The Motorola i886 is a unique phone, reviewers say. It's not a smartphone, yet it runs the Android operating system. And while it lacks the functionality of a smartphone, it boasts some unique features of its own. "No longer is Android confined to smartphones, touch screens or high-end hardware," says PhoneArena.com reviewer "Brian K."
Built to military specifications for durability, PCMag.com's Jamie Lendino says Sprint's Motorola i886 is "chunky and rugged." In front are a bright 2.2-inch LCD screen and a speaker that Lendino describes as "wonderfully loud, clear and powerful" (other reviewers report hearing a hissing sound, however). A rubberized back panel covers access to the battery and microSD slot.
The i886 is Nextel's first phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which some reviewers say is a bit flimsy. Along the sides, you'll find a volume rocker, push-to-talk button, speaker key, 3.5 mm headset jack, camera key and microUSB port. It has a decent music player, reviewers say, but its 2-megapixel camera lacks a flash and auto focus. Call quality is good, they note, as is battery life.
Despite running Android, the i886 doesn't have access to Gmail, Google apps or the Android Market; users can access over 100,000 apps from the GetJar app store, though. Other than PhoneScoop.com reviewer Eric Zemen, who gripes about buttons being "everywhere," experts are generally impressed with the i886.
Reviewer Jamie Lendino says the i886 may not be a smartphone but is "the first non-touch version of Android on a handset," and this puts it in a unique and lucrative market position. At least that's until the price of Android phones becomes competitive with feature phones, he adds.
Review: Motorola i886 (Sprint), Jamie Lendino, Jan. 26, 2011
Reviewer Nicole Lee finds the i886 to be "very functional," with "fabulous" call quality. She criticizes its lack of Wi-Fi capability, however, and she notes that the camera takes "average" images and videos at best.
Review: Motorola i886 (Sprint), Nicole Lee, Feb. 11, 2011
Reviewer "Brian K." says that the i886 "is somewhat of a curiosity" that could represent "a seminal event in Android history. He finds many good qualities in the i886 but says its lack of Google apps, especially Gmail, is a serious problem.
Review: Motorola i886 Review, "Brian K.", Jan. 18, 2011
Reviewer Eric Zemen says the i886 a great voice phone with "very good battery life," even though it is not a smartphone and isn't compatible with Google apps or the Android Marketplace. Still, he says, "If you are in the market for a semi-rugged Push-To-Talk phone that offers a QWERTY keyboard, then the Motorola i886 meets those minimal requirements.
Review: Review: Motorola i886, Eric M. Zeman, Jan. 26, 2011