Sprint Motorola Brute i680 is ultra-rugged

Sprint's latest cellphone, the Motorola Brute i680, is not just a rugged one, it's ultra-rugged.  The Brute i680 – fresh to the Nextel Direct Connect network complete with push-to-talk – meets military spec 810F for not just the regular dust, shock and vibration, but extremes of temperature, low pressure, salt fog, humidity, blowing rain and even solar radiation.  We're guessing that doesn't mean you could use it while inside the sun (if only because of the lack of coverage) but it probably cuts down on the number of places in the US where the phone can't go.

Unfortunately like so many ruggedized devices, while you gain toughness you lose functionality.  The camera is a mere 2-megapixels (though you do get an LED flash) and there's GPS and Bluetooth, but otherwise you're looking at a pretty mainstream clamshell.  A microSD card slot can be used to add up to 8GB of storage.

Meanwhile the 1,750mAh battery is good for up to 350 minutes talktime, and the whole thing measures 99.5 x 53 x 26 mm.  The Motorola Brute i680 is available from Sprint Nextel now, priced at $119.99 with a new agreement.

Press Release:

Motorola Brute i680 Offers the Best-in-Class Push-to-Talk Services of Nextel Direct Connect in an Ultra-Rugged Clam Shell Design for Communications in Extreme Conditions

Motorola Brute i680 Military Specification810F certified for dust, shock, vibration, low & high temperatures, low pressure, radiation, salt fog, humidity and blowing rain

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan 11, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Motorola Brute(TM) i680, which combines ultra-rugged durability with the best-in-class push-to-talk services of Nextel Direct Connect(R), is available from Sprint (NYSE: S).

Motorola Brute i680 meets Military Specification 810F for dust, shock, vibration, low temperature, high temperature, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity and blowing rain.

"Motorola Brute combined with the exclusive Public Safety applications only available on Nextel phones from Sprint allows public safety personnel to communicate, even if they are out of network range, an irreplaceable communication tool in times of emergency," said Fared Adib, vice president – Product Development, Sprint. "Motorola Brute is a great device for anyone who works in extreme conditions."

Motorola Brute i680 has all the features Nextel customers have come to depend on including the best-in-class push-to-talk capabilities of Nextel Direct Connect, support of business applications and Mil Spec durability. This rugged clam shell is the ideal phone for anyone who will encounter extreme conditions and incorporates a 2-megapixel camera with flash, large internal and external display, GPS, large battery for extended talk time, music features and stereo Bluetooth(R)1. It also offers the upgraded ability to switch from an active push-to-talk call to an interconnect voice call at the touch of a button.

"Nextel Direct Connect from Sprint is an invaluable tool for public safety," said Fire Chief Charles Werner, Charlottesville (Va.), Fire Department. "During an emergency, we depend on rugged devices, like Motorola Brute, that can withstand extreme conditions, and offer instant communications; this combination is the cornerstone of effectively managing a crisis. Individuals who work in various harsh environments, such as construction and manufacturing, will find the durability of the device to be critical as well."

Motorola Brute is available with Nextel Direct Connect(R) calling plans in all Sprint sales channels, including Sprint retail stores, Business Direct Sales, Telesales (1-800-Nextel-9) and www.sprint.com for just $119.99 (excluding taxes).

About Nextel Direct Connect

With more than 16 years of expertise, Sprint is the undisputed leader and has set the industry standard in push-to-talk with the largest community of users in the world serving millions of Nextel Direct Connect subscribers on the fastest national push-to-talk network.

Nextel Direct Connect enables Sprint customers to get things done faster, at the push of a button. When instant communication is needed between two people or a group of people, next door or in the next state, Sprint provides a solution to get the job done – in less than a second. The Nextel National Network continues to operate at best-ever performance levels for dropped calls and near best-ever for block calls, based on internal metrics as of June 2009.

Powered by the iDEN Network, Nextel Direct Connect is the only push-to-talk service in the industry that offers:

Industry-leading performance with the advantage of instant connection (call set-up times of less than one second)

Connection to the world's largest community of users, with millions of existing Nextel Direct Connect subscribers

Nationwide and international push-to-talk services

The largest portfolio of push-to-talk phones, including the largest selection of rugged phones

The most expansive portfolio of GPS and productivity solutions for push-to-talk users including applications for inventory and fleet management, dispatch operations and workforce management

Exclusive public safety applications such as Priority Connect(R) providing priority service in times of network congestion

Unique to Sprint, Sprint's award-winning Emergency Response Team (ERT) provides wireless telecommunications equipment, infrastructure and operations support to federal, state/local public safety, law enforcement, military and private sector entities in times of emergency

Affordable Push-to-Talk Calling Plans

Nextel Direct Connect Custom Plans focus on the services used most by workgroups, which are bundled with unlimited usage, at a low flat monthly rate. Specifically, businesses can choose from the following Nextel Direct Connect Custom Plans:

Unlimited Workgroup Communications – with unlimited Direct Connect and Group Connect(R) plus unlimited text messaging, mobile-to-mobile minutes and night and weekend minutes starting at 9 p.m.

$29.99 per month per line (excluding taxes and Sprint surcharges)

Web & Navigation – includes the above features, plus unlimited data, Web browsing and GPS navigation

$39.99 per month per line for Nextel phones (excluding taxes and Sprint surcharges)

$49.99 per month per line for PowerSource and Nextel Direct Connect capable Sprint phones (excluding taxes and Sprint surcharges)

Pooled voice minutes can be added to either plan for the group to share

500 minutes for $30 per month per line (excluding taxes and Sprint surcharges)

Or 2,000 minutes for $100 per month per line (excluding taxes and Sprint surcharges)

For more details on Nextel Direct Connect Custom plans, visit www.sprint.com/nexteldirectconnect.

For customers that want Sprint's Simply EverythingSM Plan that offers a truly unlimited experience for only $99.99 per month, and they can save $1,200 over two years vs. a comparable AT&T iPhone(R) plan2. (All price plans exclude surcharges and taxes. Other exclusions apply.)

Sprint is the only wireless carrier to offer Ready Now service with trained retail associates to work one-on-one with customers to personalize their Motorola Brute, set up features and demonstrate how it works before the customer leaves the store. Customers have the choice of sitting down with a Sprint retail associate at the time of purchase or they can schedule an appointment for a later time at www.sprint.com/storelocator.