Review: Motorola i580 rugged high tech phone

John Shepler reviews Motorola's new i580.

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The new Motorola i580 doesn't compromise between high tech and rugged. This tough cell phone designed for Nextel wireless service offers Bluetooth communications, huge color display, Megapixel camera and voice activated dialing in a phone that's at home in challenging situations. Are you sure this isn't really a RAZR in disguise? No way would a razor phone get caught in places the i580 goes. No way a razor phone would survive the way the i580 does with ease.

We can talk tough with confidence because the Motorola i580 isn't just a tough looking phone. It's built to the demanding Military 810F standard for dust, shock, vibration, salt fog, humidity and blowing rain. Try blowing rain on any other cell phone and see how long it keeps working. The i580 is quite happy to let you take it to the job site or out backpacking.

Before the Motorola i580 you had to decide between a tough phone that would take the abuse and the high tech features you really wanted. No more. Take Bluetooth for instance. There are many times when it is inconvenient or unsafe to be holding a cell phone. With Bluetooth, you clip one of those small wireless headsets on your ear and clip the phone back on your belt or put it in your pocket. Now you've got both hands free. You can even dial hands-free with the advanced voice driven menus of the i580. You also have the option to turn on the built-in speakerphone to carry on hands-free conversations.

High resolution photography is also something that never went hand-in-hand with ruggedness. Now it does. The Motorola i580 features a digital camera with 1.3 Megapixels of resolution. That's a maximum of 1280 x 1024 pixels. It includes an LED flash for lower light situations. This camera can also be put into camcorder mode to capture short video clips up to 10 seconds long. Built-in Memory is 25 MB and is expandable using the SD card format.

The main color display on the Motorola i580 is also way more than you would expect in a rugged phone. This one is 176 x 200 pixels and can display over 262,000 colors. That's the size and resolution you'll find in the avant garde Motorola RAZR V3c and way beyond what most cell phone displays are capable of.

Here's something else special about the Motorola i580. It supports standard cell phone operation and Nextel walkie-talkie style communications. Nextel is the leader in PTT or push-to-talk wireless. You just push a button on your phone and your voice comes out of the phone you are calling. No waiting for the phone to ring. You can even have group walkie-talkie conversations.

A rugged phone like this just begs to be taken out in the wilderness, perhaps into locations where there are no cell phone towers. For these situations, your i580 will work in what's called Direct Talk Off-Network service. That means it will work as a walkie-talkie directly with similarly enabled phones, without needing cell phone service. The phones directly communicate like two-way radio handsets.

The Motorola i580 is a work phone, an outdoors phone, a business phone and an everyday phone. It's got the multiple capabilities you want and need available in one phone. To learn more and order your Motorola i580 camera phone with Nextel wireless service. Or if you prefer a different model phone or perhaps a different cellular carrier, you can find exactly what you are looking for at Cell Phone Plans Finder.

T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer offers easy to understand information about complex telecommunications and networking technology. T1 Rex explains how T1 lines work, VoIP telephone, PBX, virtual private networks, digital audio transport, Wi-Fi & WiMax, fiber optic carriers and other business telecom services.

John Shepler has been a published writer for over 30 years. With a background in electronics engineering technology, he has worked in a variety of industries including radio broadcast, aerospace and manufacturing. Involved in telecommunications since 1998, he combines his interests in writing and technology with T1Rex.com and T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer.
Copyright 2003 - 2006 by John E. Shepler
Contact John at John@T1Rex.com

This was first published in July 2006

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