Sprint quietly dropped another Android-powered handset in the lineup yesterday with the rugged Motorola i886.  Running an unknown version of Android, the phone is the first to feature a side-sliding QWERTY keyboard with Nextel Direct Connect.  The specs are nothing to get excited over but that should be expected at a $79.99 price point.

Details include a 2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, group messaging and GPS support.  Even after we checked Sprint.com we came away scratching our heads at the meat and potatoes hardware.  All we really know at this point is that the phone is built to handle the 810G military specifications and can handle all the shock, vibration, dust, and extreme temperatures you can throw at it.

Pick one up for $79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year service agreement.

Motorola i886

Built tough and slim – boasting a full QWERTY keyboard & the power of direct-connect

Motorola i886 is the first handset with a side-sliding full QWERTY keyboard and Nextel Direct Connect®.
The combination of texting, email and Nextel Direct Connect make this device the ultimate tool for instant
communication. As an added bonus, it’s built tough to meet Military specification 810G requirements for
dust, shock, vibration, low and high temperature, low pressure and solar radiation, all while maintaining a
slim profile! Motorola i886 supports all the Nextel Direct Connect features, including Direct SendSM, Direct
TalkSM, Group Connect® and Next Mail®. It is also equipped with a 2MP camera, stereo Bluetooth®, MP3
player, group messaging and GPS.


Direct Connect for instant, one-to-one push-to-talk communication nationwide with any other Nextel Direct
Connect subscriber

Group Connect to communicate or coordinate activities with up to 20 other Nextel Direct Connect subscribers
all at once – nationwide

International Direct ConnectSM lets you instantly connect from the United States to users in other eligible
countries, including Canada and Mexico, and lets you make and receive push-to-talk calls while travelling in
those countries

Direct Talk offers a reliable backup all-digital, off-network, push-to-talk service that works anywhere, anytime
between compatible phones for short-range communications (range will vary based on terrain and conditions
and in-building performance)

Direct Send sends pictures or contact information to other Direct Send-capable phones using the Direct
Connect button

Group Messaging to send messages to groups of up to 20 people at the same time

NextMail lets you send voice messages to any email address to document and track activity using the Direct
Connect button


Rugged design meets Military specification 810G requirements for dust, shock, vibration, low and high
temperature, low pressure and solar radiation

Sliding design with full QWERTY keyboard

Access to email, including Exchange ActiveSync, POP3 and IMAP

Instantly send and receive SMS text messages across the room or across the country

Send or receive Multimedia Messages (either audio, images, text, or all three in the same message) to or from
email addresses and other capable users

2.0 megapixel camera and camcorder with digital zoom

Built-in MP3 player

GPS Navigation enabled

Advanced Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Technology 2.1 with EDR

Supports up to 32 GB MicroSD card (2 GB card included)


Dimensions: 4.58 inches x 2.01 inches by 0.73 inches (116.3 mm x 51.1 mm x 18.5 mm)

Weight: 4.98 ounces (141.2 grams)

Display: 2.2-inch 65K TFT (240 x 320)

Battery Specifications: 1380 mAh Lithium-ion

Talk Time: up to 4.08 hours talk time1

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  1. Why did they even bother? :)

    The “i” surely means this is a IDEN/Nextel/BoostMobile phone. So, buy a rugged phone that will be useless in 2 years anyway when the Nextel network is shut down (though I guess someone else could buy the spectrum).

    Not only that, it’s a low spec’d phone! :)

    • Another great reason for this phone. I don’t have to pay forced data charges that I don’t need. I can use active sync on my computer for calendar and contacts. Data is great for some but not for others that have plenty of wifi access and don’t need to pay for it. You should be able to get what ever phone you want without having to pay for services you don’t need Unfortuantly that is not possiable now..

  2. Most of these rugged phones aren’t truly designed for consumer use so, no, you probably don’t want this phone. However, there are plenty of field workers dying for a rugged phone that’s better than the i680 ‘Brute’ which we pleasantly call the wussie around my office. And yes, the iDEN network will in fact be phased out, but in the mean-time some people still do need their direct-connect (construction, warehouse workers, etc.)

    I’m a huuuuge fan of the Evo 4G and better phones myself, don’t get me wrong, but I also understand why some people are still on their Nextel.

    • Gotcha. I just don’t understand why they don’t 1) start phasing in a direct connect scheme for the Sprint network instead of bringing out a low end device like this for IDEN that very well might outlive the sunsetting of nextel itself…and/or 2) introduce a nicer device. I mean, my guess is that at 2.2 inches, it doesn’t even have a touch screen. Will it actually be better than the Nextel/Boost Android that’s out now (the i1 I think)? There’s a rugged 2.1 android available for europe/TMo called the Defy. Why not give you an IDEN version of that?

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