Review: Motorola Q9M
The Q9M brings over the same 320 x 240 resolution screen from the original. To our eyes, the screen appeared to be a bit muted. Colors were not as vibrant as those we've seen on other phones. Also, given the size of the Q9M, the screen could be a lot larger. It was easily viewable indoors, but not so much in direct sunlight. Some menus (those with excessive amounts of white on them) were very difficult to read. The home screens and others screens with large icons were okay.
We found signal strength to be a major shortcoming of the Q9M. It rarely had more than two bars of signal strength, even in high coverage areas where other Verizon phones had 5 bars. In my basement, it dropped to one bar or no bars. It completely failed the NJ vault test, where it failed to connect 2 times, and dropped 2 calls after less than 10 seconds. It also dropped the signal in the Lincoln Tunnel, and EV-DO data speeds were frequently slow and laggy.
We tested two Q9Ms. The second device suffered from the exact same signal issues as the first, but calls were clear and less cluttered with noise. Judging by the second unit, call quality was 'good' at best. Volume was good for both the earpiece and external speakers. Not earth-shattering loud, but loud enough not to miss calls in crowded coffee shops. Sound quality of the stereo speakers was good for both music and other media played through the Q9M. The one drawback is that since the speakers are located on the back, the sound is a bit muffled if you place it flat on just about any surface. The speakers sound best when the phone is placed with the screen side down. Sound quality of the first Q9M was another issue. Most calls were crackly and garbled, with a lot of hissing and static. We had a lot of conversations fade in and fade out and had to ask people to repeat things they had said. This was true using the Q9M as a regular phone, with the speakerphone and with Bluetooth headsets.
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Battery life fared better for the replacement device we received from Motorola than the first. It lasted a solid 2.5 days with regular voice, SMS, and web browsing usage. You might be able to go away for the weekend without recharging, but we wouldn't recommend it. The first Q9M didn't perform so well, losing its charge in less than 24 hours, even if left just on standby. We can only hope that the first Q9M was an anomoly.
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