updated 01:15 pm EST, Tue January 16, 2007
Motorola Blend and Buzz
Sprint's instant voice division Nextel on Tuesday began carrying a pair of Motorola phones that link to the provider's iDEN network. Named Blend and Buzz, the two can either connect quickly to Nextel's cross-country, instant voice network or use the phones for large-scale walkie-talkie chat in the Us and five other countries, including Canada. Each model can alternately speak to nearby Nextel handsets without requiring service. Both also have built-in GPS receivers for navigation and support the commonplace features of cellphones despite their utilitarian design: they connect to the Internet, send SMS texts, and have customizable ringtones.
The Buzz is designed for subscribers who regularly contend with harsh conditions, and is designed for military-strength resistance to dust, shock, and vibration, Sprint says; the more mainstream Blend (pictured) strips this protection to reduce cost. Sprint sells the pair of iDEN phones today for $250 (Buzz) and $230 (Blend) without a contract, but says that signing a two-year plan will lower the prices to $60 and $40 respectively. A photo of the Buzz while open can be found after the jump.