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Review: Motorola Q9m (Verizon) smartphone

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While Motorola Q smartphone did set a new trend for smartphone makers with its sleek QWERTY form factor, it wasn’t able to do wonders for the company. Despite its trendy make, it was caught up with a few downsides. Over a year has passed by since the launch of Q and now, the company thinks to address all those problems with the new MOTO Q music 9m smartphone, also known as the Motorola Q9m. The Q’s successor sports a superior design, improved keyboard, and version 6 of Windows Mobile.

If you are looking to jump aboard the EV-DO bandwagon with your new phone, you could certainly think of the Motorola Q9m smartphone from Verizon. One thing, of which I am quite sure of, is that the sexy make of the Q9m is sure to make the fashion conscious customers drool.

Let’s take a broad look at the smartphone features and find if it has really proved to be a promising successor to the Motorola Q.

A quick look at the specs:

Except for the refined design, improved keyboard, and Windows Mobile 6, all other features are almost same to that of the Q. here are the salient specs of the new smartphone:

2.5-inch diagonal TFT screen with 240×320-pixel resolution

1.3 megapixel camera with flash

EV-DO support, Works with Verizon’s V Cast Music Store

Adaptive technology to adjust backlighting of the screen to your liking

Choice of Windows Mobile or a Multimedia Home screen

Intelligently designed full QWERTY keyboard

64MB of RAM and 128MB of integrated Flash memory

Mini USB port and a Mini SD expansion slot
Compatible with up to 4GB microSD cards

Dual stereo quality speakers

Wireless Sync, Bluetooth 2.0 with support for the A2DP profile

Ability to read and edit Microsoft Office documents

Talk time of up to 215 minutes, Standby time of up to 310 hours

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Design of the Motorola Q9m:

When you put the Q9m side by side with the original Q, it looks a bit bigger but that is just an ocular illusion as the Q9m is not tapered at the edges like the Q. Measuring 4.6 by 2.6 by 0.5 inches, the smartphone is almost the same size of the famed BlackBerry 8830.

The most notable design change with the new smartphone is the keyboard. While the Q sports oval slippery keys, the Q9m has big, rectangular keys that are easy to press. Moreover, the size and usability of the cursor pad and hang-up buttons has been increased. Scroll-wheel can be found on the right hand side, which makes it easy to operate.

The looks are amazing with curved edges and an eye-catching black casing with red finish. The phone feels good and robust when gripped in hands. If we talk about weight, it is 0.2 ounces heavier than the older Q at 4.7 ounces but the sleek looks compensate well for that.

It’s not a problem to read the screen text under bright sunlight, thanks to new adaptive technology that lets you adjust the backlighting to your requirements. Anyway, the screen is still a bit responsive to blotches and fingerprints. Now, you have the option to choose from two home screens, the standard Windows Mobile option or a Multimedia Home screen.

Just below the display, you will spot two soft keys, Talk and End buttons, a home page shortcut, a back key, and a five-way directional keypad with a center select button. The navigation toggle is made of metal and is quite big to be used with ease. A 2.5mm headset jack sits at the top of the smartphone while the back accommodates the camera lens and flash.

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What I liked about the Q9m?

The thing that impresses me the most is the new keyboard design. It’s fun to type using the smartphone’s larger, rectangular keyboard. There is no chance of mistyping even if you have broader fingers. Compared to the BlackBerry 8830, Q9m is a smoother messaging device

Call quality is superb with clearer sound. Internal speakers are simply marvelous for a PDA phone. I also liked it’s capability to read and edit Microsoft office documents and its integration with Windows media player (which Blackberry 8830 can’t do).

Design wise, the new Q9m outshines the older Q with its curved body, chic black casing and refined QWERTY keyboard.

What I didn’t like?

Despite the smartphone’s sexy make, there are still some downsides. The cool Q9m lacks integrated Wi-Fi, GPS, and is slightly heavier. It could have been good if they had increased the megapixel count to some respectable figure. Image quality is not impressive with its 1.3-megapixel camera.
The screen is bit reactive to smudges and fingerprints.

At times, the performance of the smartphone becomes slow. Moreover, it doesn’t offer support for Windows Live and Live messenger.

My two cents:

If you are looking for a smoother messaging device, the Motorola Q9m could be the prefect pick. But, for those who are looking for the just right blend of speed and overall performance, I would suggest them to stay far away from the Q9m. Although the smartphone touts some good multimedia capabilities along with the sleek make, I would, not at all, recommend it to the business users. I would give it 6.3 out of 10 (just for the excellent full QWERTY keyboard).

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What are others saying?

Cnet: The Motorola Q9m brings some nice design and operating system upgrades as well as a more consumer-focused experience with enhanced multimedia capabilities. However, behind all the sexy packaging, the smart phone still feels underpowered. Business users should look elsewhere for a smart phone.

PCmag: The Q9m’s stellar keyboard makes this latest Motorola Q better than ever for messaging. The Q9m integrates very well into a Microsoft-centric lifestyle and is a great pick for a smartphone on Verizon.

TechKills: Considering the excellent voice quality, advanced multimedia features, and the physical attributes, the Q9m very well qualifies to be called a ‘smart phone’.

Smartdevicecentral: The new Motorola Q9m for Verizon pairs excellent call quality with a terrific keyboard, making it a strong Windows Mobile choice. I just wish it felt a little quicker.

Motorola Q9m in action:

The MOTO Q 9m is available through Verizon for US $299.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate tied to a two-year customer agreement. You can also have it in boxed sets with a 2GB microSD card and a stereo headset for an additional US$49.99 or with a 4GB microSD card for an additional US$149.99.

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