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Motorola's i886 for iDEN is running one of the strangest Android builds you've seen

Chris Ziegler

Motorola's i886 for Sprint's IDEN network featuring both landscape QWERTY and standard numeric keypads bowed during CES a few days back for $79.99 after $50 rebate on a two-year contract -- and as we'd observed a while back when we first saw the user's manual, it runs a pretty convincing Android clone UI. Turns out, though, it's less of a clone than you might think: Phone Scoop has discovered that the i886 -- which doesn't have a touchscreen -- is actually running real Android (albeit without the Android Market) accompanied by generic J2ME like you'd find on your average dumbphone. If we had to guess, Motorola took advantage of Android's status as a free, open-source platform here, tailoring it for the i886's needs without worrying about the normal Google certification process that would've earned them Market access -- and given the lack of a touchscreen, we're sure they wouldn't have been able to earn it anyway. From Moto's perspective, it seems like a good way to get a proven, familiar platform without a lot of engineering effort -- they can toss their proprietary platforms and save a little bit of cash in the process. Follow the break for Phone Scoop's video of the i886 in action.

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