Review: Boost Mobile Motorola i1 – Does prepaid Android work well?

Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customers

The Motorola i1 smartphone is the first Android device for Boost Mobile and it’s one of the most difficult phones for me to review. It packs some decent features like a 5-megapixel camera and push-to-talk capabilities over the iDEN network but it is nowhere near the top shelf of Android where the Motorola Droid X, EVO 4G and Samsung Galaxy S devices rest.

But when you compare the i1 to the rest of Boost Mobile’s lineup, or what other prepaid carriers are offering, it starts to shine a bit more. Additionally, by using Boost Mobile, you’ll save a ton of cash on monthly service over the life of the device and that’s something I have to consider, particularly with the economy the way it is. So, does the Motorola i1 stand on its own or is it just a “good for the price” device? Let’s stop messing around and get real.

Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customers

Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customersAT&T Samsung Captivate
Available now for $349.99 and above without a contract

Specifications (Specs – sheet)

  • 3.1-inch HVGA touchscreen display
  • 600 MHz Freescale CPU
  • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Video recording at 15 fps
  • WiFi (b/g)
  • GPS (aGPS)
  • 2 GB microSD card included, slot for additional expansion (supports up to 32 GB)
  • 2.5mm headphone jack
  • iDEN support for push-to-talk features
  • Android 1.5
  • 16GB internal memory

The Good

  • It should be able to take a pounding
  • Push-to-talk is cool – “Where you at?”
  • Despite a few cheap elements, I liked the look of the phone
  • Solid weight to the phone
  • Monthly service will be about 50% less than most major carriers

The Bad

  • Android 1.5 feels like the stone age to seasoned users
  • iDEN network can be very slow
  • Screen’s a tad bit too small
  • Parts of the phone feel rather flimsy
  • Relatively steep initial price tag

Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customersHardware

The design of the Motorola i1 is sort of like the A-Team movie: it’s a jumbled mess of cheap elements that still manages to make me smile.

Like the aforementioned team, the i1 is tough and built to military standards for ruggedness. You wouldn’t necessarily know that at first glance because a lot of pieces feel cheap and too plastic-like. The microUSB port and the non-standard (!) headphone jack have cheap-feeling flaps that look and feel gross. I actually like the look and feel of the plastic back cover when it’s snapped on but there’s a weak battery-cover release button on the right spine which makes taking off the cover and putting it back on a pain in the you know what.

There’s also a hard camera button on the spine and this works well for launching the camera app and snapping shots. A lock/unlock button rests on top under some rubber-like surface and I would have liked a bit more definition to this. The volume rocker’s a little too high on the left spine for my liking, but it has good feedback and feel. It also has to be high up because the majority of the left side is taken up by a huge button for push-to-talk.

On the face, you have four touch-sensitive keys for the menu, home and back button but, curiously, the fourth is not search, but a toggle for silent mode. The buttons are responsive enough but I still question replacing the search button, as it has become second nature for me. There’s also hard call and end buttons and a mostly useless navigational joypad in the middle. This just takes up space and it actually pretty useless with a full touch screen.

Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customersSpeaking of which, the 3.1-inch screen looks to be the same that’s on Motorola’s Cliq XT, so it’s still a bit too small for my liking and it has nowhere near the clarity or “wow factor” of an AT&T Captivate or T-Mobile Vibrant. Still, it gets the job done and is about as responsive as you could expect but the small size makes typing a little difficult on the standard virtual keyboard. There’s no multitouch in many key areas but that could potentially be fixed with software upgrades.

Inside, there’s a 600 MHz ARM11 Freescale processor and it runs smoothly, for the most part – I couldn’t tell if the occasional lagginess was due to the hardware or the rather outdated software (more on that below). It also packs a 5-megapixel camera, GPS with assisted-GPS capabilities, WiFi, Bluetooth, and iDEN support. Push-to-talk is really cool guys, I just wish I knew more people with it.

So, why does it make me smile? The Motorola i1 definitely takes a lot of design cues from the Cliq XT, which I actually liked. There’s a good weight to the phone in your hand. It definitely doesn’t feel like a premium device because of the cheap elements but it absolutely feels solid. Maybe its the rugged nature of the device, but it almost feels like a tool. That can be a good or bad thing depending on your proclivities, I suppose.


Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customersSoftware

The Motorola i1 runs Android 1.5, and, holy heck, I forgot how primitive Android used to be. I probably should have remembered after reading our Evolution of Android piece, but it was kind of shocking how much I missed features in Android that I now take for granted. Things like support for multiple Google accounts, the revamped Android Market and Google Navigation are now key parts of the Android experience to me and I sorely missed these with this Boost Mobile smartphone.

Still, the average Motorola i1 customer is not coming from a Droid in all likelihood, so I have to adjust my expectations a bit, I suppose. Despite its flaws, Android 1.5 is still a capable smartphone operating system, particularly if this is your first time in the smartphone pool. You’ll easily be able to send and receive e-mails on the go, add applications from the Android Market, surf the web (kind of), and make phone calls. There’s support for only one e-mail account, so choose wisely between Exchange, Google, Yahoo or others.

A device like the i1 just makes me pull my hair out about the upgrade path, as this could be significantly better with just 1.6, not to mention Android 2.0. Google, Motorola and all the carrier need to get their heads out of their behinds and make sure we still don’t have these sub-par Android experiences out there when there’s better software easily available. I don’t care if Boost Mobile subscribers don’t pay as much per month, these users deserve a better Android experience now. Hopefully, we’ll see that soon but Motorola’s upgrade path so far doesn’t give me much hope.

The Boost Mobile i1 uses the stock Android 1.5 keyboard as the default and it’s weak – it’s a combination of poor software from Google and the relatively-small screen size. Fortunately, you can turn on Swype – I’ve never been a huge fan of this input method but it was a godsend on this phone. It’s the first phone where I recommend using Swype exclusively because it will make your life much, much easier.

While 1.5 is practically the stone age for seasoned Android users, new smartphone users will find it full of features and somewhat intuitive. Rest assured i1 users, Android gets much better. Hopefully, you won’t have to wait too long to figure this out.


Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customersWeb browser, Multimedia, Camera

Browser

Instead of the Webkit browser we all know and love in Android, this Boost Mobile i1 rocks an Opera Mini browser out of the gates. This is mostly because the i1 uses the iDEN network for data and this is maddeningly slow. I’d say it’s like EDGE speeds, but some moments on iDEN had me praying for the glory of EDGE speeds (how slow? Well I ran the XtremeLabs speed test and stopped because it was taking too long).

To its credit though, the good folks at Opera know how to maximize their bits, as pages popped up faster than they had any business to. The bottom line is that if you plan on browsing the web a lot or using tons of data-heavy apps, you’d better be around a good WiFi hotspot. Hopping on and off WiFi connections was simple, thankfully.

Multimedia

The Motorola i1 uses the standard Android multimedia player that can handle various formats of music and videos but I don’t care because it uses a 2.5-millimeter headphone jack. They give you a decent headphone/microphone in the box but this is still garbage because eventually you’re going to break or lose that. The non-standard headphone jack means you’ll have to buy an ugly dongle to use with your existing headphones.

This is 2010, Motorola, stop this crap. I love to use my phone as a music player and I hate you for not including a standard headphone jack.

Camera

The 5-megapixel camera is not going to blow you away because some of the pictures seemed a bit muted, no matter the light. The camera button has a good feel and response to it but the lag time between photos is far too long. A device like the AT&T Captivate also sports a 5-megapixel camera and I found those pictures to be noticeably better than the ones that came from this Boost Mobile smartphone.

The flash on the Motorola i1 is solid, as is the autofocus, and I like that you can get multiple effects like black and white with just a few clicks. Because it’s Android, you can easily upload photos and e-mail them, but I’d recommend using WiFi.

Don’t expect to become Ansel Adams with these photos, but it should provide shots that are good enough for Facebook and MMS messages. That should be enough for the target audience (not a knock guys, that’s what I mainly use mobile photos for too).

Here are a few examples:

Cloudy day, default settings:

Boost Mobile Motorola i1 Android

Decent light, default settings:

Android Boost Mobile Motorola i1

Stella, of course:

Android 1.5 - Motorola i1 Boost Mobile

The video recording option is nice to have but it only records at 15 frames per second. As you can see from the video below, that leads to some choppiness. I would have also like some more options with videos.


Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customersCall Quality, Data and Battery Life

I experienced excellent call coverage in and around San Francisco and I found the voice quality to be strong. The person on the other end of the line said I sounded clear and crisp. It’s refreshing having physical call and end buttons, too. The dialer is very standard and I would have loved to see some smart contact-finding software in there. Despite the quibbles, the i1 makes and receives phone calls well.

I talked about the data coverage and network speeds in the browser category and just want to reiterate how painfully slow it can be. Luckily, it doesn’t take much bandwidth to get texts and e-mails immediately, as messages without attachments come through quickly. As I said before, you’re going to have to use a lot of WiFi if you want to get the most out of the phone. The Motorola i1 on Sprint’s CDMA network should be a bit faster, but I don’t see why you’d get it over the EVO 4G unless you need the push-to-talk functionality.

Perhaps because of the lack of strong mobile bandwidth, battery life was very good. I could easily squeeze a day and a half out of this thing on a full charge but I stayed away from data-intensive apps because it just wasn’t worth it when I wasn’t on WiFi.


Image of the Motorola i1 Boost Mobile Android smartphone for prepaid customersThe Final Take

As I mentioned before, this is one of the toughest reviews I’ve had to do because the audience for the i1 is not the typical Android fanatic who cares about rooting and JavaScript performance. One could argue the Boost Mobile audience is smarter than me because they’ll be paying about $1,200 less over the length of a two-year contract and they don’t have to worry about minutes or text limits.

As such, I have a different level of expectations and criticisms for the Motorola i1. I want you to know that cheap or not, crap is still crap, and I won’t ever hesitate to call things like I see them.

The Motorola i1 is not going to give you the best Android experience on the market by a long shot – still a tossup between the Droid X and EVO 4G, in my humble opinion – but it is certainly the best device on Boost Mobile. The older software, the paltry speed of the iDEN network, and some of the poor design elements may turn you off, though.

The Motorola i1 isn’t even cheap out of the gates, as the lowest price we’re seeing is $349.99. That’s without a contract but that’s kind of overstated because the phone only works with Boost Mobile. Compared to a device like the Android-powered Charm, which will be offered free on a new T-Mobile contract, the i1 doesn’t seem immensely compelling on just price alone.

Still, the Motorola i1 is a solid device that does require some compromises on the Android experience. Is that compromise worth $20 to $50 a month off the monthly bill? That’s for you to decide, dear reader.

If you plan to stick with Boost for at least a year, want a taste of Android goodness and plan to do most of your heavy data lifting over WiFi, the Motorola i1 is a great fit. If you’re price-conscious and want some Android on a budget, I’d suggest going with one of T-Mobile’s offerings because you can even spread out the cost of the subsidized handset. You’ll pay a little more per month, but if you care about data speeds, this is the way to go.

The Boost Mobile i1 is still the best smartphone currently on any prepaid carrier and with some software updates, it could give low-end Android handsets on major carriers a decent challenge.

Let’s hope other smartphone makers take the prepaid market seriously, as I’m already salivating over the Samsung phone for MetroPCS which will pack LTE technology.

Do you have Motorola i1 for Boost Mobile? Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • lyss

    Really Really good information! I have been a boost customer for two years and their phones do suck, but its a good price for the money!! You really gave me a lot to think about before purchasing this phone!! Thanks!!!!

  • Tiara

    i have the phone. i just bought it yesterday. ur right, it is fairly slow compared to other android phones. but i do use wiFi

    • Jose 42009

      smart!!!

  • treeClimber

    BS this Martin things he know it all..!!! this is a "TOOL" I, been using cell phones since the stone age. or since they started.. I, remember I, had to carry my bag and pulling out the cell thing but oh, well I, had no choice then.., now? I used the Iphone since I, pay 640 for the first one and I still have it. and still works! try the new one and the fricking thing suck.. took it' back and went with boost I, rather used the slow android cause all I, need it' for is emails and business GPS work well and that's all I need it for! to make MONEY!!! not to use it' like a toy…! "IT IS NOT A TOY" it's for real "MEN" sorry martin! go and do something else like the "barbies'' check them out and see if they work for you…! So $50 vs. $130 At&t -Verizon-Sprint- and they keep going up every month?? I say hell No!! Boost all the way Baby!! and no "contracts"

    • marinperez

      "Marin" – I talked about those points.

    • PlaysWithAndroid

      A large majority of android purchasers are developers and people who like to tinker around with their phones, hence the appeal of an open source platform based on the linux kernel. Normal people who just jump on computers to check email/facebook use windows, or a mac OS. People who like customization and like to play with their computers sometimes use linux…so saying that an android phone isn't a "toy" isn't quite correct. Just because you're ignorant and only use it for phone calls, email, and gps, doesn't mean everyone else does. This review was quite comprehensive and informative for people who want the android freedom without being tied to big money contracts. Don't flame the author. Kudos on the article Marin…"martin"

  • motoi1

    spent a month doing research on this phone and I am very happy with my purchase, works great, customizes easy looking forward to writing some apps for it

  • Jon

    This phone sucks bawls and so does Boost Mobile. I'd rather be on AT&T if my life depended on it instead of Boost Mobile!

    • Rickey

      your face suks "bawls" even though att definitely has better phones and coverag i wouldnt want to be nickel and dimed for every feature that appeals to me most of these companies come out with the same phones and give them different names so it really boils down to price and so far look wyhos a growning competitor its a recession i know i don't got hundreds of dollars to put into a phone let alone pay $90-$120 for service and besides in order to even get the phone at the price they advertise your credit has to sparkle and most working peoples credit dont so you still end up with the short straw boost to me is like giving every one a fair chance at the cell phone game kudos to boost mobile where you at?

      • Linatewis

        my daughter has Straight Talk and my neighbor has Boost, they both get better coverage dang near everywhere than any of the services I have ever had. it dumbfounded me and is what has brought me to go with one or the other also. The price was the final decision tho. Im all about a bang for my buck. It cut my bill in 1/2. I pay about $100 a month for me and my daughters phones unlimited everything (same I paid for just my Verizon). Plus Boost has a new monthly unlimited shrinkage, the longer u stay with them the lower ur bill. mine goes down to 90 a month in feb. for 2 phones. Thats a +

      • Linatewis

        my daughter has Straight Talk and my neighbor has Boost, they both get better coverage dang near everywhere than any of the services I have ever had. it dumbfounded me and is what has brought me to go with one or the other also. The price was the final decision tho. Im all about a bang for my buck. It cut my bill in 1/2. I pay about $100 a month for me and my daughters phones unlimited everything (same I paid for just my Verizon). Plus Boost has a new monthly unlimited shrinkage, the longer u stay with them the lower ur bill. mine goes down to 90 a month in feb. for 2 phones. Thats a +

    • Evilbeingme

      The beauty of having had every service out today I was able to learn from ATT that they charge your minutes 20 seconds into the call even if no one answers it hence you get a bill with 200/ 30 sec or one minute calls now deducted from your paln. I have had the over priced Verizon with great service at the most sucky price. And when you wanna talk data service charge that is mandatory haha thats a joke. After paying 30.00 more on top of that 70.00 unlimited plan I now know that guess what my pretty little droid incredible works fine with no service at all. Hence wifi is up and coming everywhere. From Libraries to Hospitals to Coffee Shops. Since having gone throught all types of services and in the end having to revert to many prepaid plans ill bo with boost where I can get more features for my buck.

    • Keeykeeylove

      i have a problem with my i9 it just shuts off in mid conversation,i just brought this phone february 3,2011 and im starting to hate the phone i paid to much for it and now what should i do i think im done with motorola phones.any suggestions im in need of one.

  • dan

    the i1 is a hell of alot better than my dumb i860 + $60.00 mth less. new to droid, would like to see moto & boost get of butts & utilized 2.2.

  • Chuck Ellis

    Been with Boost for almost a year and a half. I love the service. I love the monthly price. I'd like a smart phone, but, I won't cry if I have top wait a little longer. I just replaced my well used Motorola i776 with a new i296. I like this phone because it has an alarm clock. This is a simple thing I know to all the techno people, but, I need an alarm clock. Downside is I don't have a camera on the I296. I can email photos to my, myboostmobile.com address, but, can't seem to use them as wallpaper like on the i776. Anybody know how to move pics from media app to wallpaper on the i296 please let me know.

  • Pete

    I got a Boost Motorola i1 two months ago, and overall, I'm very happy. The review was spot on with one exception: you can check both Google and Exchange mail. The software is a little buggy, and I have to reboot once a week or so. The Internet is slow, and a physical keyboard would be nice, but it's a great phone for the money.

    My calendars, contacts, and emails sync quickly. The voice quality is good and coverage is on par with major providers. There are all sorts of cool apps and the bluetooth works well. I work for a tech company and most of my co-workers have cutting edge phones, but I'm spending far less money. Aside from faster Internet, there is nothing of consequence that their phones do and mine doesn't.

  • maybeth

    i Love my Bosst iONE haha! regardless what uu may aLL think!

  • Aly

    I had a Blackbberry with Verizon and now am considering this phone with Boost. For small business and personal use, would you go with this phone or Boost’s Blackberry?

  • Gina

    I have had this phone for about 6 weeks and I absolutely love it. I am on the go a lot for work and now I am able to check the weather and traffic without any problems This saves me a lot of hassle. I am also able to check several different email accounts without problem. I also have taken many photos and one video and was able to email them without any problems. I really like the phone a lot. Also I am rough with phones and have been with many other carriers in the past and had problems with phones breaking. I feel confident this phone is better suited for me since I have bad habits of dropping them and I am out in the elements a lot. I have not really sat down and “researched” all this phone can do, but I am very satisfied because it accomplishes everything I need and it was very easy to learn. There are many benefits, not to mention the 50 a month plan for everything.

  • Jayla

    I have the incognito, I am very unhappy with the phone. very basic in my opinion. I want to upgrade to the motorola i1, but I’m afraid i won’t like it (i had the Android 2.0 from tmobile). what do you recommend Marin?

  • ieatmango

    i have had this phone for about 3 weeks i like it, when using the internet or looking up pricing or checking my ebay or bank accounts it’s fast enough for me (though my year and a half old netbook is faster). i’ve been searching how to make my phone a wifi hotspot and came acrossed this website. overall i do like the phone it’s a vast improvement over my last boost phone the i335 but prior to that i had a nokia 9300 on att though it may have been cingular back then. this phone feels very familiar in fact it did the moment i started using it, things just seem to be where i’d expect them to be in ways i’d want them to be. i don’t find myself wondering gee where is this or that with the exception of closing apps, that gets annoying so i often find myself rebooting the phone 1-3 times a day depending on what i’ve opened, because it does seem to slow the phone down somewhat noticebly.

    the worst features of this phone are
    1 the mentioned rubber flaps for the headset and usb they feel like they’ll just tear off the moment i breath on them wrong in fact i thought they were going to the day i got the phone but they’re still there even today

    2 not terribly great battery life though i’m on the internet constantly and make over 200 phone calls a day. the charger cable is a 2 peice one of which has a usb end that i thought would allow charging of the phone but unfortunately does not seem to do this and i can’t find an update to correct this on motorola’s website

    3 inabilty to play videos without being connected to wifi

    4 painfully slow google maps (that actually run faster when put into the background)

    5 inability to access most things without wifi

    the best features of this phone

    1 i worry about nothing wether it be usage or price i don’t worry

    2 here in indianapolis i have excellent cell strength vastly superior to friends and family on boost

    3 apps and lots of them i love the airhorn, sound grenade, and the bleep apps

    4 the fact that the phone feels right it’s not too big not to small is organised and feels like a phone should but also has the ability to do more than a phone

    5 when connected to wifi this phone is a beast of epic proportions

    6 works with my exchange account and informs me an email is in my inbox (albeit a full 180 seconds behind my netbook)

    7 very user friendly

    8 it’s rugged, i dropped mine by accident a full 4 feet the second day i had it and it has no marks on it at all , it also functions just as it ever did

    overall its a great phone it just needs better data support

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      crap phone

  • pookie

    i do agree that the price is a little steep but in the long run u save ive never had this phone but i really wanna get it because if you look at the other phones they start out cheap like the droid x, evo, and blackberry phones but you end paying extra for texting internet this that its like with the boost plans 60 at most is what you pay for all the things you want call me cheap but im saving money

  • flo

    i love the phone!! im a single mother and the bill is right up my ally i just got mine yesterday and im use to being able to upload my sons pics straight from taking the shoy but i cant figure out how to do it with this phone, is it just me or is there no way of uploading my pics to fbook besides sending it to my email first sum1 please help me!!!

    • JB

      Hey Flo..

      If you haven’t figured it out yet, you have to go to Facebook and enable mobile uploading. They will text message you a special email address. Save that address into a contact file. I called mine Facebook Photos.

      Then all you have to do is SMS photo send to that contact and poof your pics will post on your facebook in your “Mobile Uploads” folder :)

      Jason

  • Bill Smith

    You have to understand the Nextel / Boost user, we HAVE to use iden for the two way service and no verizon ptt sucks nads. We are contractors, government, or municipal employees that desperately want newer phones. I was so thrilled with the Blackberry 8350i that I didn’t care about all of the bugs and flaws in the OS (worst one was the ptt made the phone freeze up at random). The i1 is a huge improvement over what we’ve had in the past. I’m very happy with the purchase and everyone else I know that upgraded to the i1 are thrilled with it.

  • great review

    This is really a great review, thank you. It made me understand the importance of modern android OSs.

  • marta

    Awesome Review!! I have boost service now and have been searching for a better phone with data capabilites. service is good. i’ve had some dropped calls, but all have been within a particular area on the north side of chicago.
    Thanx Marin, for being impartial. It would’ve been so easy to trash it, coming from a tech background, but you didn’t! Great details too!
    cheers to great research and journalism!

  • Margie

    I have this phone n i have to say that it great! the internet is super fast! i have found beautiful pink headphones, the sound is clear the volume is great i dont lose reception…everything is great about this phone! get it!

  • Brown _Flakes

    My contract w/ T-Mobile is about to expire, so I’m in the market for new providers and I was looking into Boostmobile. I currently have “MyTouch” but I paid $199 w/ contract for the phone & $85/month for service not including taxes/fees. This article is pretty helpful. I know I’ll probably be down-grading if I get the”i1″ but I’m trying to save some $$. It’s not like the reception w/ the “MyTouch” is great, sometimes YouTube videos take a long time to down-load. Any other suggestions about any other phones in the No Contract market that I can get more for my buck?

  • Tom

    I have been researching phones for about 2 month’s , looked at all the smart phones and pricing,
    have decided to try the i1 and coming from using a i580 flip phone I think will be satisfied, if not I have 30days to return it
    I have the $ to pay for the extra cost of a droid although I can not not justify the extra cost for my particular use
    Thanks for all the reviews it was a lot of help in the decision making

  • jose

    shit i have the i1 and i love the phone plus i love boost mobile 50$ dollarz unlimited u kant beat that the i1 works very good 4 me i kan watch movies videos track my friends on gps it dose everything so while every bodys paying 100$ and up for a smartphone data im paying 50$ for mine and it workz just as good !!!!!!!!!!!!! lol…saves some loot people !……

    • Lajeanecemoore

      I have compared all the major carriers and Sprint and Verizon has the cheapest plans; T-mobile’s data isn’t enough for me for the price. Me and my daughter decided on Verizon’s nationwide talk and text family 99.99-700min plus the data $15.00. We decided on that plan because we text more than we talk, I work and she’s in school during the day so I said we will use the anytime minutes for emergencies and nights and weekends are free. Like I said you get what your money pays for. If I am going to have an android smartphone, I want the best for my money, better service and a better phone not some cheap knockoffs. I have a Samsung Seek Boostmobile but I can’t get all the apps and services that a contract offers, so I am going back to my contract. I work hard for my money and I deserve something nice. By the time you go to the mall by that hundred dollar pair of shoes, 60 dollar jeans, 20 dollar t-shirt, smoking, drinking, partying you can pay a cell phone bill.

      • Linatewis

        If the majority of us would dummy up and stick together on this over priced texting, 2 yr CONTRACT crap all carriers would kick them both to the curb with in a year. I have had T mobile At &t Cingular, two others that I cant even remember the names from 96 or so and then Verizon from 2005 until Jan 4, 2011. There all over priced pocket lining freakin cash cow Jack*****. I will NEVER sign any kind of a contract again. If you provide me the service I pay for at an HONEST charge, do your job then chances r I won’t be changing services. This technology is way cool, but not one person would die if it didn’t or couldn’t exhist 20 min frm now. It’s way over priced! Let’s keep them in check instead of being irresponsible and materialistic. Then prices should head back towards reality. I work hard for my money, I hate even paying $45 a month unlimited. Just sayin’

      • Linatewis

        Sorry for my horrible semantics and spelling! :-)

    • Lajeanecemoore

      I have compared all the major carriers and Sprint and Verizon has the cheapest plans; T-mobile’s data isn’t enough for me for the price. Me and my daughter decided on Verizon’s nationwide talk and text family 99.99-700min plus the data $15.00. We decided on that plan because we text more than we talk, I work and she’s in school during the day so I said we will use the anytime minutes for emergencies and nights and weekends are free. Like I said you get what your money pays for. If I am going to have an android smartphone, I want the best for my money, better service and a better phone not some cheap knockoffs. I have a Samsung Seek Boostmobile but I can’t get all the apps and services that a contract offers, so I am going back to my contract. I work hard for my money and I deserve something nice. By the time you go to the mall by that hundred dollar pair of shoes, 60 dollar jeans, 20 dollar t-shirt, smoking, drinking, partying you can pay a cell phone bill.

  • Edmar

    I just wanted to let you know im with Boost almost 2 yrs and I really love it..!!! and now that I paid 5 extra dollars im able to call my relatives in Mexico as long as I like. So im been paying just $55 bucks a month rather than paying $100′s of dollar in T-moblile and other, now im been able to payoff my credit cards and my car…. you can’t beat that… so for that I will getting this phone I thing it will be worth it…

    • GUeSt

      Go back to Mexico you wetback

      • Sesarodriguez

        look GUeSt ur gay and u better shut the fuck up white ass or black whatever u are matherfucker

      • Sesarodriguez

        look GUeSt ur gay and u better shut the fuck up white ass or black whatever u are matherfucker

      • UnitedStatesofCockroaches

        instead of leaving stupid comments here, next time stay longer behind the barn anally entertaining your uncle and sexually pleasing the animals, in other words stick to what you’re good at, you uneducated and likely unemployed racist cousin-molesting inbred hillbilly trailer-trash asshole

  • Anthony

    y motorola i1 used to be an amazing phone however one day it decided to stay consistantly charging , even when it is no longer plugged in and shouldnt be charging . I have had the phone for less than 2 months, it has no water damage and it has never fallen down on the floor keep screen guard and case on it not even a scratch on it. When I went back to the boost store and asked for assistance, they brush me off and avoid this serious problem that causes my phone to waste a hole battery in 30 min when it is not charging. I paid over 500 dollars for this piece of shit and they have yet to replace it for me so i walk aroung with a charger on me at all times. can anyone please help me??????

    • Digitalcrispies

      It could also be a short in the charger when it is plugged in that is not causing it to actually charge all the way. Sometimes it will say full charge but it isn’t fully charged. Plug it in, and make sure it says the phone is charging and that doesn’t change when the phone is moved or something.
      A new battery could be a good option, but don’t baby it. Fully charge it and then let it run without charge until it dies. If you plug it in every night, the battery is going to come to expect that and won’t hold charge longer than a day at most.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      bad phone throw away has 2g dino coverage too

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      bad phone throw away has 2g dino coverage too

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      bad phone throw away has 2g dino coverage too

  • Princeedmar

    What if you buy another battery, will that work?..

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      no bad phone get rid of it

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      no bad phone get rid of it

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      no bad phone get rid of it

  • Randomtravis15

    I’ve had Boost Mobile for over a year now, and i started off with the i465 Clutch back in September of 2009. It was one of the better Boost phones at the time, but i got good service with it but it just took to long to download the messages. Back in February (of 2010) i got the BlackBerry Curve 8330. i loved it so much, it was a huge change with the messaging, calls, and the web, compared to the i465. The Clutch is on the iDEN network, and the BlackBerry is on the CDMA 3G Sprint network (which is great). I love the 3G service i get from the BlackBerry, i am having issues with it tho, my T and Y keys are very loose and might fall out so im gonna put a new keyboard in it, but it seems to lag. Maybe its because i have had it 10 months. but i want to get the new Motorola i1, but im afraid of going back to the iDEN network because i am very pleased with the CDMA 3G Sprint network. and honestly im not to crazy about paying $350 for a phone, that still has to download messages cuz its on iDEN. Boost has the new BlackBerry 8530 but i already have a BlackBerry. i wanna try something new. So do u think the i1 is a good choice? Or should i just stay with my BlackBerry?

    • Rtapia07

      im going thru the same i dont want to pay almost 350 for an old version on a Andriod phone. :/

    • Jahn good

      Try the LG 540 or LG620 on simple mobile..non contract price on the phones is around $250 they are andriod phones. simple mobile used the t-mobile network

    • Birdyart

      Hey Randomtravis15 how you doing, you just like me I had the i465 and I loved it then I got the Seek because of the 3G and the touch screen but I wanted some apps, GPS and more so I got the blackberry 8330, seens I got this phone I been doing everything I want, BUT now I want the Motorola i1 but dont know if it would be the best to switch from Blackberry 8330 (CDMA) to Motorola i1 (IDEN), the thing is that the i1 is about $350, I would pay $350 but for a good phone, I just want to know if the Motorola i1 is almost the same as the Blackberry 8330

  • King Darious

    My phone connects to the wifi network but cannot connect to the internet, can someone help me with this???

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      the phone is really bad thow to ur dog as a chew toy that way it won’t be an entire waste of money

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

      the phone is really bad thow to ur dog as a chew toy that way it won’t be an entire waste of money

  • Floral

    I have a question that maybe someone will have an idea about.
    I’ve been with Boost for over a year and love it. I started with the i776w and loved it (I’d always had the $10 phones previous to it). I live and work surrounded by five miles of forest, so most people don’t get service, or very bad service. I loved Boost because I had service everywhere outside, and in most the buildings including my home and inside campus buildings.
    I switched to the Sanyo Incognito because…well, it’s pretty. It was also nice to have a full keyboard (I text A LOT), mobile e-mail and the facebook app. Incognito runs on CDMA and I was initially told I should not experience a significant drop in service levels…but I have. There are two spots in my home where I can get service and even then, it’s a 50/50 chance if it’ll actually send a text. I’m tired of getting voicemail when my phone hasn’t even rung. And at work? Forget about it.
    I’m not leaving Boost, so I’m thinking this is probably the best phone I could get from them…and if it can take a beating, all the better (my lifestyle does not do delicate). I’m wondering if anyone knows how the iDEN vs CDMA technology will effect how many bars I get, or if I get any service at all?

    • Zorknoft

      As a former Verizon employee, I can tell you that the 2 are completely different technology IDEN was an older pcs version. It was the predominate tech before web surfing was really a cell phone thing. Hence the crappy internet on older boost phones. It was great for talking, text etc. just not able to support the bandwidth of true internet. CDMA is a newer technology made for mobile internet. And in all honesty is a dying technology as the main carrier Verizon has switched with it’s new 4G. CDMA has allways had a permiation problem ie does’t travel through objects well. So if you are inside calls and text have a hard time reaching your phone. This is why a verizon contract notes that it never promices service in a building. In other words sounds like your area was a predominate area for IDEN probably the old sprint PCS towers. If I were you I would switch back I also have the incognito and am in a predominatly CDMA area I wish I could get better service with my old IDEN phone as I honestly prefered it.

  • Asknina91

    anybody out there wanna buy it $250 hit me up @ asknina91@gmail.com. I dumped my samsung incognito for the i1…OMG!!! the battery life sucks…if you guys haven’t noticed, if youre on a call you cant send/receive texts until you disconnect the call…AND i’m unable to make three way calls which is included in my plan….the keyboard size also sucks…i’ve downloaded several keyboards from the market but nothing really works…i’ve also spent lots of time on the phone w/boost c/s to find out why cant i send/receive texts while i’m on a call and after several calls they finally said ” their network doesnt support that feature on the i1 nor does the network support conference/3-way calling”….unreal!!! It’s to late to return the phone…had i noticed that i’d be unable to use those features i sure as hell wouldnt have spent $350 + tx for this crap!!!!! the only good thing is the ulimited everything for a flat $50 sorry :-(

  • Lajeanecemoore

    I was thinking about upgrading from the Samasung Seek to the i1 but after this review I think I will be getting a contract smartphone from Sprint or Verizon whichever family and data plan is cheaper. I love the Boost Mobile prepaid but sometimes you get what your money pays for. Other carriers plans are higher but the phones are of better quality.

  • Lajeanecemoore

    I was thinking about upgrading from the Samasung Seek to the i1 but after this review I think I will be getting a contract smartphone from Sprint or Verizon whichever family and data plan is cheaper. I love the Boost Mobile prepaid but sometimes you get what your money pays for. Other carriers plans are higher but the phones are of better quality.

  • Zorknoft

    Thanks for the great review!! I will most definatly be buying this phone I am an old school android user (G1) to be exact. I recieved it on the release date and payed full price to avoid a contract. Unfortunatly I recieved 2 contracts for said phone and have refused to pay the $400 ETF that t-mobile tried to charge me Hence the reason for boost. Anyway having been used to the G1 on edge this should be a perfect fit and the upfront price is alot less then the deposit. The contract companies would ask for. Besides it’s not the money it’s the principle. I will never agree to another contract just to have a cell. Thanks again for the review.

  • Zorknoft

    Thanks for the great review!! I will most definatly be buying this phone I am an old school android user (G1) to be exact. I recieved it on the release date and payed full price to avoid a contract. Unfortunatly I recieved 2 contracts for said phone and have refused to pay the $400 ETF that t-mobile tried to charge me Hence the reason for boost. Anyway having been used to the G1 on edge this should be a perfect fit and the upfront price is alot less then the deposit. The contract companies would ask for. Besides it’s not the money it’s the principle. I will never agree to another contract just to have a cell. Thanks again for the review.

  • JB

    I have the i1 and I am having trouble sending and recieving text messages. I cannot send pics to my facebook or even get on youtube Does anybody know how to do this??

  • Steph

    Very informative. I’m new to the smartphone and I think the i1 will be good for my smartphone training wheels! Thanks for the comprehensive article and pictures of sunflowers. I am a user for 15 years and 50 dollar Shrinkage plan is the best value yet.Getting the phone today for Christmas. Thanks Santa

  • Sandy

    The review is right on the money. I will say though I bought my son the blackberry curve with boost and because it is on the blackberry network it is super fast. $60 a month unlimited everything. I think that is the best boost has to offer. For the high price you pay for the android, its horrible. The browser is terrible.

  • Latigobob

    i started with a Verizon Motorola Q way back – contract for a crappy semi smart first gen phone. had to pay a huge sum to cancel contract – -went to MetroPCS – -with the first Samsung touchscreen non-Android model. lost it – no insurance – -no metro service at my home – and roaming charges as they use VZ network but not all of it – - switched to Boost as they are wholly owned sub of Sprint/Nextel. Superior coverage but still weak at my house – bought Sanyo (Kyocera) Incognito. Very pleased as super text and phone machine – net was weak. On a whim, bought the i1 when it came out for large cash $400 w/tax. Was really not planning on it but am happy enough – wi-fi works great – camera too – calls and text are fine – no contract $50 is the key and IDEN works a bit better at my home than CDMA which was one reason i got it (have a 4 house dead zone on my block for all carriers and first phone to ever work at all was a MOT Razor on VZ). My take is – -no phone is really a great internet device – screens are too small – - for me i like the concept of a phone being a great text, call device with camera for emergency pics of auto accidents etc. and gps to find me – reduce the phone on Boost or Metro back to being a phone – for me that means pay as you go cause i don’t make many calls or texts per day – that means 10 cents a min and per text. THEN get an iPad, Android pad or lite laptop like mac air or cheap 10 inch PC with cheap wireless contract sub $20 per month. better internet viewing experience on a pad and relegate the phone back to being a phone – - so sub $50 per month for better net and excellent phone/text – - -BUT if you are using phone all day then no contract deals are the way to go to keep costs down. i just looked back at MetroPCS and they are now offering what looks like better droid phones for cheaper – but i won’t be goin there – - happy with my i1 and would go back to the Incognito on Boost CDMA if i spring for a cell pad as my main out of house net device ( i sit on net all day for my work on three 20 plus inch screens so it is difficult to use a phone for a net device and enjoy the experience.

  • Chriscrackers69

    does anyone know if and when boost is coming out with new cooler phones???

  • April

    I have the i1 on Boost, and love it. you are correct that I did not come from a smart phone before, so I may not be as tough of a reviewer as others, but for me, $50 a month for unlimited voice, text, and data is a no brainer for me! And now with shrinkage after 18mos I will only pay $35 a month… it’s wirth the sacrafices you mentioned! I made a few downloads to help me surf the web better, I can now view almost evry web page I have tried (sometimes limited view but still sufficient) and I have no problems with the Opera mni browser. The GPS is quick and accurate, thousands of free aps/games on the market place… the only issue I have found is finding a flash player. I installed Linda file manager and a youtube app so I can watch many videos but can not see streaming sites yet. This is my ONLY complaint, but really is not an issue for me at all. I guess fo some it may be worth the additional $1200 you mentioned to be able to use the phone like a full fledged computer, but for me, money is a big part of my decision and I have a computer at home that I can do the few things my phone will not do. I think many people who consider cost and functionality together will LOVE this phone/plan.

  • Icp_0187

    i wouldnt exactly call myself “new” to the smartphone world, but im by no means an expert. both me and my girlfriend went and looked at some phones last year, and we always heard good things about the blackberry, we settled on the blackberry curve, and to be honest….the effing thing is pure JUNK!!!! so as far as smartphones go, not freshy fresh new, but as far as android goes, we are. we like the look and features of the i1…..mainly for myself, i like the ruggedness of the the phone everyone is talking about, being an army man, my phones alwats seem to take the worst possible beatings, but weve both become kinda smartphone addicts after the blackberrys….lets hope this one works out better for us than the peices of turd we have now.

    • Tizianna

      I’ve had the blackberry curve from Boost beginning of last year. And the experience was a complete let down! The internal memory cannot even hold the Facebook app let alone 2 or 3 more apps; which was a major disappointment for me. My calls are dropped frequently, the phone runs slow as molasse and if you’re always on the phone doing stuff the battery will die until a couple of hours. Was not worth the $320 I spent on buying and activating it! But, it does take excellent pictures and video.

    • Msdonna04@aol.com

      I have had the i1 for a week, and I have absolutely no complaints. Now understand that I went from a blackberry curv and have never had a droid. Mine has wonderful, clear service. It takes amazing pictures and will send them straight to e-mail, facebook or twitter, that’s all I tried to share on. As I said,Im not a high tech, redneck, I just wanted a good phone with some fun apps and I feel like I got it…youtube is great on it and I have downloaded several songs into the mp3…I like it..If it is hanging up on sending text, all you have to do is reboot the phone and then text yourself….That’ll unblock it…. Hope that helps a little..

  • LindsayAlexa87

    Nice review! Really sheds some light on all of the phones features. My boyfriend got this phone a few months ago and indeed complained about the flimsy build and small screen. He also has complained countless times about Boost as a provider and I told him to check out Straight Talk’s unlimited plan for only 45 bucks a month (which I have heehee). He actually picked up the Nokia E71 and has been loving the service and phone ever since. If you’re looking to switch to a decent contract free provider, go for Straight Talk or Net10.

    • Mothermary42

      Agreed. I just picked up a simple little flip phone from Straight Talk since I like simplicity and only use my phone for calling and could not be more satisfied. I also got the unlimited plan for 45 bucks… its sooooo much better than Boosts unlimited plan not to mention my calls never get dropped. I had this phone for a weeks and did not like it at all.. I was always losing service.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001920464853 Gabriel Elizio

    nice!

  • PFisher694

    I would really like this phone if it also had the QWERTY Keyboard…I loved boost mobile with the nextel in the i435 but I wanted the qwerty keyboard so I got a seek .. I love that phone but I didn’t have the same reception on that as the i435… I never lost a call with that and it had the chirp….I wonder if Boost will ever have one like this or the Epic or shift..with the nextel towers ….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juan-LaFontaine/100001949365974 Juan LaFontaine

    how do i apply facebook to my phone damn it

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

    drop calls very often and almost always can’t send text really disappointed i used my upgrade for that

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

    it also takes 50 years to load a downloaaded app

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

    dont ever get it on sprint (i don’t know about boost but it is by farr the worst phone i have ever had on any network)
    Another thing how log did this guy have it did he recognize it doesn’t even have 3g coverage

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

    true that
    don’t have 3g either i seroius

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

    true that
    don’t have 3g either i seroius

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5ZD6BHDIYH65AEFTQ6YK7WRHPU S

    true that
    don’t have 3g either i seroius

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/OKKDFDJGGOS6IWKIIH4UFYA4XE VH Fan

    This is the WORST phone in the history of the WORLD- period. THE END! First of all, it’s $450 plus- the most expensive Boost phone.  They try to sell you the BS that you get the internet, etc..  But, it’s like buying a Ferrari when you can only drive in a school zone. If the new generation of wireless is 4G- this piece of #@$@# is a negative G.  Your email will NEVER load. Boost Customer Service is the WORST in the history of SCAMerican Companies.  First of all, it will take you HOURS to reach them through 100s of minutes of worthless, NON-helpful IVRs that do nothing but mostly get you to make a payment- NO MATTER WHAT YOU ASK FOR!  The phone runs on the CRAP SH$T Nextel network- which means that you CANNOT do conference calling – even though the phone has a button that says you can 3 way call and the worthless reps in the CRAP BOOST stores will tell you that you can - but they don’t know ANYTHING!! The camera takes CRAP pictures… and, if you’re charging the phone- it won’t turn on – no matter if you bang it into the wall.  Purchasing this phone is a bigger mistake than if you were to lose $2 million in the stock market- because you just wind up killing OTHERS along with yourself out of frustration dealing with it– and the MORONS at Boost. 

  • Allanharden

    the i1 is by far the biggest disappointment i have ever purchased in 53 years    it regularly does what it wants from dialing multiple people in the middle of the night when nobody is within 30 feet of it  to uncontrollable spurts of shear stupidity    this phone should be called a dummy phone not a smart phone….  oh did i mention the 425.00 with tax paper weight  has a battery that goes dead after three to five hours and it is only 4 months old   the dealer i got it from says  he cant do anything about it (90 day warranty)     and motorola has no clue what to do   dont even try to attach it to your laptop   it will charge the phone but connection?      never happen    1.5 version software does not support 3g     so why advertise it that it does.    maybe ill be lucky and all this rain will wash it down the river to mexico      maybe they can find a use for it other than an expensive paper weight 

  • Nsrokfan

    I don’t have this , but i just got the Huawei m735 and i’t is so slow that i am brought back to the days of the first color screen Nokias … basically i’m gonna fork over the $250 deposit and go with  att 

  • Nsrokfan

    oh the Huawei is through metropcs

  • Free2bme1977

    i have the boost i1 phone and i have to say i love it!! i agree its not the fastiest but you wont see me screem at the end of the month like most of my girls do when they see how much they talk n txt a month i didnt see to much about the music and this i enjoy very much as well. im usually around wifi alot at home work and so on so dont have much of a prob. Overall the cost of my phone has paid for its self n then some. i also walkie talkie at work alot. i have to say the back peace is a pain in the beep… but i havent had to deal with it intill i upgraded one of my chips.

  • Cfpineiro

    The boost Motorola i1 is in my opinion a very good work phone. I only hope that in the near future boost mobile would respect us faithful costumers and come up with an all weather motorola hybrid upgrade model that would use the Sprint cdma network in combination with iden and in deed the pre-paid service.

  • Annisha12345678910

    How Much Does It Cost For A Boost Mobile Motorola i1?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paulina-Pelaez/599073932 Paulina Pelaez

    I really don’t understand why people that *don’t plan on using or have never used the PTT* functionality are complaining about the “phone”. Why even buy a “phone” that was MADE for Boost and Nextel, when you don’t even use its #1 feature, which is the walkie-talkie. You should really go see the “phones” that Nextel and Boost users have access to, for us, this phone is super awesome and “next-gen”. For people like me that NEED the PTT feature this phone and the newer Samsung Galaxy are the fanciest phones you can get.

    If you want a super fancy and extremely expensive PHONE, go buy one with NO Direct-Connect. If you get this *walkie-talkie* or the Samsung Galaxy and you DON’T use Nextel or Boost, then you’re doing something seriously wrong and wasting a key feature this thing has. Also keep in mind that most people that use the walkie-talkie, don’t use it because “it’s cool” but for work. You should see the amount of people that work in construction, etc, that have Nextels. That is the ONLY reason why this phone is more “heavy-duty” than regular phones but still manages to look somewhat sleek; I’ve dropped my phone too many times to count, and it’s still in wonderful working condition.

    I personally have no complaints and I’ve had this phone for over a year. Downloaded applications from the Android market load just fine, media streams smoothly, and it’s the first time I’ve been able to use an mp3 as my ringtone without it sounding horrible. The Telenav GPS application is amazing, and it’s also the first time I’ve been able to use a working GPS on any Boost or Nextel phone. It got me through a one week vacation in Florida (my boyfriend and I really wanted to go to Denny’s) and for that I’m 100% thankful to this phone. However, I can’t deny that if Apple made an iPhone with the Direct-Connect feature, I’d buy it no matter what. Same goes for those “super fancy” looking phones out there. Since that is not going to happen though, I’ll stick to this one for now.

    I recommend this phone for people who use the Direct-Connect feature every single day but still want a nice looking phone, either for work, or just because 97% of your family uses Nextel/Boost.

  • Mr.Hung-like-a-Horse

    Time has passed on, and the i1 AND push-to-talk network, are both memories. With that said, my i1 is sitting in my dresser drawer as a reminder of “buyer beware”. definitely not one of my better purchases. SLOW (and i mean, slow!) downloads, youtube only worked once in the entire year and a half i used it, and then after i reached my maximum shrinkage goal ($35 after 18 months of on-time payments), boost reverses and starts charging me full price because they were getting rid of their iDen network. So, any readers happen to wander upon this old blog, remember: “high insight is most certainly 20/20 vision !”

Back to top ▴