Motorola is no stranger to the rugged clamshell, with recent handsets like the Motorola Brute i680 for Nextel and the Motorola Tundra for AT&T. So it's no surprise that even regional carrier U.S. Cellular has one of its very own--the Motorola Quantico. Like the others, the Quantico is military-specified to withstand harsh and extreme conditions. Though it's not much to look at design-wise, the Quantico does have a decent set of midrange features that includes GPS and a megapixel camera. The Quantico is available for $99.95 after a two-year service agreement with U.S. Cellular and a mail-in rebate.
The Motorola Quantico was not designed to look good--it's designed to be tough. Its hard plastic housing is certainly indicative of that. Measuring 3.7 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 1 inch thick, the Quantico has a slightly pear-shaped chassis in gun-metal gray. The battery cover on the back is clad in textured rubber, as are the sides of the phone. The Quantico is bulky and since it weighs around 4.2 ounces, it feels quite solid in the hand.
On the front of the Quantico is a 1.6-inch color external display. You can view the date, time, battery length, signal strength, and caller ID, plus you can use it as a self-portrait camera viewfinder. You can adjust the wallpaper and clock format on the external display, but nothing else. Sitting on top of the display are the camera lens, the external speaker, and the Motorola logo. On the left of the phone are the volume rocker, the Smart key, and the charger jack, while the voice command key, the speakerphone key, and the 2.5mm headset jack are on the right.
In addition to the Quantico's ruggedized housing, both the aforementioned headset and charger jacks have tight rubber plugs to prevent water from seeping in. The battery cover is also secure thanks to a rotating locking mechanism. Motorola claims that the Quantico is durable and can withstand obstacles like vibration, dust, shock, extreme pressures and temperatures, and blowing rain. While we couldn't replicate these environments, we did throw the phone on the ground and dunked it in water a few times without ill effect.
Flip the headset open and you'll find a 2.2-inch color display. It only has 65,000 colors so it's not the most colorful screen we've ever seen. Still, the 176x220 pixel resolution results in sharp graphics and crisp text. You can adjust the backlight time, the brightness, the clock format, and the menu layout. You can't change the font, however.
Underneath the display is the navigation array, which consists of two soft keys, a round toggle with a middle OK key, a dedicated camera/camcorder key, a Back key, and the Send and End/Power keys. The toggle can be mapped to four user-defined shortcuts. Right under the navigation array is the number keypad. All the keys are rubberized, with the exception of the round toggle. The keypad is roomy and the keys are raised above the surface so it's easy to text and dial by feel.
The Motorola Quantico has a 1,000-entry phone book with room in each entry for five numbers, two e-mail addresses, a birthday, a Web address, notes, and a street address. You can organize contacts into caller groups, add a photo for caller ID, and assign one of 17 alerts and sounds for either ringtones or message alert tones. You can choose a silent option as well.