1. weirdherald's Avatar
    This past weekend, I switched from the original Motorola Photon, to the new Photon Q. I haven't seen many reviews here on it so I wanted to chime in.

    The reason for the switch, for me, was the physical keyboard. Prior to the Photon, I had the Palm Pre and two different Treos before that, so I was used to a keyboard and prefer it. I tried to like the touch-screen keyboard on the original Photon but typing on it was a hassle and the word correction was horrible. Yes, I tried downloading other keyboards but none worked well for me. I suspect it was my typing as much as anything, but it made it unpleasant to work with. So with the Photon Q, it is a difference like night and day. The keyboard is very nice and my typing mistakes are very few. So if you are experiencing the same thing, you may like the Q.

    Another issue for me with the original Photon was the older Android version. It didnt multi-task very well and I had to add 3rd party apps to do things like blink the LED for notification or give me a better unlock screen. Having Ice Cream Sandwich on the Q solves all of these concerns for me. It has rapidly become my favorite phone to use. Note that I also carry an iPhone, provided to me for work, so my Q is my personal phone. Before, I would use the iPhone for most things, but now I prefer the Q in every way over the iPhone. Multitasking is similar to the way it operated on the Pre, and I like that.

    So far, I have found nothing of consequence to complain about on the Q. Battery life is good (no worse than the original Photon anyway), the screen is bright and clear. Bluetooth works well. Also, it is quite a bit snappier when changing from one app to another and even when browsing the Net. I know it has limited internal memory but Im not one who downloads a lot of apps or plays games on my phone so I cant comment on that. It isnt a problem for me though. At least you can add a micro-SD card, which I have done. Again, this is the way it is for me, so make your own evaluation based on your phone usage.

    I bought the Q at Best Buy this time because it was on sale at the time for $149, whereas the Sprint store had it for $199. I also had saved up some Best Buy bonus cash so I ended up paying only about $90 for it. Then on Tuesday, I noticed the price had dropped to $99 so I went back a promptly received a refund for the difference. I also sent in my original Photon to Best Buys trade-in program and I expect to get $80 back (vs. $63 from Sprint for their program). All in all, it was like getting paid to switch phones. Im pretty happy with Best Buy regarding this purchase. Previously I bought all phones (we have a family plan) directly from the Sprint store, and I have never had trouble with them. Its just the financial upside this time made it worthwhile to buy from Best Buy.

    As for Sprint's wireless service, I've been with Sprint since 1999 and haven't had much reason to complain. I travel a lot (within the US) and rarely have had any lack of service. Sure, 3G could be better and it is nice when I get into an area with 4G, but I don't move a lot of data on a regular basis, so it works for me. I do hope they expand on the 4G LTE service. They sure dropped the ball when they said they were going 4G the last time. C'mon Sprint, step up.

    So I have to say, this is the best phone Ive bought in recent memory, and the best Smartphone Ive used and that includes the iPhone. I would have to say if a non-technical person (like my parents) asked my advice for a Smartphone, Id probably direct them to Apple because is it bone-headedly simple to use and it works, but I personally like more flexibility in configuration so I am quite happy with the Q. Just remember, this is my opinion and others are welcome to disagree. Im sure if you dont prefer a physical keyboard, there are fancier options available, but this is, in my opinion, the best keyboard phone that Sprint has to offer right now, and the price is right.

    09-06-2012 10:00 AM
  2. mrmw's Avatar
    I'm a similar user except my prior two phones were Blackberries.

    Thank you for an insightful review.

    Do we know yet a) battery replacement duration and b)battery replacement protocol and c)of any youtube/aftermarket battery replacement hack(s) or services?

    Unaddressed by the OP, personally, I would retain my original Photon for use with local non-US Sim cards.)
    09-07-2012 06:36 AM
  3. weirdherald's Avatar
    My understanding is the battery in the Photon Q is not user-replaceable. I could be wrong.

    I believe the same goes for the SIM card, but I believe it was replaceable in the original Photon. I never needed to do that, I hardly ever travel outside the US.
    09-07-2012 02:45 PM
  4. tirith's Avatar
    The sim is soldered into the q, which is a breaking point for some. The og mopho sim is replaceable.

    Battery, without a lot of know how and/or bravery, I wouldn't try it.

    Sent from my MB855 using Tapatalk 2
    09-09-2012 03:11 PM
  5. Puzzlegal's Avatar
    My understanding is that the battery, while not "user replaceable", is easy for a Sprint store to replace. You won't be able to pop in a new battery when you are out all day and running low on juice, but if the battery ages, getting a new one will not be a problem.

    The SIM card is a different story, and it really can't be replaced. I currently have some card I picked up in Germany in my Photon, and the ability to use it overseas is definitely valuable to me. (The "ability" to use Sprint's overseas plans is a liability, because it means that if I take it out of the coutnry I have to be VERY careful to turn everything off so I don't rack up ridiculous fees.)

    Despite wanting a real keyboard, I think I will sit this one out. I am not automatically eligible for an upgrade for another year, and I don't know that I like the Q enough to do the homework to see if I can get it for something like the new-contract price. The battery and the soldered-in SIM are both issues for me. I kinda want jellybean, though...
    09-13-2012 01:39 PM
  6. BenjaSands's Avatar
    Great review. I have not seen the Q in person but honestly it looks exactly like I want my next phone to look like. I have the original Photon and it is one of the best most reliable phones Ive ever had and I have pondered whether to get the Q because it is pretty much an updated version of my Photon but the slideout keyboard kills it for me. I never use my phone sideways to text or anything so it be useless and probably make it bulkier.

    The only knock on my current Photon is the screen, but I really like Motorola and their battery life and over all stability with this phone. If it were not for the iPhone having a super small keyboard I would probably give the iPhone 5 a try later this year but eh I dont know. All I really want on a phone is good battery life and clear call quality so if no new top of the line phones come out by the end of the year I am torn in between an iPhone 5 and the Photon Q. Glad you liked the Q and since having the original Photon I have become a really huge fan of Motorola. Hmmmmm decisions decisions!!
    09-13-2012 02:57 PM
  7. kmcochran's Avatar
    I'm also a former Palm Pre user. I've been looking at the Q the past couple of days. If I use my husband's upgrade, I could get it for about $20 (maybe even less/free with BB buy back thing from their service plan). I can't find a live one though.

    Does it have the Social Networking app like the original Photon? I really like that app ~ lol. And are there only 3 of those pages/screens to swipe between? I'm currently using 5 now.

    09-15-2012 06:06 PM
  8. kmarx's Avatar
    Costco.com has a great value pack..
    09-22-2012 03:50 PM
  9. mrmw's Avatar
    I just got back from Mexico where my Photon 4G with a Telcel Sim and data was a huge plus. I'm thinking an upgrade to the Q as per the OP is in order, BUT--keep the 4G in the drawer for non-US trips. That way I have a fully setup unlocked Android phone ready to roll. I too yearn for a KB and ICS.
    10-02-2012 06:33 AM