Motorola has taken a break from fashion phones and built a Blackberry-squashing e-mailer – does the Q have the X factor?
We’re used to seeing Motorola churn out fashion phones like the KRZR and reworked V3s; handsets which are easy on the eye but don’t back up their snazzy looks with much substance. The Q is here for a different reason – it’s meant to be a crisp business tool, crammed with e-mail functionality, web browsing and document editing capabilities.
Here’s the first problem, though: aiming for this part of the market drops Motorola’s device slap-bang in the middle of territory firmly dominated by RIM’s Blackberry range. Like the new 8300 Curve, the Q wades into battle packing a full QWERTY keyboard, a 2MP camera and a tune-tastic media player – but it’ll take more than this to win over the Blackberry faithful.
The most common complaint of Motorola handsets is their unintuitive operating system. The Q, however, zips along running Windows Mobile 6.0 and is preloaded with support for push e-mail through Microsoft Exchange servers and via a Windows Live Hotmail account.
When it comes to banging out e-mails and text messages, the keyboard really comes into its own; the curved layout and the bevelled keys make for accurate thumb-tapping and each key press feels positive. There are extra buttons on the side of the device for scrolling and volume control, but we wondered if perhaps Motorola would have been better off going for a more traditional scrollwheel.
The lack of Wi-Fi is a bit restrictive, although there is 3G on board for web surfing. Our tests using HSDPA (3.5G) also Windowresulted in very quick transfer times, but the lack of UK coverage will be limiting factor.
The Q is a fair whack larger than the competition and at 134g it feels like a bit of a bruiser. Its relative thinness means that the device is just about pocketable, but large hands are needed to hold it comfortably.
Given the sizeable dimensions, we can’t help but wish that the screen was a bit larger; its resolution is good, though, and colours are pleasingly vibrant. It also boasts light-sensing technology that optimises the brightness depending on ambient light and makes reading the display easier in extreme conditions.
Multimedia cravers are catered for too - the snapper produces reasonable images, aided by the bright LED flash. Windows Media Player handles music and video up to 30fps, and the Q supports A2DP so stylish auditory enjoyment using Bluetooth headphones is on the cards.
It may not have the prestige of the RIM devices, but the Motorola Q is no gooseberry - instead it represents a fine compromise between corporate productivity and multimedia merriment.
Motorola Q 9 review
A cracking e-mailer and smartphone for all seasons. If only it were slightly smaller…