Motorola Q: Three month review

I’ve had my black Motorola Q for a few months and figured I’d revisit the review I wrote a while back. You can read my first impressions here, but keep in mind I’d only had the phone a few days.

Looking back to that first review the positive traits pretty much match up to my impressions today. The screen is quite nice, it’s relatively thin and easy to handle and it works well as an email platform with Exchange server report. Voice quality isn’t bad either.

moto-q-black-1 But the Q has one major problem I can’t overstate: it’s a terrible phone.

When people ask me how I like the Q I tell them that it makes a very good email and text device. It’s not bad at basic web browsing either. But if you’re looking for a great phone, this isn’t it.

What makes it a bad phone? The keys are just to dang small which leads to making numerous typing mistakes. I assumed the mistakes would decrease they longer I had the phone. Not a chance. With my old Motorola E815, I could input the numbers by feel. But the Q requires your utmost attention. And even then you’re likely to make mistakes. It’s an exercise in frustration. If the person you want to call is in your contact list or has called recently, it’s takes pressing a few buttons to make the call. But having to input the number manually is maddening.

I use the data features a lot more than I do the phone. Due mostly to my line of work, email is the preferred method of communication and the Q works quite well for that. I’m also to able to read my RSS feeds through Bloglines which is nice.

One other reason I stick with the Q is that someone at Microsoft wrote a fantastic traffic application. I don’t believe it’s available publicly so I can’t link to a download (here’s what it looks like), but it’s the best traffic application I’ve seen on a smartphone. Living about 25 mile south of Seattle and commuting into Redmond each day, I’ve come to rely on this nifty little application. I know there are web based product with similar functionality, but I like not having to launch my browser each time I want traffic updates.

So I can’t recommend the Q primarily as a phone. If you’re a data first, phone second kind of person, it may fit your needs though. If that’s the case it would help to have thin, nimble fingers.