The Motorola Photon Q, a Sprint exclusive, has a slide-out keyboard. Photo by Ariel Zambelich/Wired
Smartphones with physical keyboards are a dying breed. But if you’re a fan of these QWERTY-keyed sliders, you’ve got to applaud Motorola. Nobody is footing a larger share of the smartphone keyboard’s life support bills than Mr. Moto.
In February, the Google-owned Motorola delivered the Droid 4 on Verizon — a solid handset with a great keyboard, but sadly a less-than-stellar display. And now Motorola has dropped the Photon Q 4G LTE, a keyboard-equipped Android phone, available exclusively to Sprint customers for $200 on contract.
Sadly, just as with the Droid 4, the Photon Q feels like it’s lagging in comparison to today’s top-of-the-line Android handsets, particularly at the $200 price point. The crummy screen and the device’s slow performance are the biggest problems, but there are enough additional downsides here that I can only recommend the Photon Q to existing Sprint customers who absolutely insist on using a physical keyboard.