You'll immediately notice that the Motorola Q9m sports a revamped design. It is a curvier and sexier beast than the original Q, boasting nice, rounded edges and an attractive black casing with red accents along its outer edges.
The Q9m now runs Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition and includes integrated Bluetooth 2.0 and EV-DO support. Motorola also decided to give the Q9m a heavy multimedia focus, given the Q's popularity with the younger crowd and with consumers in general. The smart phone supports Verizon's V Cast Music Store for over-the-air song downloads and even has a dedicated multimedia home screen.
Though the difference in size between the Motorola Q9m and its predecessor doesn't seem huge on paper, in the hand the smart phone does feel wider, especially when you're holding it up to your ear during calls.
The right side has a user-programmable launch key along with a scroll wheel, that you can press to select an item. This wheel helps make one-handed use easier, but it's a tad difficult as a little protrusion on the phone's side prevents your thumb from easily pushing the wheel down all the way.
Here's the Motorola Q9m next to the Samsung BlackJack.
The Q9m, at 4.6-inches tall by 2.6-inches wide by 0.6-inch deep and weighing 4.7 ounces, is a bit heavier and bigger than the original Motorola Q, at 4.5-inches tall by 2.5-inches wide by 0.4-inch deep and weighing 4 ounces. By comparison, the Samsung BlackJack is 4.4-inches tall by 2.3-inches wide by 0.6-inch deep and weighs 3.5 ounces.
Below the display, you'll find a slightly revamped navigation array with larger Talk and End keys. Also, the full QWERTY keyboard has undergone a complete redesign. It now features rectangular buttons, and though there's no spacing between them, the keys are large and have a non-slippery texture. Overall, our typing experience on the Q9m was an excellent one.
Unfortunately, the Q9m doesn't get an upgrade in the camera category. The smart phone keeps the same 1.3-mepapixel lens as its predecessor. It can record video, and includes a built-in flash and 6X zoom, but picture quality was mediocre, as colors looked flat and dull.
On the left side of the phone you'll find a miniSD expansion slot that can accept cards as large as 4GB (and if there ever comes a day, Motorola says it can support up to 32GB cards). Verizon actually packages the Moto Q9m with a miniSD card, preloaded with content from singer Fergie as part of a promotion for the carrier's V Cast Music Store.