Review: Motorola Photon Q for Sprint
The Photon has a 4.3-inch qHD LCD display (540 x 960 pixels). The size and resolution make for an attractive screen. Individual pixels were visible occasionally, but most of the time items on the screen look smooth and clean. It uses something Motorola markets are "ColorBoost" to improve its appearance, and indeed, it looks good. As for visibility, it is easy to see and use outdoors under full sunlight thanks to a bright backlight.
The Photon is a solid performer on Sprint's CDMA 3G network (we were unable to test in on LTE 4G.) While the signal indicator rarely reached more than three bars, the Photon was able to make phone calls and surf the web under all network conditions. It made calls just as easily with one bar as it did with four, and never dropped any calls during my testing. In the NJ vault (my local supermarket), the Photon lost Sprint's 3G network, which is typical behavior for a Sprint phone. Surfing the internet was good on Sprint's 3G network.
Voice calls sounded so-so through the Photon. There was a constant hiss in the background that really got on my nerves. Add to this an earpiece that doesn't offer enough volume, and conversations were often difficult to understand. Even with the earpiece set to maximum volume, it will be nearly impossible to hear conversations in crowded coffee shops, moving cars, and busy households. The speakerphone is equally poor. Calls sounded choppy, and weren't loud enough to suit most users. I had no problem hearing the ringers or alert tones at full volume from a different room in my house, but set them half-way and you might miss a call. The vibrate alert is very strong.
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Battery life falls into the "average" category for this class of device. The battery was fully dead in less than 24 hours (9AM to 9AM). This included periods of heavy use (streaming music, uploading pictures) and periods of casual use (phone calls and messaging). On average, it managed to live during the entirety of my waking hours for a full day (7AM to Midnight). This is one of those phones that will need to be plugged in each night. Those that live and work in markets covered by 4G may need to pay strict attention to battery life, as 3G battery life didn't blow us away, and 4G can demand more juice.
Jul 26, 2012
On the heels of being out by Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, Motorola today provided more details about the Photon Q. The Photon Q is a sideways slider with touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard for messaging.
Sep 9, 2012
C Spire Wireless today announced that its LTE 4G network is now available for the first time in several markets in Mississippi. C Spire said that residents of McComb, Brookhaven, Meridian, and Greenville, Miss., are the first who have access to its LTE 4G network.
Apr 25, 2013
Sprint today indicated via its user forums that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is now ready for the Motorola Photon Q. The system update adds a wide range of new features to the Photon Q, including Google Now, Voice Search improvements, bug fixes, and camera enhancements.
Dec 7, 2012
Motorola recently revised the customer support page that lists which smartphones will receive updated versions of Android and approximately when those updates will arrive. The RAZR M, RAZR HD, and MAXX HD have all received Jelly Bean.
Oct 20, 2012
Motorola has updated the list of devices that will receive updated versions of Android and is revealing for the first time those slated to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Droid RAZR M, RAZR HD, and MAXX HD are all schedule to receive the Jelly Bean update before the end of the year.