Considering a Motorola Q?

I bought a Motorola Q a few months ago. It’s not a bad device if you text/email a lot, but it’s not a great phone. I wrote a review of this phone after I’d had it for three months.

I recently upgraded to the Motorola Q9M (I’m told the “M” stands for Music) which possess the same chip as the Q but includes several big upgrades. The biggest of which is the move to Windows Mobile 6. The Q includes Windows Mobile 5 which is quite sluggish in comparison. Windows Mobile includes some shortcuts when dealing with mail that are not included in WM 5. If you read a lot of mail on your phone, the small improvement can lead to big productivity gains.

It’s worth upgrading to the Q9M just to get Windows Mobile 6 but I’m not happy that Verizon and Motorola decided that the older model couldn’t be upgraded. Why would Verizon do this when the phones have the same chip? In order to collect more money from you, that’s why!

Here are a few more reasons the Q9M is better than the Q:

  1. Vastly improved keyboard – the Q’s keys are terrible. I made far more typing mistakes on the Q. The keys on the Q9M are still small but they have a much better feel and are spaced properly.
  2. Improved Battery – This is probably a benefit of Windows Mobile 6, but the battery life is much better on the Q9M than the Q.
  3. Lighter Weight – The Q9M weighs less, yet still feels substantial in my hand.
  4. Improved ergonomics – Not only does the keyboard feels a lot better, so do all the keys on the Q9M. The big arrow buttons and analog stick are much improved making menu navigation easier on the Q9M.

One question you might have is whether or not the Q9M is a better phone. I think it is for two reasons: keyboard makes it easier to dial and Windows Mobile 6 improves the phone functions. It’s still not a great phone and if you’re looking for a great phone, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But it’s serviceable. I can’t understate how much better the device performs under Windows Mobile 6 though which makes using the phone a much better experience.

I don’t know why Verizon continues to sell the Q except that it’s $50 cheaper than the Q9M ($199 vs. $149). The only thing I like better about the Q is the scroll wheel sticks out a bit further and seems to have a better tactile feel compared to the slicker wheel on the Q9M. But that lasted a day and now I can’t imagine going back to the Q.

If you’re considering one of these devices, go with the Q9M. Even if you’re not a heavy text/email users, you’ll appreciate the substantial performance upgrade that Windows Mobile 6 brings to the phone. I wish I had upgraded sooner.

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              Q9M                                                 Q

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