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My Impression of the Photon 4G
YO what's goin on Android Central,
I'd like to share with you guys my impressions with the Photon 4G. First, I just want to let you guys know that this is not a review, just an impression from testing the Photon 4G.
When you first see the Photon 4G you may think, "this device looks a bit odd." Most slab phones are nice and round, or too squarish. The Photon 4G has a unique octagon shape going on. At first I was not really feeling the shape, but later it didn't really bother me. I like how Moto went with non-physical buttons. The front of the phone is a nice and sexy piece of glass up front. Buttons such as the volume rocker, power and volume rocker were placed in easy to access areas. Overall design of this phone is great.
The Hardware of the device will feel natural in your hands. Once you grab this phone, your hands will wrap around this phone with ease. My hands felt natural wrapping around this device unlike other 4 inch and up phones. The cut off edges make it comfortable holding it in landscape and portrait positions. Once you pick up this phone you will also notice that it is fairly light. It won't weight you down like HTC devices, but it doesn't feel cheap like Samsung devices. The physical buttons such as the camera, power and volume buttons feel good. They were responsive when I pushed them in and did not feel like they would break or get stuck. Near the phone's speaker grill, you will find that front facing VGA camera and what seems to be notification lights or indicator.
On the back side of the device, Moto went with a nice soft touch feel. So when you hold this phone, not only will it feel nice and soft, it won't slip out of your hands. The eight megapixel camera took good pictures. LED flash was bright as with all LED flashes out there. A great addition to this phone were the noise cancelling mics. You will find one near the top and bottom. Lastly, the kickstand was very sturdy and solid. Once you flip it out you will hear a nice "click." and when you push it back it you'll hear a "click." I positioned the phone on it's kickstand and pushed down on it to test it's sturdiness and it held the phone in place. I don't recommend doing this, but I just wanted to see how durable the kickstand was. The USB and HDMI ports are located on the left side of the device. I know most of us are not fans of putting the ports there when you have a kickstand that sits the phone on that same side. I guess that design was for the purpose of their multimedia dock. If you want to charge your phone while having it on it's kickstand, just do what Phil did in his video and rotate the phone so the UBS and HDMI ports are facing up. The Photon 4G's kick stand will be able to support the device in this position.
When turning the device on, you'll notice that the lock screen is similar to a standard android lock screen. You will swipe the lock icon to the right and be presented with the all popular motoblur UI. I kid with the popularity of this UI, but you are stuck with it until you download a launcher from the Market place or root the device. If you are familiar with motoblur, you will be familiar with their widgets. If not, then you will get widgets that will aggreate your social network. tap and hold the widget will either let you throw it away (trash can is on top not on bottom) or you can re-size the widget, which is a good feature out the box.
The internet browser seems solid. The look and feel of the browser was clean too. I tried out the XPRT and I did not like the browser's feel and look to it which caused me to think the Photon's browser was going to be the same. I glad to report that the Photon's browser is better than the XPRT's. I did not have 4G in my areas so I was testing it's 3G speeds. The websites I visited seemed to load pretty quick. Compared to the EVO 4G, they both loaded pages at the same time. Some pages the EVO did better, some pages the Photon was better, so expect normal 3g speeds. WiFi depends on how fast your WiFi connection is. Swype is included out the box as well.
The screen of the Photon was nice and vibrant. Movies, videos and pictures looked great on the qHD screen. The black colors were deep and did not seem washed out. Tapping on the screen was very responsive when playing videogames, tapping on apps, internet, etc.
Lastly, the dual Tegra 2 processor did not seem as fast as the 1.2 dual core snapdragon chips. Scrolling from home screen to home screen lagged like a 600mhz android device. As I swiped screen to screen, it seemed as though the phone would hold on to the previous screen for about a second, then try to catch up to the next screen. It seemed very choppy. I was disappointed because I have tested a G2x which has a dual Tegra 2 in it and was very snappy. Compared to the EVO 3D the Photon is the slower device.
Also, this device is loaded with the latest 2.3 Gingerbread goodness. What I really like, which may be a small tidbit for some, is that when you hit the power button to make the Photon 4G go into sleep mode, it has the same transition as do old CRT TVs when you power them off. Also seen in the Nexus S.
Overall the Photon 4G seems to be another winner on Sprint. Another WiMax device with global capabilities is what Sprint needs to keep their existing customers and new customers. More options, the better. Will this be their best phone as of now, that is to be determined by the user.
Pros: Great feel
16gigs on board memory
WiMax (if it's in your area)
Not as Snappy as dual cores should be
USB & HDMI locations
Did I mention Motoblur? JK
Just wanted to share. Thanks!!