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printed September 30, 2014
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Review: Motorola Photon 4G

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Bluetooth

The Photon 4G supports the usual batch of Bluetooth profiles. I was able to pair it with mono and stereo headsets, as well as PCs and other phones. Call quality via mono headsets was very, very good -- probably the best quality I've heard from Bluetooth in six months. Music streamed without hiccups to my stereo Bluetooth speakers. Passing contact data and files between the Photon 4G and phones/PCs was not an issue.

Clock

As with most Android devices, the Photon 4G has a white, digital clock that's visible on the home screen when the power/lock button is pressed. The Photon 4G's is a bit small, in my opinion, making it harder to read at a quick glance.

GPS

The Photon 4G includes both Google Maps and TeleNav GPS. Both are capable applications at providing voice-guided driving directions. The latest version of Google Maps supports 3D city views (in select cities) and map caching for offline use. The TeleNav GPS performance is a little bit better and more accurate in my experience, and Sprint offers it to customers for free.

Sprint Wallet

The Photon 4G ships with the brand new Sprint Wallet software on board. This software/service was developed by Sprint, Google, and Visa to enable NFC mobile payments. Sadly, the service is still in beta in a limited number of markets. Phone Scoop was unable to test this feature, but wanted to point out that it is available. Also, the Photon 4G doesn't have the necessary NFC components.

WebTop

Similar to the Motorola Atrix 4G, the Photon 4G includes Motorola's WebTop software. With the use of an optional HD dock, the Photon 4G can be attached to an HD monitor, keyboard, and mouse and used as a laptop replacement. The software that controls on this is identical to that of the Atrix 4G, but the Photon 4G won't have its own laptop dock as the Atrix did. When in WebTop mode, the Photon 4G runs the Firefox browser and offers access to all the files and applications on the phone -- but on a much larger screen. Bottom line: if you choose to travel with a travel keyboard and HDMI cable, you might be able to hook the Photon 4G up to the HDTV in your hotel room and use that as your computer instead of toting a full laptop around.

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