Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)

The Good The Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE brings a fast processor, a superb keyboard, Android 4.0, and a bright, colorful screen.

The Bad Until Sprint LTE is more widespread, the Photon Q 4G LTE is mostly stuck with 3G data. The phone is thick and heavy, it takes disappointing pictures, and its battery isn't user-removable.

The Bottom Line The Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE is hefty, but packs modern Android power, an excellent keyboard, and LTE 4G if you're lucky.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.7 Overall

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Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)
Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)
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Review

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)

It's not news that Android QWERTY sliders, once the staple of midrange and even luxury smartphones, have become few and far between. Sprint's current hot handsets, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 3 and HTC Evo 4G LTE, are both card-carrying members of the massive-screen and razor-thin club. With its bright 4.3-inch screen, Android 4.0 software, speedy Snapdragon S4 processing, and a truly sweet keyboard design, the $199.99 Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE is the best Android typer Sprint has offered for years. If you've been holding out for a keyboard phone and don't mind waiting for Sprint's LTE network to expand, the Photon Q is for you.

Design
If you've seen the Motorola Droid 4 for Verizon up close, then the new Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE on Sprint will look very familiar. Measuring 5 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide and 0.54 inch thick, the Photon Q has virtually the same sizable dimensions as its Verizon cousin. At 6 ounces, the phone has considerable heft, as well, compared with the light and waferlike Android devices hitting the market.

The trade-off for the Photon Q's extra girth, though, is its wonderfully designed QWERTY keyboard, which slides out in landscape mode. With a full five rows, including a dedicated number row on top, the phone has a keyboard layout that looks identical to the physical keys gracing the Droid 4. Trust me, that's a good thing since you get all the attributes I loved on Verizon's device such as a long spacebar, and even four arrow keys. The keyboard is backlit by bright LEDs, too, which I appreciate. I also enjoyed the crisp tactile feedback, made with an audible snap, that the keys create. Just like on the Droid 4, you won't find dedicated ".com" or emoticon buttons here, but that's not a deal-breaker for me.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $550
  • Brand Lenovo
  • Service Provider Sprint Nextel
  • Diagonal Size 4.3 in
  • Weight 6 oz
  • Sensors Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, digital compass
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X / GSM / WCDMA (UMTS)
  • Additional Features Text-to-Speech (text recognition), Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), software updates BOTA (Blur Over The Air), multitasking
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