Sprint has finally announced availability and pricing for their new, ruggedized Android smartphone, the Motorola i1. Set to land on the Nextel network come July 25th, the i1 packs a 3.1-inch HVGA touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera and 3G EVDO Rev.A, all in a chassis that's resilient to dust, shock, vibration and blowing rain.
There's also push-to-talk functionality, WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as photo barcode scanning and signature capture, wireless asset management and tracking, and Sprint Mobile Locator support. Not much use to mainstream consumers, perhaps, but potentially interesting for businesses hoping to outfit their employees with a little Android.
For all that, Sprint plan on charging you $149.99 following a $50 mail-in rebate when the i1 goes on sale this coming Sunday. All well and good, but the Android 1.5 OS doesn't leave us particularly enthused.
Motorola i1 hands-on:
[via Android Community]
World's First Nextel Direct Connect Smartphone Powered by Android, Motorola i1, Available for Sprint Customers on July 25 for $149.99
Motorola i1 combines military spec ruggedness with the latest in smartphone technology, industry-leading push-to-talk, Wi-Fi and a sleek full touchscreen design
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jul 19, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Industry-leading Push-to-Talk with access to thousands of Android(TM) applications for less than $150? Now that is taking care of business!
Sprint (NYSE: S) today shared pricing and timing for the world's first Android-powered smartphone with Nextel Direct Connect(R) - it will be available first on Sunday, July 25, through direct ship sales channels, including Business Sales, telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and Web sales (www.sprint.com/motoi1) for $149.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade, two-year service agreement and after a $50 mail-in rebate (taxes & surcharges excluded). It will then be available in all remaining Sprint sales channels beginning on Sunday, Aug. 8.
With more than 17 years of experience, Sprint is the undisputed industry leader in push-to-talk, serving the world's largest push-to-talk community with millions of Nextel Direct Connect subscribers on the fastest national push-to-talk network. More U.S. workers communicate in less than a second with Nextel Direct Connect than with any other push-to-talk service.
With solid body construction that meets military specifications for protection against dust, shock, vibration and blowing rain1, Motorola i1 is designed for those who work and play hard. It offers the Android 1.5 operating system, and automatically syncs and integrates office and personal information such as emails, calendar appointments and contacts.
"Motorola i1 is the only Android device to offer Nextel Direct Connect as well as the latest smartphone features and the ability to withstand some of the harshest environments," said Fared Adib, vice president - Product Development, Sprint. "This phone brings a new level of smartphone to our Nextel customers making it one of the most efficient devices to get work done, and our customers who rely on Direct Connect will appreciate this feature-packed phone that doesn't miss on must-have features like Wi-Fi and a 5 megapixel camera."
Motorola i1 enhances the Nextel Direct Connect experience with the ability to view who is calling regardless of what application you are in, whether you are managing your emails, checking your calendar, composing messages or viewing media.
Motorola i1 also offers a variety of robust business and entertainment applications through the Android Market(TM), and when combined with the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, it provides a great view of what's happening both personally and professionally. Applications like Scan2PDF Mobile 2.0, Unit Converter - ConvertPad and RealCalc Scientific Calculator can help get work done, while staying connected to friends through Facebook(TM) or Tweeting using an easily customizable Twitter(TM) app like Touiteur.
In addition, Sprint partner applications available for businesses on the Motorola i1 include:
Xora(TM) mobile workforce management solutions provide businesses with real-time visibility into field operations, and helps automate payroll and job workflow processes. The Android version of Xora Time Track(TM) includes new features like photo barcode scanning and signature capture, eliminating the need to purchase additional hardware to support such capabilities.
TeleNavTrack(TM) uses the latest technologies to make mobile workforce and asset management reliable and affordable for businesses of all sizes. It lets businesses use wireless barcode scanning to track inventory and assets, manage deliveries, better predict arrival times, change schedules on-the-fly and deploy workers. It can also reduce paperwork by allowing the mobile workforce to complete invoices, orders and timesheets on the device.
Sprint Mobile Locator is a Web-based solution that allows businesses to easily track and locate workers, and view a mapping display on a PC in near real-time using a wireless phone's built-in GPS capabilities.
Key features include:
Popular business tools such as Microsoft Document Viewer and corporate sync ensure Word or PowerPoint files can be accessed on the go
Message entry is a breeze with both Android standard virtual keyboard and Swype(TM) virtual keyboards being offered
A 5 megapixel camera with flash, geo-tagging and panoramic capabilities provides crisp photos and clearly displays them on the vibrant 3.1-inch HVGA screen, and video can also be recorded and stored on a provided microSD for sharing or future viewing straight from the device
The Android browser allows you to see web pages and Flash 8-enabled sites in full view using Wi-Fi, and the latest Opera Mini 5 browser enables quick browsing over the Nextel National Network and Wi-Fi
With the new Sprint Free Guarantee, the most robust satisfaction guarantee in the wireless industry, customers can try a new line of service with Sprint for 30 days. If they aren't completely satisfied with Sprint during that period, they can cancel service and return their device to be reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get the early termination fee waived, get a full refund for monthly service plan recurring charges incurred and get all associated taxes and fees waived.
In addition, Sprint will waive the restocking fee for new customer exchanges as part of this policy. Refund excludes usage not included in the plan, premium content, third-party billing and international charges.
Application development information for Motorola i1 is available on the Sprint Application Developer web site at www.sprint.com/developer. Sprint offers developers a free sandbox with iDEN capabilities to test their apps. Sprint is a charter member of the Open Handset Alliance(TM) and the Sprint Application Developer Program has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, and is the first and only wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless and instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 Meets MilitarySpec 810F for blowing rain, dust, shock vibration, temperature extremes, low pressure, salt fog, humidity and solar radiation.