I’ve always been one to enjoy a QWERTY keyboard on my smartphone, but the likes of the G1 and G2 are a distant memory and there haven’t been many options coming out lately. Until the Motorola Photon Q hit my doorstep. The Photon 4G successor boosts the specs, adds in a nice QWERTY keyboard, LTE support, and more, which could make it one of Sprint’s best options for a user who wants a slider handset without getting the shaft on specifications.
Rocking a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU, 8 megapixel camera, and much more, the Photon Q is right up there with the Galaxy S III and HTC One X. The addition of a keyboard will be a personal preference, but in our short time with the handset, it’s grown on us a lot. Other specifications of the Photon include 1GB of RAM, NFC, 8GB internal storage, and microSD card slot.
Since I officially put my Galaxy Nexus to rest in favor of the HTC One X running AOKP, the biggest feature I’ve found myself missing is a multi-colored notification LED. While the One X is limited to green, red, and amber, both the Galaxy Nexus and Photon Q have multi-color notification LED that is fully customizable with applications like Light Flow. The Photon Q’s notification LED built right into the ear piece of the phone and is a small line, rather than a dot on the handset. While it’s hardly a selling point of the phone, it’s still slick.
The selling point for the Photon Q is obviously the keyboard, which is pretty nice. The five row keyboard large button that are nice and rounded, ensuring that you’re on the key you want to be on. Spacing is a bit of an issue, but due to the large buttons, it’s not much of a problem. So far, this is the best keyboard I’ve seen on a phone this year.
The software is the same UI found on the Atrix HD, which is straight to the point. Motorola has stripped out a lot of Motoblur elements and leaves a fairly stock Android experience on the handset, and we couldn’t be happier about that. You’ll find some custom tweaks here and there, but its miles better than what Motorola used to put on its phones.