The $69 99 Motorola i412 Boost is an inexpensive, average feature phone that operates on Boost Mobile’s push-to-talk (PTT) network. It doesn’t do anything to stand out from the pack, but it’s a decent option for users that need a simple cell phone with PTT capability. Still, there are better options out there that aren’t much more expensive.
Design and Call Quality
A standard flip phone, the i412 is covered almost entirely in shiny blue plastic, save for a matte black band that runs around the perimeter of the phone. It measures 3.8 by 1.9 by .8 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.7 ounces. Though it isn’t a rugged phone, the i412 feels solid. The hinge is sturdy and the inside is made of black and gray soft touch plastic that feels nice and grippy. A thin external display shows the battery life, date, ringer status, and time, but it’s a bit awkward. The display is vertical, but the text reads horizontally, so you have to hold the phone sideways to read it properly. Inside, the 1.8-inch LCD has a depressingly low 128-by-160 resolution, which looks a bit soft and washed out. The number pad is comfortable, and the navigation and selection keys work fine. I had no problem making my way through the phone’s simple UI, though the multiple menu pages are a bummer to flip through.
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The i412 is an iDEN device with no Wi-Fi. Call quality was just okay. Incoming calls sounded a bit scratchy and robotic, and maximum volume in the earpiece was a touch too low. Outgoing calls sounded similarly fuzzy, though the phone did a decent job with noise reduction. The speakerphone goes very loud, but again had a scratchy quality. Calls sounded loud and clear through an Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth headset ($99, 4 stars), but voices were incredibly thin. Voice dialing worked fine once properly trained, and push-to-talk calls sounded good. The vibrate function was plenty alarming and battery life was decent at 6 hours and 25 minutes.
At one point in testing the earpiece stopped working completely. I checked every setting on the phone but to no avail. I had to power off the phone completely to remove and replace the battery before the earpiece began working again.
Motorola i412 Boost Specifications
- Service Provider
- Screen Size
- 1.8 inches
- Screen Details
- 128-by-160, 65K-color TFT LCD screen
- Motorola i412 Boost Network
- 800, 900
Motorola i412 Boost Apps, Features, and Conclusions
Boost’s $50 per month plan offers unlimited voice calls, texting, and Web access, which is a pretty fantastic value. Better yet, that $50 monthly fee is reduced by $5 for every 6 payments you make on time, until you reach $35. Unfortunately, at 24kbps, the iDen network is the slowest digital mobile network in America. The phone’s Myriad Web browser did a decent job rendering basic WAP pages, but it certainly wasn’t quick. You can browse the Web in a pinch, but Web fanatics should look elsewhere.
Text messaging isn’t particularly advanced, but Motorola i412 Boost fine for a standard feature phone. I was able to send and receive messages easily, and the messaging menu was simple to navigate. Java-based email and IM support is included for AOL, Gmail, Windows Live, and Yahoo users, and there’s support for other IMAP and POP3 email accounts as well. The number pad is fine for typing messages, but you’d get a lot more chat for your buck by choosing a phone with a QWERTY keyboard.
The Motorola i412 Boost is a poor media phone. The 2.5mm headphone jack makes it difficult to find headphones. But with just 5MB of internal memory and no microSD card slot, you wouldn’t be able to fit music files on the phone anyway. The .3-megapixel VGA camera took very poor photos. They were so blurry and lacking in detail that they were nearly indistinguishable. It’s also difficult to get photos off of the phone (not that you’d want to), so you’re better off just ignoring the camera completely.
Motorola i412 Boost A number of standard apps are built-in, including a calendar and voice recorder, as well as a couple of Java apps. There’s also GPS support, but that’s about Motorola i412 Boost as far as extras are concerned. You can download additional ringtones, wallpapers, and games from Boost, but you can’t use your own.
While the Motorola i412 Boost is a decent option for Boost Mobile users looking for a simple push-to-talk device, there are better options available. The Motorola i296 ($49.99, 2.5 stars) is a hair less expensive than the i412, though it too suffers from dated features and mediocre voice quality. The Sanyo Incognito SCP-6760 ($79.99, 3.5 stars) doesn’t have push-to-talk, but Motorola i412 Boost does have a great QWERTY keyboard and nicer screen, along with much faster data speeds. But if you need push-to-talk, the decision is simple: for an additional $30, the Motorola Clutch +i475 ($99.99, 3.5 stars) will give you vastly superior voice quality, a much better screen, and a great QWERTY keyboard.