Motorola Admiral

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Reviewed by rendang (Currently owns)

I came from a Palm Pre (portrait QWERTY slider, 3.1" 320x480) running webOS on Sprint's network..

This user review takes in to consideration that I'm not looking for the biggest, baddest flagship phone. I was looking for something with good battery life, a solid build, a physical portrait QWERTY keyboard, and most importantly available on Sprint.

Battery life:
The Admiral has a 1860mAh (typical) battery, larger than iPhone, Photon, Evos, etc. which lasts a full day (12 hours) on one charge, with 4 email accounts, 2 calendars, Facebook, WhatsApp, ~ 1 hr of voice calls, 2+ hours of web surfing.

Solid build:
The Admiral is Mil-Spec 801G for dust, vibration, shock, extreme temperatures, solar but not water (although all ports have rubber covers). Also has Gorilla Glass and the bar form factor means no wobbly sliders to deal with!

Physical portrait QWERTY keyboard:
Portrait QWERTY keyboards allow for one handed typing (can't do that with a landscape QWERTY). The Admiral keys are spaced just right and have a good feel, no problems with double pressing. I'm disappointed that the numbers are arranged on the top row instead of grouped in a grid, so it makes it harder to input numbers. Also, the letter O (number 9) share a key right next to P (number 0) and I've hit 9 by accident so many times when trying to enter the number 0, just because my eyes are drawn to the more prominent letter "O" (number 9) key. Also wish the ALT and uppercase keys were switched so it's easier to capitalize letters, and long presses would bring up the ALT symbol.

Another nice thing about a physical keyboard is the ability to start bringin up a contact's name, application name, web search directly from the homescreen instead of having to bring up a dialer or launch the app drawer and scroll for what you're looking for. Unfortunately, I've found that while it works great with contacts, it is inconsistent with apps and may not sometimes list the app. Another problem is lag, I've found that contact actions sometimes don't respond immediately and the phone freezes for a few seconds (as the action is performed in the background).

Other good:
Call quality is extremely clear and loud.
Display is BRIGHT and crisp but don't expect AMOLED-like results found on flagship phones.
Dedicated notification LED alert.

Other bad:
Android capacative buttons (menu/home/back/search) do not register sometimes.
Phone lags at times despite having a 1.2GHz processor.
DC (Direct Connect) contact bug that doubles ALL contact entries, including non-DC numbers.
Wifi stuck turning on at times, requires a power-cycle to fix, may take it in.

Better rear facing camera that can take decent photos in anything but sunlight.
Forward facing camera (for skype, etc)
A slight screen size bump while keeping the form factor would've been nice
World phone capabilities

The Breakdown

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  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Design 8
  • Display 8
  • Camera(s) 6
  • Reception / call quality 9
  • Performance 7
  • Software 6
  • Battery life 9
  • Ecosystem 8
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