My Motorola Q9C Review: One Week In

Discussion in 'Moto Q 9c' started by onesimus, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. onesimus

    onesimus New Member

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    My Motorola Q9C Review: One Week In

    This is a preliminary review considering I've only been using the phone for a week. But after one week of usage I've noticed plenty of things I like and dislike about this phone. So much so, that this is my phone review for the Motorola Q9c.
    Previously I introduced you all to the great deal that is the Sprint Sero plan (Hurry! Ends 2/17/2008), so for those who are pretty set on switching, I hope this review helps you make a decision whether to purchase this phone.

    I'll try to be as neutral as I can, providing pros and cons to the device. However, I'm sure some points will be biased as this is the only smartphone I've ever used.
    ------------------------------
    Price:
    As is the case with most shopping needs we begin at the price.
    According to the Sprint website this phone retails at $449.99.
    When purchased with a two-year plan (In my case the Sero plan) you receive an instant savings of $200.
    Add another $100 mail in rebate* and you end up paying $149.99 for the phone.
    *Mail in Rebate can take 8-10 weeks. So you'll be paying $249.99 initially. (After taxes I paid $267.49).
    ** But there are "stories" of people receiving more than $100 for their mail-in-rebate, including an astounding $300 credit for someone I know. But if I were you I wouldn't expect that. Just make sure you receive your $100.
    ------------------------------
    Design:
    Next up we'll explore the "look" the "feel" of the phone.
    Here are a couple pictures.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    The Look:
    As you can see the phone is very stylish w/ black and chrome accents. The screen is about 2.5 inches across, which is large enough to watch videos and read emails/text comfortably. The phone itself looks well made and will probably turn a quick head or two.

    Pros:
    - Looks stylish and mature. Not 'Fisher-Price'ish like the Centro, but not "I'm a soulless corporate cube monkey" like a lot of Blackberry's/TREO's. It's got a good mix of "cool" and "classy".
    - The keyboard is nicely laid out, and everything looks like it's where it should be.
    - The device contains sensors which will illuminate the keys when used in the dark but leave them off when used in light. This saves battery as the keys do not automatically illuminate as is the case with a lot of phones. I don't know what this tech is called, but it's found in Mac laptops as well.

    Cons:
    - The number pad is merely separated by blue color accents, meaning that unlike the previous MotoQ you have to be familiar w/ where the number pad is. I personally would prefer the number keys to be a separate color or have more distinct accents or those little bumps on the keys themselves. I've found it difficult to dial/press the numbers without having to search for them. ( i.e not good while driving)
    - The directional pad could have been designed better. When scrutinized it looks like someone melted a nickel and stuck it like chewed gum in the middle of the phone.
    - No options in colors. Unlike the Blackberry Pearl, which T-mobile offers in different colors, this phone only comes in Black. So if you're not into black phones I'm sorry.
    - Sprint ships the phone w/ the extended battery; so (as seen by the picture) it gives the phone this J-LO effect where it looks like it's got a badunkadunk. I personally don't really mind it ; ) you'll read why in the "Feel" section of the review.

    Great if:
    You like the "classy but cool" look.
    You like junk in the trunk (kidding)

    Not great if:
    You like huge screens like the Iphone or HTC Touch. Or super slick phones like the RAZR.
    You like Kate Moss type girls.
    ------------------------------
    The Feel:

    The back of the phone is made with this rubber like material, which feels secure and "grippy" on your hands. The phone itself will feel wide if you have small hands (comparable to holding a pack of cigarettes/tin of Altoids). So if you have small hands, one handed texting will be tough. But on the flip side if you have small hands chances are you have small fingers so pressing the keys will be a breeze. The keys themselves are large enough to enable comfortable typing, but small enough to make the phone compact.

    Pros:
    - The grippy back is great. If you're a klutz like me and tend to drop your phone this will be a godsend.
    - The extended battery. YES! It's a pro. Though it gives the phone the J-LO badunkadunk, it strangely works to your advantage. Your fingers will naturally contort to it giving you this amazing grip. Kind of like that groove on Nintendo Wiimotes. Makes texting feel great.
    - Keys are very intuitive, everything is laid out where you'd expect it (ex. space bar in the center, scroll wheel on the top right, etc).

    Cons:
    - Keys and scroll wheel are a little on the "hard side". It's weird, but when I use this phone in the cold it seems like the keys themselves get even harder. So if you're used to super soft keys your thumbs will be in for a workout.- Carpal Syndrome here I come!!
    - If you go from using a RAZR or regular phone in general to using a this phone (or all smartphones/pda's in general) you will feel like you're carrying a bible in your pocket. It'll take some getting used to. Prepare to have a bulge in your pants. Get your mind out of the gutter!

    Great if:
    - You like secure/grippy phones.
    - QWERTY keyboard experience. Meaning: Your home keyboard miniaturized and put on a phone.

    Not great if:
    - You have tiny hands with weak thumb joints. You'll be on your track to Osteoporosis.
    - You like to wear tight pants and carry your phone in your pockets.
    ------------------------------
    Functionality:

    Specs:

    - Windows Mobile 6 O/S
    - GPS enabled
    - Bluetooth 2.0
    - POP3 and IMAP email capable (meaning you can get Outlook/Gmail in real time)
    - 1.3 megapixel camera w/ flash
    - Runs on CDMA frequencies and is compatible with the EV-DO data network.
    ok and the rest I'm just gonna copy from Amazon.com
    Documents To Go for Windows Mobile: View, edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, view Adobe PDF files as well as zip and unzip files on your device.
    Built-In speakerphone: Hands-free operation made easy with dedicated speakerphone button, plus advanced voice-recognition capabilities for hands-free operation.
    Voice-Activated Dialing: Say the name of the person you want to call, and the phone dials the number automatically.
    TTY Compatible: This phone connects to a TTY device, allowing the hearing impaired the ability to communicate.
    Hearing Aid Compatibility: M3
    Full, ergonomic QWERTY keyboard, 5-way navigation button and thumb wheel
    Up to 12 numbers per contact entry with picture and ringer ID options
    Stereo Headset jack for hands-free operation and music enjoyment
    USB 1.1 wired connectivity
    -----------------------------

    Read Below for Part II
  2. onesimus

    onesimus New Member

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    Part II- Continued:

    The O/S (Operating System)
    Sucks! But it's capable to do so many awesome things via third party applications. This is THE best function of a smartphone. Not only do you get your emails in real time (meaning you don't have to log on to check them), but you can install nifty applications which will just about make you the coolest kid on the block.
    The good thing about a smartphone is that it enables millions of geeks/techies to write applications for the phone. Basically, if there is something you really don't like about the phone or you wish you could do, chances are someone can build it for you.
    So while reading the Cons, understand that chances are someone will find a "fix"/"hack"/or "program" to alleviate it. I will highlight these later.

    For now. The O/S itself.

    Pros:
    - None (ok kidding).
    - Ability to install great programs such as "Google Maps", "Windows Live Search", "Yahoo Go!" etc.
    - That's it.

    Cons:
    - Where do I start? : (
    - LAG!!. Built like a true Microsoft product you can't live without the "Task Manager" basically the mobile version of (CTRL+ALT+DEL). If you use a program, open a file, check your email you'll soon start experiencing an annoying lag which is only alleviated by "killing it" in the task manager. So if you plan on working on your excel spreadsheet while listening to music and surfing the web... you're screwed. But seriously... get a computer if you're gonna do that.
    - Super slow response at times. Sometime opening up your contacts takes 2 seconds.
    "2 seconds?!"- that's nothing... .blah blah... it's 2 seconds of your life you'll never have, and it sucks.
    - Speaking of contacts. MOST ANNOYING THING EVER. After importing/putting in your contacts you can't have the phone show the entry as follows.
    JOHN SMITH 555-555-55555
    Instead it will be SMITH JOHN 555-555-5555.
    I guess no one in Motorola is Asian, b/c when you have 56 KIMS followed by 34 LEE's- life is miserable. You can however manually make it show the correct way (if you have 3 hours to spare- like I did). Fixed them everytime I was on the 'throne that's how.
    - No picture messaging. Boooo! Sure I can email them. But there's a great pleasure in just sending it via text. It's more arrogant that way.
    - In my old phone I would try to have as many "Contact Pictures" as possible. So when "BOB" called, the funny picture of BOB drunk on my floor would pop up in glory filling the screen. Or that blackmail picture of LARRY making out with the three legged donkey in Mexico? He calls me and everyone is reminded of it. But not with this phone. This phone has that capability but the picture is tiny. It's not even a thumbnail, it's like 20 pixels. Whats the point? I want everyone to see that my super hot friend JESSICA is calling me. Even from across the room. This phone doesn't have that = BOO!
    - Forced to do it their way. When opening the browser it goes straight to some corny Sprint homepage. I want to make my homepage www.google.com/m but it won't let me. Weak.

    PRO to all CONS:
    - Obviously I'm not the only one with these problems b/c look hard enough (www.everythingq.com) or just do a basic google search and you will find that everything that annoys you about the phone can be fixed, improved, changed with hack, applications, mods that you can download/install.
    Problem is that whereas some geeks are generous and make it free(ware) others are money hungry pigs that charge you for them. Like my problem with contact pictures?
    I can d/l a program that will allow me to do this (as well as dozens of other features I don't care about) for 25-30 dollars. Which I'm considering.
    Obviously after I spent 3 hours changing LEE JOHN to JOHN LEE I go on a forum and realize that someone has built an app that will change them all automatically. EFF!

    Whatever.
    ------------------------------
    I will highlight 4 great applications (all free!)

    Google Maps:
    This is the same Google Maps which you find on the internet. So you can look up points of interest say: restaurants, call the restaurant you just looked up (with a click), check out their website, and even get turn by turn directions to the location using the internal GPS.
    The great thing about the phone is that it's GPS can be used w/out paying for Sprint Navigation or whatever Navigation program your carrier forces you to use. It's basically free for you to use however you want it (as long as you have unlimited data). But the set back is that it doesn't have turn by turn VOICE instructions. Meaning you have to manually press a key to get the next directions. However "Live Search" fixes this (not the voice part- but automatically giving you the next step)
    I tested out the GPS a few times and it works like a charm. An awesome thing about both Google Maps and Live Search Maps or even Yahoo maps is that you can use it using "satellite imagery" meaning that street you're trying to find is not some yellow line, but you can see the actual real life look (in bird's eye view).

    An awesome function is that you can even get live TRAFFIC REPORTS! So it will show how much congestion (green-good, red-bad) on the route you choose, including accident/delay reports. Live Search and Yahoo Go! does this as well.

    Live Search:
    Live Search is basically Microsoft's response to Google Maps. It basically has the same functionality, but it adds some cool features on top. For example, it uses "speech recognition". So instead of typing "Blockbuster" I can just say "Blockbuster" and it will find all the Blockbusters near my location, and like Google Maps it'll offer the ability to call, check website, get directions, etc. Live Search also includes traffic reports, however one thing it has which Google maps doesn't is "Gas Prices". So, it will show you all the gas prices, or cheapest gas in your location .How f'in fabulous is that? I know.. you can thank me later. It also has an option for movies, showing you the theaters around you, show times, movie ratings and how much they've made at the boxoffice (completely useless information, but nice to know).

    Yahoo Go! is basically a mash up of both but if lets you customize what news articles (stocks, entertainment, sports, etc), sports scores, weather, traffic, you want. It's basically anything you'd ever want to know in the palm of your hand. So if you want to read up on the latest Britney gossip, check the Lakers score, know whether it'll rain on Wednesday, and how congested your commute is. You can customize this portal to show all that in one place. Oh and you can also access a mobile version of Flickr.

    TCPMP
    It's Windows Media Player (music, videos) without the crazy use of resources and limited capabilities. Also it allows you to watch youtube videos. Nuff' said.

    Pros to all applications:
    - Anything you'd ever want, you'd ever need. Right HERE. In your hand.

    Cons to all applications:
    - Probability of getting into an accident and looking like Douchebag ("oh... look at me! I can do EVERYTHING on my phone") goes up 1500%.

    ----------------------------------------
    Conclusion:

    Overall the phone is amazing. I love it so far.

    I'd rate it an 7.5/10 due to the incredible amount of cons I listed above.
    But realizing that all of them can be fixed I rate this phone a

    9/10

    It's a solid, well built, incredibly functional device.

    I highly recommend it.

    Motorola Q9c

    Great if:
    - You like being able to do everything mentioned above.
    - Searching for a good looking, fully functional, phone/pda.

    Not Great if:
    - You prefer size over capabilities.
    - You want your phone to be just a phone. (simple)

    Onesimus

    *** The applications listed in this review should be available on most smartphones/pda's. This is not saying that they're exclusive to the MotoQ9c. But that the phone has these capabilities.
    ------------------------------------------

    I'm tempted to do video reviews. (I'm a closet geek)
    Stay tuned.
  3. rudeboy

    rudeboy New Member

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    cool review...

    regarding the contacts and spending 4 hours... i believe Contact changer works on the Q9's.. as you have found out :}
  4. craiggiarc

    craiggiarc Active Member

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    Nice review, and made me want to upgrade now too! I wonder if I can get Alltel to upgrade me for free :)

    Craig
  5. rudeboy

    rudeboy New Member

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    been pondering that idea (but then w/ Verizon) but 1. first QCaps has to work on the Q9 and 2. i fear they won't say the magic word: free :}
  6. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Active Member

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    Very Nice! lol @ J-LO!
  7. craiggiarc

    craiggiarc Active Member

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    Unfortunately I'm with Alltel and they don't even stock the Q9 yet. But like you the key word would need to be 'Free', or something very similar. :)
  8. rudeboy

    rudeboy New Member

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    so were both cheapo's :}
  9. craiggiarc

    craiggiarc Active Member

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    I prefer 'Aficionados of Value'!
  10. PacoJr67

    PacoJr67 Active Member

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    Nothing wrong with being a cheapo.:laugh2:

    I love the phone, although I've never expeierenced any "major" problems with lag (i guess i've been lucky). It seems to me like a rather well balanced phone. Granted that there is no perfect phone out there. When I got mine from Sprint in December I spent a good deal of time Comparing it with my Q1 before I sent it back in. I wasn't too sure that I liked the look of the Q9c at first (I liked the original Q) but it has grown on me.
  11. flygirl

    flygirl New Member

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    Hello. I did a search first but still can't figure it out. Where do you get the links to download the above applications? I am VERY new at this, I've had a blackberry for years so I am very confused :(

    Also (please don't laugh) do I download these directly from my phone? or do I download to PC and activesync?
  12. rainmakerrc

    rainmakerrc New Member

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    Look up members n99hockey and Big-D . . . they have links to their app pages in their signatures which should have links to each of these programs.

    Most of the time, the installation file with be a .cab file. This needs to be transferred (via Active Sync or drag and drop to you memory card) or downloaded to your phone and executed there. If the installation file is an .exe file, then you would run it on your PC while your Q is connected.
  13. flygirl

    flygirl New Member

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    Thanks so much! I saved the Google Map cab file and the TCMTP cab file on my PC but I can't figure out how to transfer it into my phone. Can anyone take me through the steps? Or is there an easier way that someone like me (not very techie) can actually do?
  14. rainmakerrc

    rainmakerrc New Member

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    With your Q connected to your PC via Active Sync, you should be able to open up Windows Explorer and explore your Q (if you use Windows Explorer from your PC, look for "Mobile Device" under My Computer; or from Active Sync, there is an option to explore your device, which will open up a Windows Explorer Window) . . . then you just need to copy or drag and drop the .cab files to your Q (My Documents is a good choice)
  15. flygirl

    flygirl New Member

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    I can't believe that I actually did it! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

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