If you ever bother to read your cell phone's user manual from front to back, you'll see a whole section with neat safety warnings. One of them advises you not to make calls in a gas station since the phone's electrically energy could cause a gas explosion. Sounds like fun!
While I doubt that many people have heeded the warning, much less read it, Motorola is taking it seriously. Last week, Sprint Nextel announced the Motorola i356IS, which is a variation of its burly i356 candy bar phone.
The i356IS (the "IS" stands for "intrinsically safe") is built with exploding fuel pumps in mind. According to the carrier, the phone will not release "enough electrical or thermal energy to ignite fuel and cause a fire or explosion." What's more, "intrinsically safe devices are safe to use in hazardous areas that may contain flammable gasses, vapors or dust." Phew.
Other features include support for Nextel's Direct Connect push-to-talks service, a speakerphone, messaging, GPS, Bluetooth, organizer features, and support for Nextel's second line feature. Like its i356 cousin it may not be much to look at, but its rugged design is built to last.