Friday, May 18, 2007

The Quintessential phone pda, Motorola Q

This is kind of late to be writing about the Motorola Q. However, I wanted to wait till get a complete feel of the phone before shooting my mouth of about it. Please find below my impressions of the phone.

I got a silver Motorola Q from Verizon Wireless about 5 months for the nice price of free after the discounts. The discounts that were applied were the new every 2 as well and the discount for adding the data plan.

Initially there was a bit of apprehension about using a smart phone without the touch screen interface. However, as I started using the Q the lack of the of a touch screen interface did not feel like a drawback. The ability to operate the Q with one hand more than makes up for the lack of the touch screen interface.

The Q is first a phone and then a pda. The number keys though overloaded with alphabets and characters start the dialout process as they are pressed . In addition the numbers in the contacts and the call list can be looked up by pressing either the first few digits of the number or the first few character of the contact. All the above operation can be comfortably performed with one hand just like a regular phone. The Q has voice activated dialing software included. The voice activation is speaker independent and no voice tagging or training is required. The voice activation needs some practice. However, once familiar it works like a breeze even with a Bluetooth headset.

The pda functionality of the Q though subservient to the phone is no slouch. The full QWERTY keyboard requires some familiarization. However, after that using it is quite comfortable. The keys provide nice feedback on pressing and they are a nice compromise between size and functionality. The Outlook email client can be configured to sync with Microsoft Exchange over the air and/or pull email through pop. The included IE (pocket version) can be used to browse the web, though it can be quite frustrating since most of the web content is not yet formatted for mobile displays.

The camera on the Q is quite ok and take mediocre pictures and video under normal lighting conditions. The Windows media player can play most if not all Windows formats (though I should admit I haven't tried it out). The battery life on the Q used to be quite pathetic initially. However, after applying the updates it is quite satisfactory and it lasts about 3 days on a full charge.

The Q was described initially in some circles as a Blackberry killer. However, 'crackberry' addicts have not dumped their Blackberries to pick up Qs. The Q appeals more to the first time users more used to regular phones tentatively dipping their toes into the world of smartphones and apprehensive of a difficult learning of a full fledged smartphone.

In conclusion, I have been using the Q for the last 5 months and have been quite satisfied with it. The intial apprehension of having a striped down smartphone has given way to appreciation of the simple design and the simplicity of use.

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