Motorola Admiral

Sure looks extremely similar to a BlackBerry device, doesn't it? Well, the Motorola Admiral is far from a BlackBerry device, in fact it is an Android 2.3.4 powered device that offers a 3.1-inch display and a physical QWERTY on the bottom. For someone like myself who began their smartphone days with a BlackBerry device the form factor is very comforting, and the keyboard is the best I have felt to date on any Android device. Very similar in size and shape to the Motorola Droid Pro, the biggest difference on this one is the display.

Unlike the Droid Pro, this 3.1-inch display offers a 640x480 resolution, making the display a lot crisper, and worth using. While 3.1-inch is small in comparison to most of the 4-inch displays we are used to seeing, the combination of this sized display and the keyboard makes for a near perfect (to me atleast) form factor.

Software wise this is running Android 2.3.4 with the usual PhilBlur on top of it, but the 1.2GHz processor allows the software to move quite smoothly. The 5MP camera on the back also supports video capture of up to 720P, which is more than enough for a camera on your cell phone.

Priced at only $99 on a new contract, if you are looking to replace your old BlackBerry device with something new, or looking to regain that form factor, the Motorola Admiral is something you won't want to pass up. Hit the break for a video tour, and some additional pictures!


Motorola Admiral  Motorola Admiral

Motorola Admiral  Motorola Admiral

Motorola Admiral  Motorola Admiral


Reader comments

Hands-on with the Motorola Admiral


Cool. I was disappointed because I didn't see the FFC mentioned before. Since it has that I might be able to talk the wife out of the old BB.

I'm pretty sure the Admiral doesn't have a FFC. There's a prox sensor on the front, but no camera.

He's pretty specific saying it has a VGA ffc. But I never saw that in any spec sheets. I'd love if it did have that. I wonder if it does or not. The local Sprint Corporate store doesnt have an Admiral, Evo Design, or Marquee on display to play with. But they have a GIANT display with two iPhail 4S' on display... Honestly that space could be used to display like 6 more phones, but nope. Apple has priority. Stupid Sprint.

In my opinion, having a physical keyboard just wastes space. I almost never used the physical keyboard on my OG Droid.

Back in the days of my G1 on T-Mobile I also had a Palm Pixi on Sprint. Honestly that form factor is probably the best form factor for productivity IMO. Because if you have a keyboard that is hidden you'll usually not bother to flip it out and use it. I think its something in the human brain that figures the less steps possible is best. However once you have that keyboard out all the time you tend to use it every single time. Once my Pixis all failed, after 3 warranty replacements. Sprint upgraded me to the Pre, and I started to notice how frustrated I was always having to flip out that keyboard, being that webOS didn't have an OSK. My G1 I would just use the OSK and never flip out the keyboard. So I've been in your case.

Just from my personal experience I think portrait QWERTY with a touchscreen is the best form factor besides the slate phones. But that's just for my personal tastes...

The difference with the Droid was that it took two additional steps to use the keyboard. You had to turn it sideways, then slide it open. Not to mention close it. I felt the same way about my G2. I probably used it five times total and mostly forgot it existed. When the keyboard is right there, ready to go all the time, it's amazing.

Obviously the vast majority of people are happy typing on the on-screen keyboard - otherwise they'd be making and selling alot more of this form factor.

But for an e-mail chomping machine on par with my Blackberry, this thing is perfect because it requires NO COMPROMISES on my part.

I didn't use the keyboard on my Transform that much, because I had to slide it out, but I use the ones on my Replenish and my Droid Pro all the time. Having the keyboard right there in front, easy to access, makes a huge difference in actually using it. Touchscreen keyboards just don't cut it for me, so having phones like this is great.

I like that they only have the keyboard and the touchscreen. The devices in that form factor with an additional trackpad/trackball just seem out of sorts to me. This looks like a great device to lure Blackberry users over to Android.

I've had the Admiral for two weeks (as of yesterday), and still find the lack of arrow keys/trackpad/d-pad/trackball aggravating. It's far easier to move/place one's cursor precisely using arrow keys/etc than by touch, even with the improved cursor navigation in 2.3 (relative to my prior experience with 2.1, anyway). Additionally, some apps function much better with the aid of navigation keys--ConnectBot (ssh client) in particular has caused me to lament this.

Links to more reviews are available in the forums:

The directional pad is certainly nice. I'd love to see a phone with decent specs that has a D-pad in the middle and hard keys for the Android navigation buttons on either side.

I miss my droid pro. anyone know how to factory reset in the recovery without working volume buttons? I thought about using adb but adb won't recognize the phone. I love my droid incredible but miss the hardware keyboard. :(

Also, what Jared says about the keyboard is true, it's amazing. The second best keyboard I've ever used outside the Samsung Intrepid (WM 6.5...another phone that only 8 people on the face of the earth ever held, let alone bought).

Had mine for about 3 weeks. Coming from a Pre I'm really liking it. Interestingly, mine is running 2.3.5 and not 2.3.4.

To the person complaining that a keyboard wastes space, I tried a Photon for 30 days and yes if you are watching a video its wasted space but if you are trying to write an email, a text or surf the web the virtual keyboard eats the vast majority of the screen. In those instances (which I use constantly) the keyboard provides much more screen space. Not to mention that I am much faster and more accurate with a real keyboard.

My major complaint is that there are lots of apps not compatible with the device. I still don't understand if its the odd screen resolution or the 2.3.5 but its annoying.

Wheres the trackpad or arrow keys???

None of these qwerty's will get bb users away from their crack unless they have a trackpad. Nothing beats it for text editing. Sorry, the cute touch text selectors comlpetely defeat the purpose of having a keybd.

This is marginally better than a droid pro, which was a totally useless phone. Blur is insulting.

When this getting ICS? Never.