Nextel also took some chances with the i836's overall style. In place of sharp angles, the flip phone has curves that feel good in the hand. The hardened shell comes in bronze or silver and resists scratches well. In fact, the handset feels very rugged and meets Military 810F specifications for weather resistance. To show off its guts, the inside of the front flap of the mobile is translucent, offering users a peek at the transistors underneath.
On the downside, the external and internal screens are less than impressive. The simple monochrome external display shows the time, the signal strength, the battery life, and caller ID (where available), but its tiny rectangular size may be hard for some users to see. Inside, the small 1.75-inch diagonal display shows 26,000 colors, but it's a far step down from the brilliant screen on the Nextel i605. With its overall washed-out effect, it isn't meant for serious Web surfing or multimedia apps.
On the side of the phone, you will find the volume rockers, a headset jack, and of course, the push-to-talk button. On the top of the mobile is a button for activating PTT calls and a key that opens the list of recent numbers. If you have trouble getting a clear signal, be aware that what looks like a stubby antenna actually extends. Just take care when doing so, since it's fragile. As with most Nextels, the speaker is on the rear of the phone.