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Old August 19th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My impressions

Picked it up today at the Sprint Store. Tried to get it at Best Buy, but that's a story for another day.

Build:
The build feels really nice. It's definitely "plasticky", but the slider mechanism feels pretty solid. No less than the Samsung Moment it's replacing, and that thing has lasted 2+ years with no problems. The Keyboard feels really great. The keys are well spaced out and the backlighting makes using it in the dark really simple. It has a nice weight in the hand. It feels a little slippery so I think a case might be in order. It gets a little warm on the back's topside, near the camera sensor, when you've been using it for a while. But I have no idea what long term use will be like.

Edit 5

A quick note about the plasticky build quality. I have had an EVO 4G for over 2 years now. It came out at the same time as the iPhone 4. Now build quality-wise the two are not comparable, the iPhone these days have a much more "premium" feel. But how many times have you heard about people barely dropping their iPhones and getting spiderweb cracks? Well I have dropped my EVO multiple times over the years. A couple of times it was on the road while running. After 2+ years, my EVO is still going strong and has taken the scratches and dings like a champ. Will my wife's Photon Q stand up to that kind of punishment? Hard to tell. But don't let it's "plasticity" turn you off. It can have its advantages.

Camera:
I haven't really tested this too much, but I never expect much from phone cameras to begin with. It takes pictures pretty fast and by default the volume keys are programmed as zoom buttons. Maybe I'll post a sample video and pictures later. Look for edits to this post.

Edit 1:
Sample images from rear camera




Sample image from the front camera



Here's a 1080p sample from the rear camera
http://youtu.be/_M79d-DwB9c

And here's a 720p sample from the front camera
http://youtu.be/S_gTaTcuGhI

And lastly, here's a quick snapshot of some of the audio options you get while recording video


Battery life:
Nothing to report yet. I'm not going to do a rundown test or anything. Basically my wife will take this with her throughout her day and if she bitches at me about the battery life of her new phone, then I'll know I'm in trouble

EDIT 7: BATTERY UPDATE

I've posted below some screen shot results on my wife's first day of use. The first half of the graph where the battery life is slowly falling is from when my wife was at work. She is not allowed to have her phone on her at work so what you are seeing is just basic draw from the cellular radios. Not actual use. When it starts falling is when she got off work, responded to a few texts, and started playing "Where's my water?". You can see that she didn't have the screen on for very long, nor was she playing "Where's my water?" for very long. As a point of reference, the screen was set to 80% brightness. I know that's high and we'll be playing with it over the next few days.



Here's my basic conclusions about battery life thus far. For my wife, this phone is fine. She is not part of this tween generation that spends all day facebooking and tweeting stuff like "ermagherd, ponies!!!11one!1" every five seconds and instagraming everything she eats. She responds to text messages when she gets them, and is only playing "Where's my water?" all the time because it's her current obsession. But that shall pass shortly. For my wife, this phone is just fine.

Unfortunately, this phone is geared towards "Business" users. Just from the offset, I can see a business user needing to manage their usage of this phone in order to get all day battery life out of it. Tons of phone calls, e-mailing, texting, and just general use seems like it can do a number on this thing's battery life.

Also, people that spend all day facebooking, texting, and instagraming will probably have a hard time if they are constantly attached to their phone. Mileage may vary, but for now I'm not impressed, but I'm also not worried because I know my wife's phone habits.

Speed and performance:
Just like batteries, I'm not doing anything scientific or running any benchmarks here. During the whole setup process of installing apps, syncing accounts, etc., I noticed ZERO slowdowns in the interface. Everything kept chugging along, menus popped in and out without so much as a single jitter. Overall I am really pleased with the performance. And I played some "Where's my Perry?" and it ran without a hitch.

Screen:
AAAAHHHHHH!!!! DEAD PIXEL!!!!!!! The screen has one, giant, red, stuck pixel on the top left side. I really am not motivated enough to return it, but it's still annoying. But OTHER THAN THAT, the screen is gorgeous. Everything is really crisp, no pixelation to be seen anywhere, and the colors are unbelievably bright and vivid. Makes my aging EVO 4G look even sadder than it already is. Needless to say, it's amazing. The only downside is that setting the brightness to "Auto" makes the screen too dim for comfortable viewing, so I'm not using the Auto feature.

Connections:
NFC!!!!!!! I did not see NFC anywhere on the specs page, but the moment I fired it up, it asked me if I wanted to turn on NFC. So I guess they must've added it in. I tried to transfer a photo from my Nexus 7 to the Photon, and they both responded to the tap, but when I tried the transfer, my Nexus 7 told me the receiver does not support large file transfers. I'll have to look into that problem since this is my first time using NFC.

Wifi is only 2.5ghz, but supports up to N.

Haven't really looked into Bluetooth at all yet.

I don't live in an LTE area. I'm in a WiMAX area ironically enough. So I can't comment on that. There's no obvious 4G on off switch, so I guess it just automatically searches for it. So I went into the settings and set it to strictly CDMA. That should hopefully prevent any battery draw from the LTE radios constantly looking for a connection that's not there. Here's a screenshot of what that pages looks like:


The device has HDMI which I have yet to try. Not sure if I'll get around to it.

Edit 3
When you plug in the phone, it gives you an option between Mass Storage Mode, MTP, or PTP.


Software:
Bloatware actually seems pretty minimal, which is a nice change for a sprint phone.

Edit 2
I've installed a few apps already, but here's a list of my app tray:




One gripe is the Dialer and Messaging app. Not sure if it's stock since this is my first ICS Phone experience. The only contacts available in the Dialer are "Recent" and "Favorites". If I want to select any other contact, I have to go to the "People" app. And there is NO contacts list of any kind in the Messaging app. I have to go to People if I want to select a contact and then message them. Just some hoops that I don't really feel are necessary.

Skype is currently non-functional, but I'm sure it just needs a quick update. When I try to call the phone on Skype, the app crashes. When I try to initiate a Skype call from within the app, the call never goes through, it just sits there and never connects. I'm sure Skype just needs to update their app for this device.

Edit 4

Some of you might have noticed I installed FoxFi. It currently does not work. I've never used it before because CyanogenMod 7.2 on my EVO 4G has tethering built into it. I didn't tinker with it too much due to lack of time and experience with the app, but I was able to successfully connect to the hotspot, but there was no internet. And within about a minute of getting connected, my desktop lost the connection. Again, just like Skype, I'm sure all it needs is an update to work with this new phone. Until then, it's a no go.

Speakers:
Calls are loud and clear. Normally I struggle with hearing calls on cell phones, but not this one. Also, I loaded some music and played it through the speakers. VERY loud at max volume. I was really impressed.

Video performance:
Will report back.

Edit 6

I had a 720p bluray rip at 2800kbs H.264 MP4 that played in both Dice Player and Moboplayer
720x576 H.264 MKV at 1200kbs that played in Moboplayer but failed in Dice Player
And lastly I had a 480p dvd rip XVID mp4 at 180kbs that played in both Dice Player and Moboplayer


Please let me know if there's anything I missed or anything you're curious about. I'd be happy to give you guys any info you'd like about the phone.

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Old August 21st, 2012, 04:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Also, Engadget has their review up Here
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Seriously? No questions from anyone? Oh well
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by reiththestud View Post
Seriously? No questions from anyone? Oh well

Get used to the silence, Reiththestud. I'm sure the MO'PHO Q is an awesome phone, but, it's probably not going to be a popular choice.

There is still a demand for QWERTY phones, but, I'm betting a decent sized segment of the community chooses a less expensive feature phone, as it probably takes care of their needs(phone,e-mail, MMS/SMS). Along w/other QWERTY smartphone choices both w/SPRINT & a few among other carriers, & you have the makings of a very small PHOTON Q community.

Perhaps once MOTOROLA actually unleashes the official unlocking tools, more attention & traffic will come this way. But until that happens, be prepared for long, long, long periods of silence.

For a similar situation w/the tablet community, look no further than the MOTOROLA DROID XYBOARD community.
If ICS hadn't started rolling out a few days ago, it'd be quieter than a church on SUPER BOWL SUNDAY.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How impressed are you with the camera?

I know that my Epic and Moment did have a good camera.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How impressed are you with the camera?

I know that my Epic and Moment did have a good camera.
It's pretty crummy. The pictures I posted above tell the story pretty well, and Engadget's review echoes my thoughts. Colors are pretty washed and nothing is very sharp. Video is decent though. So if you need to get a decent video of something crazy happening, there's that. But the camera isn't useless. It's just not going to replace your point and shoot.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Seriously? No questions from anyone? Oh well
I've got one.......

I heard a report from another website/forum that the PHOTON Q does indeed have a working WEBTOP application. Can you verify/try this out?
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've got one.......

I heard a report from another website/forum that the PHOTON Q does indeed have a working WEBTOP application. Can you verify/try this out?
Sorry, can't verify. This is my first motorola device since an original RAZR flip phone in 2006. I don't have a lapdock or docking station to test it with.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Having stuck it out for less than 1 year with the iPhone 4s, my family member is very happy with the MoPho Q. Would it have worked for me? Definitely not. The keyboard is a very nice keyboard and the best I've ever used (which says a lot because I used to be a hard core physical qwerty keyboard supporter). Nontheless, if I were to look at the positives, I actually do like the color boost display compared to the current mopho. ICS is cool, but a little confusing and likely would take me some time to adjust to. Overall, I think it's a nice qwerty keyboard phone, but I don't know how popular it will really be with business users.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have to say I am watching this thread closely to see comments. The battery life is a bit of a shock to me. I know that ICS takes more "juice" than some other versions (like Honeycomb vs ICS) but still, that does not look good at all.

I am a huge fan of ICS in spite of it all though. In fact I cannot wait to get it on a phone - and stable too.

I get great battery life out of my current MoPho and do love everything *but* lack of keyboard.

Drexappeal how does the voice sound compared to the old MoPho. That was something I couldn't tell at the Sprint Store. I love the level of side tone for example and how crystal clear the callers sound too. Also is the family member noticing poor battery life as well? I know that might be hard to tell if coming from a iPhone.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 06:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting the review. I went into a Sprint Store to try one out yesterday, and I like the phone. No matter how big a screen is, I cannot get used to a touchscreen keyboard, so I'll continue to buy sliders, until they aren't being made anymore. Honestly, I thought my Samsung Epic 4G--my current device--was going to be the last one I'd be able to buy. Motorola surprised me!

One of the first things I did, was try the keyboard. Immediately, I could see that the keys were laid out much better than on the Epic, with a better feel and responsiveness than I have now. I could navigate it faster, with fewer missed keys (a constant plague on the Epic), and fewer mistakes. I was already impressed.

If I pass by a place that has the device in stock, I'm going to make the purchase. For some reason, it seems like the third-party retailers, are selling it for $50 less than the Sprint Stores. So, it might pay to shop around.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have to say I am watching this thread closely to see comments. The battery life is a bit of a shock to me. I know that ICS takes more "juice" than some other versions (like Honeycomb vs ICS) but still, that does not look good at all.

I am a huge fan of ICS in spite of it all though. In fact I cannot wait to get it on a phone - and stable too.

I get great battery life out of my current MoPho and do love everything *but* lack of keyboard.

Drexappeal how does the voice sound compared to the old MoPho. That was something I couldn't tell at the Sprint Store. I love the level of side tone for example and how crystal clear the callers sound too. Also is the family member noticing poor battery life as well? I know that might be hard to tell if coming from a iPhone.
Voice quality still pretty good, although maybe a slight step back from how I felt about the Photon. Take that with a grain of salt though because going from the original EVO to the Photon, there's no comparison because the Photon killed the EVO when it came to voice quality/clarity. Unfortunately, they're not noticing any significant drop-off from their iPhone 4s (at least, not that they've told me yet). I got the car dock for them, so wherever they go, I don't think they'll have a problem sustaining decent battery life for their needs. I'll keep you posted if they experience anything bad with it within the next couple weeks or so.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting the review. I went into a Sprint Store to try one out yesterday, and I like the phone. No matter how big a screen is, I cannot get used to a touchscreen keyboard, so I'll continue to buy sliders, until they aren't being made anymore. Honestly, I thought my Samsung Epic 4G--my current device--was going to be the last one I'd be able to buy. Motorola surprised me!

One of the first things I did, was try the keyboard. Immediately, I could see that the keys were laid out much better than on the Epic, with a better feel and responsiveness than I have now. I could navigate it faster, with fewer missed keys (a constant plague on the Epic), and fewer mistakes. I was already impressed.

If I pass by a place that has the device in stock, I'm going to make the purchase. For some reason, it seems like the third-party retailers, are selling it for $50 less than the Sprint Stores. So, it might pay to shop around.
Best Buy had it at $149 at release, but they were only selling to pre-orders at that time. Lucky for me, since all of the Best Buy's in L.A. seemed to be having issues with the pre-order system 2 days prior to release, they still sold the phone to me on Monday, when I was planning on picking up a pre-order anyway. Nontheless, I'm actually hoping to see a price drop within 30 days, just like the original Photon. From what I'm seeing so far, the Photon Q isn't even getting near the coverage that the original Photon got (which wasn't really that much). Great thing is, I'm a Silver rewards member at Best Buy, so I can get a price match/exchange within 45 days from my original purchase date.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Seeing the phone go for $149 at some places is why I am waiting - and watching. Plus I want to see how people feel about the phone over all. I mean I love my Photon, so it's not like I am going for something totally different - I just hate touch screen keyboards.

Not in a rush at all though. I have until the end of the year to get this final yearly upgrade of mine (I'll miss it) and I have a feeling the Photon Q will drop before then.

I will say my DH's original Evo is showing some significant signs of wear so I will upgrade if he has issues even if the price isn't $99 or so.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 11:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Okay, apparently battery life isn't as good as the iPhone 4s. Take that with a grain of salt because the family member that has the Q also works in a building that has little-no building penetration, so the phone is roaming constantly.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I made my move today, and bought the phone, officially retiring my Samsung Epic 4G. The store was willing to go even lower than $149 (went $10 less), so I had to take the deal. Sure, with my luck, it will drop to $99 next week...

Less than two hours with the phone so far, but already very impressed. Phone feels good, works well, and is much smoother/faster than my previous device. Looking forward to a happy two-year relationship with this unit.

Depending on the source, the arrival of LTE is 2-4 months away, in this market. Anxious to see what the performance is, once they switch it on. But even 3G seems to be a little faster on this device.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 01:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The phone is $75 at some Sam's Clubs. Even free activation or upgrades for Labor Day. Deal is confirmed at my La Habra, CA store and others.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 05:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The phone is $75 at some Sam's Clubs. Even free activation or upgrades for Labor Day. Deal is confirmed at my La Habra, CA store and others.
Awesome. I guess I'm heading over to Best Buy for a price match!
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Old August 31st, 2012, 07:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Does anybody have a picture of the sam's club deal? If antibody goes there to get it, can you please take a picture of the price?
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Old September 1st, 2012, 02:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I love best buy! Price match success :-)
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 11:09 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonacg View Post
I made my move today, and bought the phone, officially retiring my Samsung Epic 4G. The store was willing to go even lower than $149 (went $10 less), so I had to take the deal. Sure, with my luck, it will drop to $99 next week...

Less than two hours with the phone so far, but already very impressed. Phone feels good, works well, and is much smoother/faster than my previous device. Looking forward to a happy two-year relationship with this unit.

Depending on the source, the arrival of LTE is 2-4 months away, in this market. Anxious to see what the performance is, once they switch it on. But even 3G seems to be a little faster on this device.
You might want to check the price at your store again. I just picked one up for my wife today at Best Buy for $99. It was $149 a couple days ago. Maybe you can get a price guarantee?
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Old September 4th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #22 (permalink)
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See, I knew that would happen!

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll check the price I bought it today, and see what they offer.
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Old September 4th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #23 (permalink)
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You might want to check the price at your store again. I just picked one up for my wife today at Best Buy for $99. It was $149 a couple days ago. Maybe you can get a price guarantee?
Quote:
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See, I knew that would happen!

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll check the price I bought it today, and see what they offer.
I'm assuming neither of you have Sam's Club in your area? I got Best Buy to price match their deal of $74.88. I'm assuming that was just for labor day weekend, but doesn't hurt to stop by and check if the price is still applicable.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 09:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm assuming neither of you have Sam's Club in your area? I got Best Buy to price match their deal of $74.88. I'm assuming that was just for labor day weekend, but doesn't hurt to stop by and check if the price is still applicable.
Actually, we do have one close by. Although, I don't have a membership. I did check online though, and didn't see that special. Perhaps it was not offered here. Sure would've been nice, but oh, well.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 02:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Actually, we do have one close by. Although, I don't have a membership. I did check online though, and didn't see that special. Perhaps it was not offered here. Sure would've been nice, but oh, well.

Wasn't in my area either, kinda odd this offer wasn't system-wide.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 12:04 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Actually, we do have one close by. Although, I don't have a membership. I did check online though, and didn't see that special. Perhaps it was not offered here. Sure would've been nice, but oh, well.
You don't need a membership to get the price match. I don't have one. One of my best friends and my cousin both got the price match. All they did was go to the local Sam's club, take a picture of the display (the deal wasn't available online) and then go to Best Buy to purchase and have price matched right then and there.

I don't know if the deal was exclusive to Labor Day weekend, but if the Sam's club is close enough, I'd stop on by there and see if the Q is still on sale, take a pic, and go to Best Buy to see if they'll price match.
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