It has been almost two years since Boost Mobile released its first messaging phone, the Motorola Clutch i465, and it's about time for a refresh. Motorola has indeed come through with a successor, dubbed the Clutch +i475. Though its features are largely unchanged, the Clutch has undergone a design overhaul that results in a roomier keyboard and a larger display. The iDEN phone has support for Boost's Push-to-Talk network, too. The Clutch +i475 is $99.99 without a contract.
The Clutch +i475 looks like a very different phone from the Clutch i465. At 4.23 inches long by 2.31 inches wide by 0.64 inch thick, the Clutch i475 is smaller and rounder, with curved corners and sloped sides. The back is clad in a rubbery textured finish that adds to its comfortable feel in the hand. Instead of red and silver edges, the Clutch is all black. The Clutch i475 is not as tough and durable as its predecessor, however; it is not certified against environmental hazards.
The small 2-inch display of the i475 is slightly bigger than the 1.79-inch screen on the i465, but that doesn't mean it's that much better. It's still rather lackluster, with a piddling 220x176-pixel resolution and 64,000 colors. Images lacked oomph, and while text is legible, it's not as smooth as we would like. The menu interface requires you to flip through multiple pages, which we aren't pleased with, either. You can adjust the backlight time and font size, however.
The Send and End/Power keys are large and flank the navigation array on both sides. The array consists of two soft keys on the top, the main menu and speakerphone keys on the bottom, and a circular navigation toggle in the middle. In the center of the toggle is a round select key. The toggle can also be configured to act as shortcuts to four user-defined functions.
We're happy to note that the keyboard on the Clutch i475 is much roomier than on its predecessor. The keys' bubblelike texture makes them easier to text and dial by feel as well. The number keys are highlighted in white and share the same space as letter keys, but we thought that was fine. The space bar is nice and spacious, and we appreciate the dedicated period key, plus the alt, shift, symbol, and return keys.
Rounding out the phone's exterior are the volume rocker and push-to-talk button on the left spine, and the Micro-USB port on the right. On the top is the 2.5mm headset jack, and the camera lens is on the back.
The Clutch i475's features are largely unchanged from the original Clutch. It has a decent 600-entry phone book with room in each entry for seven numbers, an e-mail address, and notes. As usual, you can organize contracts into groups or PTT Talk Groups, plus you can pair the entries with any of 12 polyphonic ringtones. Basic features include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, a memo pad, a voice memo recorder, call timers, Bluetooth, and a calendar/datebook. And as we mentioned, the Clutch i475 is fully compatible with Boost Mobile's push-to-talk network.