Motorola Photon 4G / Electrify
Phone Scoop Review
Aug 1, 2011 by Eric M. Zeman
Motorola fields its first WiMax handset for Sprint in the Photon 4G, a new super slab that takes every feature to the nth degree. Motorola sends this Photon torpedo into the heart of the smartphone competition in hopes of blowing them all up. Does Motorola succeed? read review ›
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Is It Just Me?
Ive always been a smart phone kinda guy... palms,htc i made a pit stop with blackberry boring ass phones for about a year n came back home to my touch screen world with this android based phone the photon. gr8 phone. reliable, big enuff for my hands to grip n type, looks good n handles well, amazing speed. i have had the phone now for a month and some change, beginning of september...my first con wasn't a big deal because a download patch was out as soon as i got the phone, the issue with the calls being muted out of nowhere...no biggie. the camera quality could be a little better but no biggie, the gorilla glass offers piece of mind w falls for the most part. but ive noticed as of late whenever i place my phone down (no protection no case) on a metallic surface da phone seems 2 just simply shut itself off, not even a reset just shut itself off. ive gone 2 subways to pay for my meal and pick my phone up n its off, while in the gym the phone is on one of da machines and its off sometimes i wont know until i go 2 check my phone. ive been checking this site here n there to see if any1 else has had these problems or is it just me?...seems i may have to take this phone back to the carrier for a new one or jump on the bandwagon n hop on the 4s movement now that iphone has joined forces w sprint. I Would like 2 know has any1 else had this problem?
Review for Evo3d Users
I am coming from an Evo 3d and had previous phones as MT4g, G2x, HTC Sensation, Evo 3d and now Motorola Photon. I was under my 30day return period with the Evo 3d and decided to give this phone a try because I didn't care for the 3d aspects of the phone and I preferred one 8mp camera vs 2 5mp camera with 3d. This phone in my mind is way better than the 3d in my opinion based on looks, brightness, call clarity, weight, and overall feel. The 3d felt bulky and clunky and looked almost like a toy with the two cameras on the back. This phone looks more professional and classy and has a glossy feel to it. It also comes with the Gorilla glass that is much tougher and helps to prevent scratches. The specs to the evo 3d are similar so performance isn't a deciding factor. The Evo 3d has better specs in terms of faster cpu, 3d, front camera, bigger battery, and sense UI. However, the Photon's battery life is phenomonal for a smart phone. I never seen a battery last so long. The Blur doesn't bother me because I delete all the widgets anyhow and put my own. The screen of the Photon is super bright. It blows the 3d away and is comparable to the Samsung Amoled screen. The call clarity is also excellent for a cell phone. Motorola has always had good call clarity. If you are switching to Spring or looking to upgrade then get this phone. I was waiting forever for the Galaxy S2 but the photon fills the void respectively. I'm am extremely pleased with this phone and highly recommend it!
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As a previous owner of the HTC Evo 4G, I was used to a high-end phone with lots of great feedback and support in the Dev forums. I was looking at the Evo 3D but stopped short when I saw the Photon and opted to go for that instead. I am quite happy I did!
Hardware: The phone feels great in your hand. It is a bit longer and wider, but lighter than the Evo, roughly the same thickness. Immediately upon turning it on, I could see the qHD screen lighting up my life. The screen is super bright and crisp and as some reviews have noted, it gives an iridescence that almost adds its own non-annoying 3D effect that is a definite plus. The buttons and kickstand have a very solid feel to them
This is my first Motorola Android so I have no idea was Blur looked like. This is the quote/unquote non-Blur-Blur version on the phone and it is very similar to HTC's Sense. 7 panels to play with.. double tap home to zoom out. I think the widget system is a bit more designed than HTC's but the widgets themselves are not even close to as useful as HTC's widgets... but that can be said about all non-HTC widgets. Either way, the interface is great.
The App drawer is like Sense 3.0, where you can choose which apps you want to see (All, downloaded, sprint only, etc) and the framerate of scrolling is much better than Sense.
Performance on the device is top notch! I have not had any slowdowns or hiccups. Webpages load fast and smooth. Videos play with almost no delay and no stuttering.
Battery life is currently about a day with moderate use, pretty standard. I'm sure once it is rooted and modded, there will be custom kernels for improving it.
3G speeds are fantastic and overall signal has been as good if not better than the Evo. 4G also seems to lock on a lot faster.
One of the best features that gives Android a more "finished" feeling is the rotation animation when going from portrait to landscape. That was one criteria for picking the phone and it works great.
Great Phone overall!
Going from the evo3d, the Mot Photon is giving me full coverage and 3g coverage where in the evo 3d, I could not even make a call. EXCEPTIONAL service. If you are not a patient person, this phone is for you. The speed on this phone is uncomparable. If you miss certain htc apps, you can download most of them from the app market. Not only does this phone do mirror mode, but the web top app (must have the HD dock) you can do so much more (has multi window interface). Too much to list, amazing phone.
better than evo 3d
Great phone! The 3d was always losing 4g signal. Had a lot of dropped calls. Also the speaker wad sub par, after a month was getting crackly. difficult root afterms promised unlocked bootloader. More memory, world phone.
All problems solved with the photon.
Well, faster dual core would be nice. Sense is better than blur. Much happier customer after returning evo3d.
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good for almost a year and then...do not buy this phone...
This could be the worst phone i have ever used on the Sprint system, which is pretty horrible itself
The battery drains extremely quick, phone is in sprint only mode still but doesnt help
phone always freezing up
Text messages sudenly stop working sometimes where i have to take battery off to reset to get text to work again
voice comand comes on even though turned off in settings
Got lectured by sprint cc because i went to a local sprint corp store to fix these issues and it was a "service" store, even though the rep was extremely helpful and said she is having same issues with her photon
do not buy this phone if you use it for work, rely on your phone for sales calls and client issues, or just need a reliable phone
if i wrote this review when i first got it i would be just as positive as the other reviews
if sprint didnt change the 1yr exchange policy this phone would be gone
instead at end of contract its good bye motorola good bye sprint
LEFT FOR A WHILE, BUT BACK NOW TO STAY
WELL LETS JUST , I HAVE HAD THEM ALL, EVERYONE OF SPRINTS HIGH END ANDROIDS AND CAME BACK TO THE PHOTON.SAMSUNG EPIC TOUCH WAS MY LAST DISAPPOINTMENT, I LEFT PHOTON FOR THAT PHONE, BAD MOVE. PHOTON IS STURDY, BUILD AND QUALITY IS GREAT, RECEPTION BEST ON SPRINT. ITS UNFORTUNATE THAT SPRINTS NETWORK S#$@S AND YOU CANT TRULY ENJOY ANY OF THEIR SMARTPHONES, BUT HEY, MY JOB PAYS FOR MY SERVICE SO HERE I AM. MOTOROLA WILL BE RELEASING ICS TO THE PHONE IN Q4, THAN IT WILL BE UNSTOPPABLE, EXCEPT FOR NETWORK, LOL. THE ONLY WAY I WILL GET RID OF PHONE IS IF MOTO UPDATES AND COMES OUT WITH ANOTHER HIGH END DEVICE FOR SPRINT. SORRY I LEFT FOR A WHILE PHOTON.......LOL
Never Thought I Would Say It, But ...
I really dig this phone! I coming out of a EVO 3D and an EVO 4G before that. I loved those phones. Particularly, like the HTC Sense UI (v3.25). I am such an HTC homer that I didn't think it was possible to like any other brand. In my opinion, HTC has the best compliment of Software, Hardware, Performance and Features.
So, what prompted me to make a change? My battery life on my 3D was pretty poor. Barely made it through the day if I used it. I had an upgrade available and Sprint only has 3 or 4 top-end Android phones, so I thought I would give Motorola a try. SAMSUNG was out of the running, because of the many let downs: too buggy, too Hit & Miss in performance, too much compromise for the money. So no Galaxy SII for me.
PHOTON! PHOTON! PHOTON!
Okay, so it doesn't have a cool UI like the HTC, but that is about the only thing it gives away. Performance is right there on par with the EVO. It has a great list of features that WORK. It has excellent style and display quality is neck-and-neck. But here are the points that put it over the top for me:
* Exceptional Battery life
* Great Call Quality: Speaker and Mic clarity
* Unique Motorola widgets and phone features like music player w/scrolling lyrics
* Voice Command that stands up to Siri
* And Yes again - all day battery life even when I use the phone kind of battery LIFE.
I've had it a week and the CONS are fairly negligible up to this point. And something unique came out of not having a snazzy UI. I'm having a blast searching for different Apps and Widgets to find cool ways to customize this phone. Something I wouldn't have done on my HTC. And that was worth a half a point more that made this phone go from 4.5 stars to 5 STARS!
I have owned allot of Cell phones, since the dawn of cellular, and the advancements of technology and features are mind blowing. With that in mind it is also mind blowing when any manufacturer creates a new standard setting device and somewhere in the process the company manages to blow it due to a lack of forethought or just not paying attention. I am referring of course to the kickstand. Now keeping in mind that if one is using the kickstand its probably because they are doing something with the phone that is a long enough task that holding it would be impractical and may require the phone to be charged as well. So why oh why put the charging and HDMI port on the BOTTOM where the phone is sitting when the kickstand is deployed. I emailed Motorola on the subject and here is the reply.
Dear Valued Customer,
Thanks for reaching out to Motorola. Iâve reviewed your e-mail and Iâm ready to help.
We do apologize but it cannot be changed, it is designed that way it is.
We hope that you find this information useful and look forward to assisting you in the future.
For information about Motorola products and services, please visit us at http://www.motorola.com/
Thank you for contacting Motorola e-mail support.
Thank you Leony for clarifying the phone is "designed THAT way it is Leony was the one involved in the kickstand design. Deep breath,,,other than the above its a good phone with very few other shortfalls.
Best on Sprint
Had an iPhone, which was okay as a phone, but am trying to rid myself of itunes. Switched to a Photon, noticed way better signal, battery life, form factor, it seemed like the perfect phone for me. On phonescoop though, the Galaxy S 2 was getting killer reviews, so I got one. Battery life and signal went way down, screen was beautiful, but my thumbs could barely reach across it. Made a stop at the Evo 3d, and came running back to the Photon. I don't get why this isn't the highest rated phone on sprint. Awesome phone.
Touch screen sensitivity
Signal is amazing, truly
After using a samsung, colors do seem a little lack luster, but not too important.
Camera options (picture quality is great, but not a whole lot of control with shutter speeds and all that fun stuff).
The battery cover can be a bear to take off.
My hat is off to Motorola! Welcome back to the game!