Where the hell is the Wi-Fi connection?
Battery performance is harder to judge since the device draws power from your PC every time you plug it in – and that will happen a lot if you're using the cable to sync or to mess with files on the MiniSD card. Worryingly, Motorola doesn't state a guide time for talk and standby in its official stats, but when we did take it away from its natural habitat and use it for longer than a day the indicator never sunk below two bars.
But it's the sound quality that really impresses when you playback your MP3, WMA and AAC files. The built-in speaker handles difficult songs well, even at the highest volume, and it's possible to stand the device up and use it as a mini-stereo. There's also Bluetooth support for a wireless stereo headset, using A2DP and AVRCP technology. The phone also boasts a 2-megapixel camera – something that a BlackBerry shuns for corporate security reasons.
This offers up to 8x zoom and takes images up to 1,600 x 1,200 pixels. It will also shoot video, although it only goes as high as 320 x 240 resolution at 15fps so won't make you the next Spielberg. Sadly, the screen size isn't used to full advantage, with menus placed at the bottom of the picture rather than in the unused space at the sides or as see through menus over the image. You can put the camera into full-screen mode for when you actually take the shot, but it defaults back again after that.
The camera does have a flash of sorts, although this consists of a static light that stays on while you size up your image. If you're not into night photography, it doubles as a great torch, although expect your battery life to be affected appropriately.
Not the prettiest of smartphones and crucially lacking Wi-Fi, document editing, and GPS functions, the Moto Q 9h is nevertheless very easy to use. Its robust and well spaced keys make it easy to handle messaging and the entertainment functions outperform its uncool looks.
Motorola Q 9h smartphone
The HP48 was probably the finest calculator ever made. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP-48. An HP48-based phone has some appeal.
With built in RPL the phone would be programmable and be able to provide interesting UI and add-on software features. RPL already has rudimentary database capabilities - enough to store address books, PIM stuff etc.
Operating the phone in RPN would have a huge coolness factor.
5551234 DIAL <ENTER>, but of course you could make this rather boring by setting up suitable soft keys.
What is this cal-cu-la-tor you mention? And why would anyone in a modern office environment laugh about how much the new Q looks like one? Do they have these cal-cu-la-tors?
Reminds me of trying to teach my programming students what a teletype machine is/was ... "It's like a network-connected typewriter" ... um ... "It's like a really noisy keyboard that spits paper out of its head" ... um ... "Y'know ... paper ... like what you use in a copy machine" ... um ...
More Q9 hands-on notes...
Brett - I've been using a Q9H for a few days - less time than the reviewer above, and far short of the month that's needed to draw decent conclusions. But this might help:
My first impressions are very positive: this is a much better phone than the original Q. The differences are minor, but they're important and they really add up.Similar to the improvements Sony Ericsson made from the P800 to the P900).
If you use the device on an HSDPA network you really don't miss Wi-Fi - it's very fast indeed. (Which is a substantial saving - my monthly 1GB plan costs me less than an hour of using Wi-Fi on a train). You only need Wi-Fi when a) you're roaming in Europe or b) really want to use SIP calling.
The keyboard is also much better, I can type a lot faster on this than any other similar 'Berry clone.
"Finally the battery life mystery needs to be verified"
Always-on push email murders the battery (as does leaving Opera open), but fetching every 10 minutes is fine. Agree with you on the scroll wheel...
My unit doesn't come with Documents To Go, but I'm told by Motorola that all UK models will.
A clean-up rather than a clean start
Well, being an owner of the previous Q version (on Sprint CDMA) this looks like a great attempt at Moto to clean up the Q and address some of the issues that plagued the first generation.
The bright point: Opera. I wonder if this is a European-only enhancement - it seems odd that MS would allow a vendor like Moto to include a competitor's product instead of the "integrated" browser. Great news if this is universal!
The bad points: WiFi (mentioned), the micro-USB connector (what was Moto THINKING?), killing apps the hard way each time (hey, an Exit selection in the app menu would be OK...), the missing GPS integration is a problem (the older Q had this, although not accessible from the phone API - it needs to go through Sprint for operation). The continued use of the cruciform cursor control and elimination of the scroll wheel (one of the best features of a Blackberry) is also a poor choice by Moto - but I guess most folks are used to iPods now...
Finally the battery life mystery needs to be verified - especially when SMPT mail (rather than Exchange push) is active with rapid (15 minute) updates. How the battery performs under poor reception conditions (more prevalent here in the rural US than Europe) would be a good indicator as to whether the high-power polling is time out when reception becomes poor - the one issue that consistently kills my Q early.
All in all it looks nice, but, really now, I for one could live with another couple of millimeters in thickness and more battery and functionality.
For now I'm keeping my gen 1 Q and waiting for a generic alternative to the iPhone...