Motorola MOTO Q 9h
- HSDPA capable, Excellent keyboard and design, Good call quality, Windows Mobile 6
- No Wi-Fi, Proprietary USB and headphone jack, Stubborn navigational pad
The MOTO Q 9h's excellent QWERTY keyboard makes it ideal for heavy emailing. On the whole, this is a competent smart phone that's packaged in a nice design.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
It's been a long while since Motorola has released a smart phone dedicated to mobile email, but the wait is finally over with the launch of the MOTO Q 9h - a handset boasting HSDPA capabilities, the latest Windows Mobile 6 operating system and a well designed QWERTY keyboard. Exclusive to Vodafone upon its release, the MOTO Q 9h is a versatile, well designed and feature packed smart phone.
The MOTO Q 9h is HSDPA capable, meaning it can theoretically download data at speeds of up to 3.6MB/sec. This gives it a distinct advantage over the popular BlackBerry range; currently only available on standard GSM networks. In-call quality is excellent, and a level above what we usually experience from smart phones. Volume is loud and clear, while the hands-free speakerphone works well, especially in noisy environments.
Setting up an email account is a breeze, and the Q 9h supports push email from a Microsoft Exchange mail server, as well as standard POP3 and IMAP email accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. We tested the unit with a Yahoo! address and setup was seamless; simply enter the email address and password, and the Q 9h automatically downloads the account settings from the Internet, the whole process takes less than a minute. Our one complaint is that the process involves moving through a few screens, despite the minimal amount of information you have to enter.
The Q 9h runs the latest mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 6. It includes the office mobile suite, comprising of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Mobile viewers, but you can only view and not edit these documents. There is also consumer and multimedia focused applications like Internet Explorer and Opera browsers, and Windows Media Player 10 Mobile. Videos on the display are bright and clear, and suffered no noticeable ghosting; although a slightly larger screen would have been preferred for such multimedia content.
Along with its HSDPA capabilities, Bluetooth and USB 2.0 connectivity are also present on the Q 9h, making it an ideal communications device. A USB cable is included in the sales package, although disappointingly Motorola has strayed away from the usual standard mini-USB connection - the Q 9h utilising a proprietary one instead. There is also no Wi-Fi, although the HSDPA capabilities somewhat make up for this.
The Q 9h supports a wide range of file formats, most of them playable through Windows Media player 10. These include MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, AMR-NB and MIDI files. Unfortunately, media support is frustratingly let down by a proprietary USB jack for headphones. With no adapter included in the sales package, you'll have to make do with the included headphones, which aren't of a very high standard for music listening. Alternatively, you can listen to music and videos using the external speaker , which does a reasonable job for a portable device.
The Q 9h is powered by a 325MHz processor, 256MB of flash ROM, and 96MB of RAM. Conveniently, Motorola includes a 512MB microSD card in the sales package, and it slots neatly behind a well concealed plastic flap. The processor does a fair job, though it did become sluggish when running multiple applications. This annoyingly occurred when typing emails as well; the Windows loading icon would sometimes appear while typing, slowing down the process.
Continuing its theme of work and play, the Q 9h includes a 2 megapixel camera with flash, 8x digital zoom, and a video recorder. Photos are as expected from a 2 megapixel sensor and despite the presence of a flash, night time photography isn't up to scratch. Although it's a 3G and HSDPA handset, the Q 9H doesn't have a front mounted VGA camera for video calls.
It's hard to believe that the Q 9h is just 11.8mm thin, until you have it in your hands. Its sleek and stylish design mirrors some of Motorola's other handsets, including the iconic RAZR. Arguably the best part of the design is the keyboard. The curved, QWERTY keypad features soft and easy to press keys. Despite the minimal space between the keys, the rounded nature of each button makes it a joy to type on, and we were achieving fast speeds after just a few minutes. The soft, rubber feel of the keys is a real winner, making it one of the best keyboards on a smart phone that we've reviewed.
The controls couldn't be more contrasting; they are hard, flat and finished in the same glossy plastic that surrounds the display. There are two selection buttons, answer and end call keys, as well as dedicated buttons for Internet, mail, home and clear/back. A five-way navigational pad does most of the work, but it isn't as responsive as we would like and can be quite stubborn. The 2.4in display is bright and clear, although it does suffer a little in direct sunlight and isn't too kind to fingerprints. It has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and produces 65k of colours.
The Q 9h's proprietary Lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 6.5 hours talk time and up to 480 hours standby time. These figures are very reasonable, especially talking into account the phones HSDPA capabilities, and its many multimedia applications.
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