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The Motorola i580 is a serious-looking piece of equipment. It’s not sleek or shiny, but it’s ruggedly handsome, bulk and utilitarian with a he-man look that says, “I’m practical.” And indeed, Nextel likes to boast that its handsets are certified to military specs for dust, shock, rain, and vibrations. Thus the Motorola i580 has a thick rubberized exterior that’s in two tones of business gray with a solid over-sized hinge for the long-term durability of its flip-case form factor. Sturdy too is its extendable antenna, and all ports and jacks, such as its Micro SD slot and headphone jack along the right spine, are protected by little rubber flap-covers.
The Motorola i580 features a 600-name phone book with room for up to seven numbers per entry, and can be specifically paired with your choice of twelve monophonic or three polyphonic ring tones. The phone also supports Nextel’s second-line service, whereby a different telephone number – with a different area code, even – can be used on the same phone. This is helpful for business users who may want to keep work and personal calls separate and not mix business with pleasure!
Mixing business with pleasure is the point, however, of many a smartphone and convergence device, and the Motorola i580 doesn’t pretend to be any exception, as the market clearly favors do-it-alls. Thus the i580 also doubles as an .mp3 player, and it includes a 1.3 megapixel flash camera as well. Wireless web browsing is available, as is a kind of on-demand TV. The phone has 25MB of internal memory, though as mentioned before there is Micro SD available. Of course, as a Nextel handset “chirp” or walkie-talkie radio is offered, at a range of up to six miles away. Bluetooth is supported. Rounding out its fairly rich feature set, GPS tracking services are also offered.
Battery life is rated at approximately three hours of talking time, with a standby of almost three days. The 1.8-inch screen supports 262,000 colors at a resolution of 176x220 pixels. It weighs just over five ounces at 2.1 by 1.1 inches. A small external display shows the time and date, signal strength, battery life, and Caller ID (where available) in monochrome. Bulky and utilitarian in looks, the i580 looks like the very portrait of a Nextel phone, intended for serious, practical applications in field conditions likely to be less than ideal. When in the market for a phone tough enough for military usage, Motorola’s i580 from Nextel should definitely be considered.