Jul 26 AT 6:17 PM Taylor Wimberly 26 Comments

Motorola and Sprint revive the high-end QWERTY Android phone with the Photon Q


If you love physical QWERTY keyboards on your Android phones, then Motorola might have the device of your dreams. Recently we have seen QWERTY keyboard relegated to low-end Android phones, but Sprint just announced the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE and it measures up with most of the high-end phones on the market.

The Photon Q features a 5-row QWERTY keyboard, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 4.3 inch ColorBoost display, 1 GB RAM, 3G/4G LTE support, world-wide GSM roaming, and an 8 MP camera. The qHD 540×960 display, 8 GB internal storage, and 1 GB RAM are less than recent flagship devices like the Galaxy S III, but some might be willing to make those sacrifices to get a physical keyboard.

Sprint did not announce availability or pricing, but they did say the device is “coming soon.” When additional information is available, Sprint should share it at www.sprint.com/photonq.

Motorola also revealed they will offer an unlockable bootloader on the Photon Q, which will make this appealing to those that like to hack their phones.

Highlights of the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE include:

  •  Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core (unconfirmed, but likely Snapdragon S4 processor)
  • 4.3 inch qHD 540 x 960 ColorBoost screen
  • Rear-facing 8MP camera with 1080p video capture, front-facing HD camera
  • 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal storage
  • 1785 mAh Lithium-ion battery (embedded), 7.5 hours talk time
  • Sprint ID, offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with apps, widgets, ringtones and more all, in a single download
  • LTE, CDMA 800/1900 EVDO Rev A, World Phone – GSM 850/1900/1800/900, UMTS 850/1900/2100 (SIM is embedded in the phone, GSM SIM is locked and not removable)
  • NFC, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0

Overall it looks like a pretty nice device for those that prefer the physical keyboards. If you think the Photon Q 4G LTE might find a spot in your pocket, let us know in the comments below.

motorola-photon-q-5 motorola-photon-q-3 motorola-photon-q-2 motorola-photon-q-1 motorola-photon-q-630

Via: Motorola

Source: Sprint

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Illrigger

    You see, you had me up until the crappy qHD pentile display. Moto needs to move into this decade with their standard screens.

    • jom

      It isn’t pentile.

  • Nate B.

    Not bad. With Stock Jelly Bean this would be mint.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I don’t think we will see carrier phones shipping with Jelly Bean for another 6 months.

      • Dags -

        I think it will be much quicker than that. JB is the most minor point upgrade Google has ever released. It’s really just service pack 1 for ICS.

        • Bpear96

          Its not the fact that it would be hard to get a ICS device to run JB.its the manufactures and carriers who either don’t care or are lazy

      • Nate B.

        Oh, I know that sir :-). Just feeding my imagination.

  • spazby

    nice. i loved my samsung epic couple of phones ago because of physical keyboard but swype converted me….

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I loved my keyboard on the HTC G1, but that was the last time I used one.

      • Carlos icee0711

        This. Then again I haven’t encountered a 5 row that felt that good nor a device with worthy specs

  • RJC

    What about this is high end? It’s another crappy low end phone. Don’t shove low end garbage at us and complain when we don’t buy it. Give us a feature rich up, to date, super fast android phone with landscape keyboard and I’ll buy it. Until then I’ll hold on to what I have.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Snapdragon S4, 4G LTE, NFC, GSM roaming, unlockable bootloader.

  • cwjones4

    my sister has been loving her samsung galaxy epic on sprint, and she doesn’t really care about having the latest and greatest specs. this phone would be a hit with her. I wonder if this is motorola’s attempt to grab some people at the end of their contract with the epic who still like physical keyboards.

  • anonymous

    The GSM SIM being locked and not removable bothers me :(, if I ever use this phone internationally. But otherwise the phone looks interesting, I hope the keyboard is better than the droid phones which were not spaced well enough.

    Frequency: LTE, CDMA 800/1900 EVDO Rev A, World Phone – GSM 850/1900/1800/900, UMTS 850/1900/2100 (SIM is embedded in the phone, GSM SIM is locked and not removable)

  • cosmos

    I’m glad Moto are making some effort at a high-end qwerty phone, but I don’t want ANY compromise! I want a keyboard but I’m not going to settle for a qHD Screen any more! Please Moto, release (internationally) a version of the RAZR HD (or whatever it will be called) but with a keyboard and you have a winner! This however, is a near miss…

  • olen

    i own the galasy nexus and use swiftkey x, but i would buy a nexus with stock and keyboard if available. i have quite big hands and a physical keyboard is just better to use

  • Nathan D.

    Is this a high end keyboard phone?! I haven’t seen one for a while, nice to see one for a change.

    • dVyper

      It’s as high end as we can expect now I think since no one wants them. I used to like em but after getting bored of playing SNES and GBA emulators I didn’t actually ever use the keyboard. I can type WAY faster using swiftkey or swype.

  • Stella

    Hopefully, this helps to lure in the people who still are afraid of not having a physical keyboard. My Blackberry friends, I’m talking about you. I remember that trepidation when I upgraded from my G1. It’s funny that I don’t think I will ever go back to a full keyboard again.

  • MoSDeeb

    Unlocked boot loader? Fairly sure this was google pushing and that’s great for moto fans.

  • Nate B.

    It would be nice for Google to make a variety of Nexus devices this time around. I would love for an innovative sexy ass device with dumb specs and a keyboard. Still keep the curve look some how.

  • Mandy

    I won’t buy a phone without a keyboard. I have had two touchscreens go out on HTC. The only thing that saved me was the keyboard. I have the Motorola Droid 4 with Verizon. Love it, I m glad they are continuing to upgrade them. I would love to have the Samsung Galaxy S but won’t go without my keyboard.

  • glitchsys

    To bad it’s on Sprint’s network. Wish it was T-Mobile or AT&T. I need a high end AT&T Android QWERTY phone with keyboard other than the Captivate Glide. The Droid 4 is nice on Verizon.

  • Alex4life

    I’m currently a samsung epic 4g user and love the keyboard, just never really cared to get used to the touchscreen. Use the keyboard for everything, that includes gamsing.

    I like having buttons for my sega emulator whenever I feel like passing the time somewhere so I’m on the fence whether I should get the photon or stick with samsung on the real high end galaxy s 3

  • Deltauro

    Consumers are definitely desperate for physical qwerty phones, majority want them, but why don’t they sell? Because they are not made high end enough, this phone could at least have a high definition display and 2 gb ram and it would have been the star of the Android community. But when they do that they will manage to give it a tiny internal storage with no way to expand or the keyboard won’t be 5 row. There is a massive market out there full of angry android users who want the perfect product. Why don’t the manufacturers respond?

  • Mahesh S. Panicker

    I wan’t my phone to have that feel of a keypad so the touch screen is not for me!. Although visually challenged people are able to navigate a touch screen phone these days, its quite a demanding task. So any which way, a phone with a keypad is the best thing, particularly as it would run on the latest Android version. Thanks Motorola, while everyone else is after those fully touch screen interface, there is Motorala, showing some sense.