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Spotlight Review: Motorola Brute i686 phone

Overall Rating

Senior Friendly Features

Cool Factor


Wireless Interface :


Speakerphone :


Accessability Features :

Audible battery alert

Accessability Features :

Hearing aid compatible

Accessability Features :

Vibrating alert

Quick Specs

Flip phone
Service Provider: 
Sprint Nextel
+ See more specifications


If you’re hard on cell phones and need one you can rely on, check out Motorola’s Brute i686. It’s a flip phone that has a rubberized outer covering to protect it from falls, and it can be dropped into a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Perfect if you have a tendency to drop phones in puddles or at the pool, or spill drinks on them from time to time. Don’t know if they’ve been tested against wine or beer spills, but we’ll guess that it probably wouldn’t break this phone. Also should be fine if you find yourself working or playing in the rain from time to time.

It’s a Sprint/Nextel phone, also with push-to-talk (walkie talkie) features, a customizable interface, storage for up to 600 contacts, and a 2 megapixel camera with an LED light. The camera can also shoot low-res (less than standard definition) video at 15 frames per second, about half the rate of normal video. Good for the web.

The outside has a typical flip phone display, with time, signal strength, battery meter, and caller ID/messaging display. Inside screen is 2.2 inches. Not the biggest display, but pretty clear. The phone does have a web browser, but the web experience on a tiny screen isn’t great even for people with really good eyesight. In a pinch, it works. Built in aGPS receiver makes it work ok as a navigator.

The i686 can play music in a variety of formats, including MP3, AAC, H.264, MIDI and more. Bluetooth 2.1 capability means your Bluetooth headset works with it for calls and music, and it can also play through any car or home stereo system equipped to work with Bluetooth music streaming. There’s also a built in calculator and alarm clock.

It’s more expensive than a traditional flip phone, many of which are free with a contract, but if you break a lot of phones then you might like this one that is certified to Military Spec 810g for immersion, blowing rain, dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, low pressure, salt fog, humidity and solar radiation.


Read our Senior Friendly Guide to Cellphones.

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