Motorola Admiral
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Motorola Admiral -- There She Blows

A tough walkie-talkie device for nearly all conditions -- except multimedia.

CDMA 800 / 900
Form Factor:
Block / Google Android OS v2.3
119 x 62 x 12 mm
Touch Screen / QWERTY Keypad
Battery Type:
1860 mAh Li-Ion
Talk Time:
9 hours
Standby Time:
3.3 days
4.0 GB
Radiation (SAR):
Medium Radiation (1.06 W/kg)

Main Screen:
TFT (Accelerometer / Ambient Light Sensor)
16,700,000 colors (480 x 640 px)
Secondary Screen:
5.0 MP / LED Flash / Zoom / Video Recorder

MP3 Player:
MP3 / AAC / WMA / M4A / WAV
FM Radio:
Dual Microphone (Noise Cancellation)
Direct Connect / Group Connect

480 x 640 px
Screen Savers:
480 x 640 px
Android Market
Streaming Multimedia:
DivX / MPEG-4 / H.263 / WMV3 / YouTube

POP3 / IMAP4 / SMTP / Gmail
AOL / Google / Windows Live / Yahoo
Predictive Text:
Swype / Handwriting Recognition

Google Calendar
To-Do List:
2.0 (Webkit / Google Search)
Voice Commands:

2.1 (A2DP / AVRCP / HFP / HSP / OPP / SPP)
Infrared Port:
High-Speed Data:
cdma2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A
802.11 b/g/n
Compass (Google Maps)
PC Sync:
USB 2.0


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The Motorola Admiral is one tough cookie of a phone, long on durability but short on features. It looks like a BlackBerry, but it's made of sturdier stuff. It's a great choice if you tend to drop or break your phones, but if you're looking for a top-of-the-line camera and a first-rate OS, you'll probably pass.

Sprint offers the Motorola Admiral for $100 with a 2-year plan, and it's not a bad deal, considering you get military-grade hardiness. The 4.7-by-2.4-by-0.5 inch body is a mixture of glass and plastic, and it meets military standards for resistance to dust, shock, solar radiation, low pressure, extreme temperatures and vibration.

If you squint, the Admiral can pass for a BlackBerry, with the same curved shape and similarly-designed four-row keyboard with raised buttons. And even though it's a sturdy phone, it's lightweight at just under five ounces. The display is shockingly puny for such a robust phone -- a mere 3.1-inches that's covered in Gorilla Glass for a nearly indestructible surface. But despite the size, you can still read text and look at websites and images without a problem, thanks to a sharp 480-by-640 pixel resolution. The screen has touch capabilities, but you're probably going to stick with the keyboard for longer messages, since it's difficult to tap out texts with accuracy in such little space.

The back is easy-to-hold, with a softer, texturized case. You can't hurl this phone off a building, but it can definitely withstand a few more light fumbles than your average Android device.

The 5-megapixel camera, though, just isn't that good -- the shutter is slow, and even though the photos turn out halfway-decent, if you're taking them under ideal conditions, they start getting really washed out and blurry in sunlight. The auto-focus, frankly, is terrible, and on top of that, the video quality is equally bad, mostly because the accompanying audio is ridiculously loud.

The Admiral runs Gingerbread with a Motorola Blur overlay, complete with utterly unnecessary Sprint bloatware. Aside from the annoyance of scrolling past Sprint Mobile Wallet -- especially since you can't uninstall all of the pre-loaded apps -- the Blue interface is functional and doesn't interfere too much with the standard Gingerbread experience. There's also a great pre-installed app that makes it easy to turn the Admiral into a hotspot, as long as you're willing to pay a bit extra. If you're out camping or fishing or doing something vaguely outdoorsy and you want to use a laptop or tablet for something, this comes in super handy.

If you get a few friends together and all purchase the Admiral, the push-to-talk feature can be fun -- you're basically buying a walkie-talkie and a phone at the same time, and it works outside of Sprint covered areas, so it's a pretty great choice if you're a regular deep-woods camper. There's a "Direct Connect" button next to the volume on the left side of the phone that activates the push-to-talk feature, but if you don't have anyone to chat with, you can re-program the button to turn on other features.

The speakerphone and volume are loud, befitting a phone designed for use in adverse conditions. As far as coverage goes, it's not equipped to run on 4G, but Sprint's CDMA network gives it decent speeds anyways.

If you're the outdoorsy-type, the Admiral won't be for you. You're going to want to snap a photo or video of your adventures, and it just won't cut it. But if you have another device ready for your media needs, it's a pretty solid bargain if you value durability.

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User Reviews

Rating: 5 of 5 Good business phone

NVFisherman on February 10, 2013

I was looking to transition from a Blackberry 9850. This phone has a much louder speaker. The antenna seems better and I now get 4 to 5 bars everywhere. I got 2 to 3 bars with the Blackberry. I could care less about most of the apps. I use this as a business phone and I really like the keyboard. Almost as good as the Blackberry

Email is not as good as Blackberry. Have had some problems getting pdf files to review. Battery life is fair.

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Rating: 1 of 5 Piece of CRAP...

RedVette56 on March 09, 2013

There is not too much to love about the Admiral. It shuts down on it's own when talking with someone.

It shuts off on it's own without touching anything. The Push To Talk is crappy and doesn't work half the time. The phone is very slow to catch up when writing an email or texting..

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Rating: 0 of 5 Worst Phone

Balou on October 12, 2012

There's nothing good I can say about this phone. Well it's a company phone, so I didn't have to pay for it.

The military standard rating is a joke. I splashed some water on phone and it just got destroyed. Then I got a new phone, and now it keeps turning off on its own. It keeps locking up when you try to run apps. And phone service sucks if you're not in major city. Lastly, the battery won't make it through the day. So save your money. Go to AT&T or Verizon. You will be a lot happier with phones and service.

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Rating: 0 of 5 Slow phone

Dave Clark on April 26, 2013

3G Data, screen and keyboard.
That's it.

The phone is appalling!
It's slow (taking sometimes 10 minutes to dial a phone after hanging up on a call), has bad battery life even with no additional apps installed on the OS.

Having moved to the Admiral from a Blackberry to have 3G on a Push to Talk phone, I find myself missing my BlackBerry even if it didn't have 3G data!

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