If you thought the aging i290 was about ready for replacement, we've got some great news for you -- the updated i296 is upon us. It's an ultra-basic device by any measure, seeing how it lacks a camera, music player, and web access, but if you're just looking for a marginally stylish way to get your chirp-chirp on, this might be a decent way to do it. As with many (if not most) iDEN devices in recent memory, the candybar is mil-spec 810F compliant for dust, shock, and vibration resistance, and it runs just $59.95 contract free -- let's see you try to get that kind of a deal on a smartphone, eh? Follow the break for Boost's press release.

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Just in Time for Outdoor Summer Fun, Boost Mobile Launches Rough and Tough Motorola i296

The slim, yet rugged candy-bar design handset is perfect
for the on-the-go talker and texter

IRVINE, Calif. - Summer is here, which means hiking, biking, and other outdoor adventures - making the durable Motorola i296 from Boost Mobile the ideal phone for fun in the sun. The Motorola i296 is a perfect complement to the Boost Mobile $50 Monthly Unlimited plan, which includes nationwide unlimited voice, text messaging, Web, e-mail, calls to 411, and instant messaging without an annual contract. For those Monthly Unlimited customers with an iDEN Series handsets, nationwide walkie-talkie service is also included.

"The Motorola i296 is the perfect device for consumers looking for reliability with all the basic functions," said Neil Lindsay, chief marketing officer, Boost Mobile. "The features of the i296 combined with the Boost Monthly Unlimited offer make for a great value package for those who love to talk and text."

The Motorola i296 delivers best-in-class durability as it is built to U.S. military-standard 810F requirements for dust, shock and vibration resistance that will withstand drops and spills. With the i296 handset's Boost® Walkie-Talkie capability, customers can instantly connect with friends and family at the push of a button. Use of Nationwide Boost® Walkie-Talkie is included in the $50 Monthly Unlimited plan, giving consumers with an iDEN Series handset the opportunity to connect with more than 277 million people nationwide on the Nextel National Network.

Motorola i296 is available now at www.boostmobile.com for $59.99 (excluding taxes) with free shipping. The phone is also available now through Boost Mobile exclusive retail stores and select independent wireless dealer locations. Later this summer, Motorola i296 will be sold at Best Buy, Target and Sprint Wireless stores.

Motorola i296 Features:
Nationwide Walkie-Talkie capability
Bluetooth®
GPS and wireless Web-enabled
Multimedia and text messaging
Speakerphone with voice-activated dialing
Downloadable games, wallpapers and real music ringtones
600-entry phonebook
Alarm clock, calendar, calculator and voice-memo recorder

About Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile, one of Sprint's prepaid brands, offers wireless phones and services with no long-term contracts. Boost Mobile redefines value for wireless consumers with its 'Monthly Unlimited' service, offering unlimited nationwide talk, text, Web, e-mail, IM and 411 for $50 per month, and with its 'BlackBerry Monthly Unlimited' service, offering unlimited nationwide talk, text, Web, e-mail, IM and 411 for $60 per month. Boost Mobile offers nationwide service on the Nationwide Sprint Network, reaching more than 276 million people, and on the Nextel National Network, reaching more than 277 million people, with no activation or long distance fees. Boost Mobile offers a selection of quality handsets from Motorola, Sanyo, Research In Motion (RIM) and Samsung, ranging from entry-level to high-end devices. Boost Mobile phones are available nationwide at nearly 20,000 major retail stores, including Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Wal-mart, Sprint retail stores, independent wireless dealer locations, and on HSN, a leading TV home shopping network; and Re-Boost® is available at approximately 100,000 locations throughout the United States. Experience Boost Mobile on the Web at MySpace, Facebook and Twitter; and purchase products at www.boostmobile.com.