News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Mot taps Linux for rugged mobile phone

Jan 7, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Motorola is readying a rugged, weather-resistant 3G HSDPA clamshell phone for ATT Mobility. Targeting outdoor enthusiasts, contractors, and (cruel but true) “teenagers,” the Motorola Tundra VA76r runs Linux, and offers aGPS, Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera, and Push to Talk (PTT), says Motorola.

(Click for larger view of the Tundra VA76r)

Billed as offering true multitasking for simultaneous voice and data use, the Tundra VA76r runs Mot's MotoMAGX Linux/Java stack. Earlier this year, Motorola said it would switch from MotoMAGX to Android, at least for smartphones, but apparently there's still a bit of life left in MotoMAGX, too.

Tundra VA76r (closed)

The Tundra VA76r is compliant with MIL-STD 810F standards for drop, dust, vibration, humidity, severe temperature, and rain, says Motorola. The battery is claimed to last up to 5.9 hours, and the phone offers a ruggedized external antenna designed to improve reception in remote coverage areas. It also provides rubberized keys that can be used while wearing gloves, claims Motorola.

The Tundra should operate worldwide with its quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and 3G HSDPA (UMTS) dual-band 850/1900MHz cellular capability. The phone is said to be equipped with the company's CrystalTalk 2 noise cancellation technology.

The Tundra offers a standard 2.2-inch (240 x 320) display, and a modest 2-megapixel camera. The clamshell phone is equipped with 100MB of internal user memory, and up to 4GB of optional removable memory via the micro-SD slot. It comes with a music player and video playback capabilities, and provides a micro-USB port and Bluetooth 2.0 support, says the company.

The phone's aGPS capability is intended to showcase the AT&T Navigator service, which is provided in a 30-day free trial. The navigation software provides turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic alerts, automatic reroute, and 3D color maps, says Motorola. AT&T Navigator also provides search capabilities for millions of business listings and points of interest (POI).

Additional software features are said to include voice activation, as well as phone-book locking. Optional workforce management tools that make use of the aGPS capability include TeleNav Track and Xora Mobile Workforce Management enterprise tracking services, says the company.

More views of the Tundra VA76r

Specifications listed for the Tundra VA76r include:

  • Cellular — Quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); HSDPA (UMTS) dual-band 850/1900 MHz
  • Memory — 100MB internal memory
  • Memory expansion — MicroSD card slot for up to 4GB removable memory
  • Display — 2.2-inch (240 x 320); 262k colors
  • Bluetooth — Stereo Bluetooth 2.0
  • Camera — 2-megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom
  • USB — Micro-USB connector
  • Navigation — aGPS, with link to AT&T Navigator
  • Media formats — AAC, AMR, H.263, MP3, MPEG-4, SP-MIDI, eAAC+, AAC+
  • Video capture — 15fps CIF
  • Software/services — AT&T Navigator (30 days free); supports optional Telenav Track and Xora Mobile Workforce Management tools
  • Audio — CrystalTalk 2 noise cancellation
  • Internet features — web browser; email client; instant messaging
  • Other features — Push-to-talk; call restriction/phonebook lock; rugged keypad; FOTA and HAC capable
  • Dimensions — 2.10 x 3.85 x 0.94 inches; black clamshell
  • Weight — 4.94 oz
  • Battery — 1130mAH Li-Ion; up to 5.9 hours talk (up to 14 days standby)
  • Shock/weather resistance — MIL-STD 810F compliant for shock, vibration, rain, humidity, drop, blowing dust, low temperature, and high operating/storage temperatures
  • Operating system — Linux MotoMAGX 7.1

Stated Jeff Bradley, SVP of devices for AT&T Mobility, “Tundra looks like a nearly indestructible phone for contractors, landscapers, and other tough work environments. But it's also an attractive phone for a wide variety of consumers who are rough on their phones.”


Motorola Tundra VA76r will be sold by AT&T for $200 after a $50 mail-in-rebate, with a two-year contract, starting January 13. More information may be available at this AT&T site, or at Motorola, here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.