for an iDEN-Android phone. I was able to consistently get about 36 hours of continuous use out of it. Meaning, if I unplugged it at 7 AM on Friday, it died at about 7PM on Saturday. Going out of town, even for one night? You should probably still bring a charger, just in case.


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