Design of Nextel Motorola i850
With no rubberized casing, the Motorola i850 is a bit of a departure from the
usual Nextel handsets, but the phones bulk and weight wont come as much of
a surprise. Measuring 3.5 by 2 by 1.1 inches and tipping the scales at 4.3 ounces,
this black and gray mobile is plenty hefty. Additionally, considering its thickness
and stubby, retractable antenna, the i850 makes for a tight fit in a jeans pocket.
Small but heavy: The weighty Motorola i850 is more compact than most Nextel
While the Motorola i850 isnt exactly featherweight, the phones sleek black
and gray design has more style than most of the carriers models. The front
of the clamshell headset sports a pair of smooth, beveled curves that flank
the main, shiny black panel; the tiny camera lens and the self-portrait mirror;
and the monochrome external display, which is small at just 96x32 pixels but
packs in all the basic info, including the time, the date, signal strength,
battery life, caller ID, and the ringer mode. Flip open the phone, however,
and youll find the phones stunning 262,000-color, 176x220-pixel internal screen:
a vibrant, razor-sharp display that stands in stark contrast with the so-so
screens on most Nextel phones. The i850s animated menus are reasonably slick
and easy to use, although we were annoyed with having to click More to see additional
menu options rather than just scrolling down. Its nothing new for a Nextel
phone, but its bothersome nonetheless.
Below the display is the Motorola i850s backlit, silver keypad, which boasts
big, flat, and easy-to-press buttons. We like the large, five-way navigational
toggle, the dedicated Talk/End buttons, the menu key, and the separate camera
button. Additionally, the toggle acts as a shortcut to four user-defined functions.
The arrangement is a big improvement upon the cramped navigation controls on
other Nextel handsets, with the power button now located below the keypad. Yet,
we missed having a dedicated Clear key for correcting dialing and messaging
mistakes; instead, you must use a soft key to delete errant characters. Whats
worse, when youre in a secondary menu, pressing the same soft key exits you
out of the menus completely rather than just going back to the main menu.
On the left side of the Motorola i850, youll find the familiar rubberized
button for Nextels signature push-to-talk service, with a pair of volume controls
just above it and a rubber flap beneath that protects the 2.5mm headset port.
Atop the phone and next to the extendable antenna is a modified speakerphone
button; if you get a call while the headset is shut, you can press the button
to answer the call using the speakerphone while keeping the phone closed; you
hit the nearby End button to hang up or reject the call without answering. If
the phone is open when a call comes in, you must press and hold the speakerphone
button to answer the call in the corresponding mode. While we enjoyed answering
calls with the flip closed, we wish the speakerphone could be on with the phone
open before a call comes in.
Features of Nextel Motorola i850
Besides being only the second camera phone in Nextels handset lineup, the Motorola
i850 comes with a relatively sparse set of features, including a 600-contact
phone book with room in each entry for an e-mail address, an IP address, and
seven phone numbers, along with the Direct Connect number; a calendar with month
and week views; the aforementioned speakerphone; a vibrate mode; nine-number
speed dialing; a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser; a voice recorder; call timers;
a memo pad; text and multimedia messaging; an airplane mode; three-way calling;
voice calling and memos; and onboard GPS. You also get Nextels Direct Connect
walkie-talkie service (including Group Connect, which lets you chat with up
to 20 others via PTT at once) and Direct Talk, which gives you out-of-network
walkie-talkie chat with another Direct Talk handset at a range of up to 6 miles.
See me: The Motorola i850s camera lens has a self-portrait mirror but no flash.
The Motorola i850s camera gets the job done, but its nothing to write home
about. The VGA resolution simply cant compete with its increasingly prevalent
1.3- and 2-megapixel competitors, although the snapshots we took looked OK,
considering the 640x480-pixel resolution. The camera also lacks an LED flash,
a feature weve come to expect in a camera phone. At least you get 4X digital
zoom; five resolution settings (640x480, 320x240, 176x220, 160x120, and 128x96);
two lighting settings; a choice between Normal and Fine picture quality; and
a self-timer with settings between 10 and 20 seconds. Once youre done taking
pictures, you can send the images to your friends via e-mail or multimedia messaging,
use them as wallpaper, and assign them to your contacts for photo caller ID.
Unfortunately, if youre looking for image frames, editing, multishot, or autofocus,
you wont find those features on this handset.
The Motorola i850 has average photo quality for a camera phone.
Personalization options on the Motorola i850 are quite good. In addition to
turning your snapshots into the phones wallpaper or assigning them to individual
contacts, you can assign five polyphonic ring tones (MP3 and MIDI) to contacts;
change ringer profiles, such as Standard, Car, Meeting, Office, Outdoors, and
Headset; choose from one of three color themes, including Geometric, Water Drop,
and Glow; tweak the backlighting settings; and change the main menu from Icon
to List View. When the phone rings, the keypad buttons flash in accompaniment.
Apps on the Java (J2ME)-equipped phone include a trio of game demos (Zuma,
Aces Holdem, and BlockBreaker); 1KTV, an on-demand pseudo-TV service; and TeleNav,
a subscription-based navigation service that takes advantage of the i850s GPS
Performance of Nextel Motorola i850
We tested the Motorola i850 (iDEN 850) in New York City and had no trouble with
call quality; our callers sounded loud and clear, and they couldnt tell we
were on a cell phone. We also tried the phone in our electronics-stuffed living
room--complete with a large-screen TV, a Wi-Fi router, and a nearby microwave
oven--and didnt encounter any interference. Speakerphone quality was good,
but be advised that the speaker is located on the rear of the phone.
The Motorola i850s picture quality was good for a VGA camera phones, with
solid color and decent detail, although images looked considerably softer compared
with those of the latest 1.3- and 2-megapixel camera phones on the market.
Battery life on the handset was painfully skimpy. Nextel promises a mere 2.75
hours of talk time, but we beat it by a half hour. For standby time, we got
3.5 days in a single charge, compared with the rated 3 days. According to FCC
radiation tests, the Motorola i850 has a digital SAR rating of 1.05 watts per kilogram.Phone Specifications
|1.0 MP||PC Sync||GPS||Color||Calendar||Predictive Text||EMS|
|USB||WAP||External Display||Polyphonic Ringtones||MMS|
|Java Enabled||2.5 mm Headphone Slot||IDEN||Flip Phone|
|Hands Free Slot||WAP||External Display|