Archive for the ‘ATT’ Tag

Moto Q9h review

I’ve been using the Q9h for a few weeks now, as a final attempt to use AT&T’s network.  It’s not anything extraordinary: it’s pretty much Moto’s competitor to Samsung’s Blackjack 2 (which I had previously).

Before I start this review: does anyone know where I can get pictures of phones that I can legally put on the blog?  I don’t think I can just start linking to manufacturers’ websites…

Notables:

  • It’s a hefty phone!  Moto lists it at 140g, compared to the Blackjack 2 at 100g, and it’s really noticeable.
  • The keyboard is more like the Blackberry Bold than the Blackjack 2: the keys are big and domed.  The tactile feedback is very nice, and well calibrated.  The physical size of the keyboard is what places the device firmly in the “almost-too-wide” camp.  Any larger and it would be too cumbersome to hold in one hand.  The curves of the backside definitely help alleviate this somewhat.
  • It comes standard with Opera mini.  Interestingly, I actually prefer using the IE that ships on the device rather than Opera, but that’s a whole other post.  I can’t wait for IE 6 on 6 (standard).  I had to… ahem… modify the phone… to get IE back to the hardware key.

Pros:

  • Reception.  As advertised, this phone is the king of RF.  Sadly, this doesn’t translate to clearer calls, just to less calls disconnected.
  • Battery life.  Well, sorta.  The phone is huge in its class, and surprisingly the standard battery is rather small as compared to other similar phones.  It ships with a 1130 mAh battery, compared to the BJ2’s 1400 mAh battery.  The phone actually seems to have great power management, and I have been getting a full 2 days’ use from the standard battery.  Additionally, the Q9h comes with a gigantic (and I mean huge) 1640 mAh extended battery, but you trade talk time for a hump on the back.
  • Lots of nice Moto tweaks.  For example, while on the Blackjack 2, the up/down controls on the side changed the volume of the ringer, on the Q9h, they scroll your selection.  I don’t mute my phone on accident when taking it out of my pocket anymore.  Also, said controls are on the right of the device, rather than the left, which is nice for right-handed people.

Cons:

  • Worth mentioning again… this thing is a behemoth.
  • Micro USB charging port is too flimsy in my opinion.  I prefer mini USB or dedicated charging (a la Nokia).
  • I’m not sure how this passed QA: the backspace key is above the keyboard.  What?!
  • Holding the home key doesn’t bring you right to the task manager like other WinMo standard phones.  It brings you to the “power down” menu.
  • Most sadly: it’s tied to AT&T’s network.  I am just about convinced that no phone can fare well there.
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One last chance, AT&T… Moto Q9h

So I’ve been with AT&T for about 2 years now, having switched from Sprint for the original iPhone.  I switched knowing that call quality was not going to be as good; that’s just a fact of CDMA vs. GSM.  I took it in stride at first – the choppy sentences, the robotic voices.  But enough is enough: since I’ve been using the Blackjack 2, I’ve gotten more complaints about choppy calls than I remember with any other handset.

So, I’m giving AT&T one last try, with the Motorola Q9h.  Moto is one of the ancient kings of RF, right alongside Nokia and RIM (Blackberry).  If the Q9h can’t consistently deliver quality calls, I won’t have any other options left.

The funny thing is that Sprint’s rumored 4G network will be LTE, which is a GSM-based technology.  But that won’t come for at least 2 more years, and I need to make calls now.

iPhone

Whenever someone takes out an iPhone, it gets me going.  2G slightly more than 3G, but going nonetheless.

I wanted to love the iPhone.  Desperately.  I have never been much of an Apple fan, largely because of their prices, but I caught iPhone fever, followed the Keynote live, and waited with baited breath to get my own.  I owned both the iPhone (2G) and iPhone 3G for three months each, which is a record for me; I really did want to like them.  So what is it about this phone that gets me all riled up?

It’s not a phone.

Not primarily, anyway.  Yes, it makes calls.  On the 2G that was even debatable, just ask David Pogue.  What I think set the iPhone 2G apart from the market two years ago was the capacitive touch screen (you don’t have to apply pressure on the screen), the response time for the main applications, fantastic web browser, and the App Store.  It’s really like having a mini computer in your pocket.  But using the phone, at least up to the 2.0 software, was a chore.

To dial a number from an unlocked state required as many as 3 actions:

  1. Start the Phone application (I ditched the Contacts app even when it became included as it takes up to several seconds to load)
  2. Select the Dialer or Contacts tab
  3. Dial the number or select contact

Comparing to any Windows Mobile Standard phone:

  1. Type the first few letters or numbers, or entire number
  2. Hit Send

In general, it seemed to me that iPhone OS was more app-centric than contact-centric, as I would expect a phone to be.  There was no quick way to start an SMS or email.

The one other item that kicked my butt was the lack of hardware keyboard.  The on-screen keyboard is great for what it is, but since there is no resistance needed, I could not type with two fingers.  It required one finger on the screen at any one time.

Give me Send/End keys, and a hardware keyboard, and I’m sold.  At least until AT&T gets an Andriod phone.