The Motorola i570 is a rugged clamshell offering that has been released by both Sprint Nextel in the US and Telus Mobility's Mike in Canada.
The i570 is specifically designed for less than ideal environments. It’s a sturdy device that meets military standards for resistance to water, exposure to dust and shock and has an overall heavier feel than other clamshells of similar dimensions.
What the screen lacks in resolution it makes up for in brightness! This phone appears to be designed for people working in the field, and a dusty, wet field at that.
Not many additional bells and whistles on this model, although it does have a 1.3MP camera, complete with 4X digital zoom and the ability to record up to 30 seconds of video (much more if you use additional SD memory). These camera features make sense, since people in the field may have a need to take pictures.
The keyboard layout of the i570 is troubling. Whereas a certain “assumed” universal standard placement of buttons has emerged with most cell phones, the i570 has an awkward layout. The menu button, which is generally found in the center of the directional pad, is instead on the left side of the directional pad. This is even more confusing since on the screen the menu button appears in the middle.
Also, instead of scrolling through icons you have to continuously hit the “more” button in order to see the next row of icons, which is tedious and unnecessary.
While this phone is clearly designed for people working in rugged conditions, people who most likely use their phones almost exclusively to communicate, the i570 nonetheless possesses music player functions. I think this is a mistake. If the goal is to produce a compact, rugged, reliable device, adding a challenging set of music playing features only moves it away from its goal.
The i570 will get the job done, but it will require a small learning curve as you adapt to its odd keypad.
by Scot Cerullo