The Android-powered Motorola i1 will be available on Boost Mobile June 20 and it won’t be better than the EVO 4G or Droid Incredible, but the handset boats an impressive set of features (push-to-talk, 5-megapixel camera, WiFi) for a prepaid device.
The i1 will be sold in Best Buy Mobile stores and kiosks, and it rocks a 3.1-inch HVGA display and a rugged, military-grade casing that can resist wind, dust, shocks and drops. You don’t lose much in terms of design though, as the full touchscreen phone looks and feels pretty good in the hand. It’s also the first Android handset to work in the iDEN network, so you’ll be able to use push-to-talk to turn this thing into a walkie talkie of sorts.
It’s powered by Android, so you’ll be able to make calls, send e-mails and download apps from the Android Market on the go. It will have a few software tweaks, so it’s not just stock Android. It will come preloaded with Swype so you can trace out your text messages and e-mails. It will also come with Opera Mini 5 in addition to the standard browser. I don’t know how much of an improvement this really is, but we’ve seen there’s a strong demand for Opera’s browser on other platforms.
The i1 will also rock a 5-megapixel shooter, GPS, Bluetooth and it comes with a 2 GB microSD card (it can support up to 32 GB). The handset’s not going to be cheap, as it will cost between $350 and $400. That’s not that bad of a price because you won’t have to sign up for a long-term contract, which means there’s no subsidy. Boost Mobile has some decent prices too, as $50 a month will get you unlimited calling, text messages and mobile web access. That low monthly fee makes this a pretty tempting device, even if it isn’t at the top of the Android heap.
We had a chance to play with the device and speak with Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe about it. Check out the video below for some more details on how Rowe would use the i1.