Sure there are a lot of superphones out there but anyone who has followed Thedroidguy over the last few years knows I like unique phones and in my personal Android experience productivity is key. The productivity part is most evident in my tablet preferences, for instance the Toshiba Thrive and the Lenovo Thikpad tablet are by leaps and bounds my favorite tablets.
Such is the case for the Motorola Admiral. Last year around this time, while everyone was getting ready for Gingerbread and the Nexus S I was proudly rocking the Motorola Droid Pro. Why? Because before Thedroidguy I was a Blackberry Guy (not theblackberryguy mind you but a Blackberry guy).
If you’re used to using a Blackberry than you are probably like me and your fingers just know how to type and walk, type and have eye contact with a fellow human being or type and do just about anything. The Motorola Admiral has a raised 4 row qwerty keyboard that feels very much like a Blackberry. After that though that’s where the word Blackberry ends and Android takes over.
The Motorola Admiral is the first phone on Sprint’s Direct Connect network. Now you’re probably saying WAIT! Nextel has been around for years and the i1 was the first Android phone with Direct Connect. For that you are correct but Sprint has developed a push to talk network that operates on the Sprint network rather than Nextel’s old proprietary iDEN network. Sprint is re-allocating the iDEN spectrum for their 4G/LTE rollout coming next year.
In addition to having direct connect the Admiral is running at 1.2ghz in a single core processor with 512mb of RAM. Unlike the iDEN Android phones, this phone offers the latest available version of Android at the time of release in Android 2.3.5, so it’s pretty zippy.
The 4 row qwerty keyboard sits below a 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touch screen which is sufficient enough for any hardcore business person or person out in the field.
There is a 5mp camera on the rear with an LED flash . Also on the back is a textured back plate which makes the phone easier to grip.
The Direct Connect is a breeze to use. The Admiral lets you store up to 20 direct connect numbers that can be accessed quickly by pushing the Direct Connect button on the left hand side of the phone. If you know more than 20 Direct Connect folks than you can store their Direct Connect numbers in your contacts and call them up through search or favorites.
One thing we noticed in testing the Admiral with Russell Holly from Geek.com and Korey Nicholson from Briefmobile.com is that the voice quality over the direct connect was eons clearer than the older iDEN network it was like the person was next to you. In some cases it was more clear than an actual call.
The other thing that makes this Direct Connect phone great is that we found out through our Sprint contact that the Admiral is backwards compatible to iDEN Direct Connect numbers so it’s a natural upgrade from Sprint-Nextel to just Sprint.
Battery Life was better than we thought it would be for a phone supporting a Direct Connect radio. With moderate push to talk communication we got about 8 hours of battery life.
This isn’t going to be for everyone but it’s a productivity beast especially for the outdoor sales person or someone in construction. It’s currently my daily driver.