updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon March 22, 2010
Moto i1 ties Android to iDEN, Opera Mini
Motorola today ended speculation over its smartphones in uncovering the i1, the first push-to-talk Android phone. The full-touch Android 1.5 gives instant calls over iDEN and uses Google's OS to its advantage over other PTT phones: it can show the caller regardless of the open app. It's also unique in coming with Opera Mini 5 to provide fast browsing over the slower iDEN network in addition to Wi-Fi.
Although hardened to the US military's 810F standards for resistance to dust, shock and splashes, the i1 is pitched as a media phone and uses Swype for faster on-screen typing and carries a 5-megapixel camera. It has just a 3.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, but it uses new Monster Glass that should be more resistant to scratches and other rough conditions.
The i1 is most closely connected to Sprint, where it will arrive in the summer, but won't ship there first. SouthernLINC today said it would have the Motorola phone in the spring, edging out the larger carrier by weeks.
Update: We initially wrote that it used MOTOBLUR; although it uses certain Motorola-specific interface elements such as the call and end buttons, the rest of the OS is Google's reference Android 1.5 design.