Photon Q 4G LTE smartphone by Motorola Mobility LLC
$199.99 with two-year service contract at Sprint.com
With BlackBerry phone maker RIM at the brink of doom, and Apple Inc. committed to touchscreens for its iPhones, those who insist upon pushbutton keyboards pretty much have to choose phones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Luckily, there are some nice keyboard-equipped Androids out there, including this one.
As you might expect, the Photon Q is thicker and heavier than most of its rivals, thanks to a keyboard that snaps out from below the phone’s touchscreen. It’s quite a nice keyboard, too, with rounded buttons that are easy on the fingers, and brightly illuminated with a built-in backlight.
The Photon Q is compatible with Sprint’s upgraded 4G data service, which uses snappy LTE technology for much faster data downloads than the company’s old-school 4G system. The LTE option is still unavailable in many cities, but Boston is plugged in. The Photon Q I tested was downloading data at over 10 million bits per second, and uploading at almost four megabits. Hot stuff.
Still, with its chunky body and bland black plastic case, your friends won’t gasp with envy when you whip out the Photon Q. Not until you start texting on that lovely keyboard.
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