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Moto Q 9h
Business-class phones are quite the in-thing these days. With demand increasing for more functional devices, phone manufacturers are trying to carve themselves a slice of the pie. The Moto Q9h is Motorola’s offering in this space, having converted the Moto Q (a CDMA phone) into a GSM version. Let’s check out what’s in store.
After the success of the RAZR V8, Motorola's kept up the pace with the Q9. Seeing the brand grow like it did in the past few years, it's clear they have bothered to right a few wrongs, starting from the design of the phones. I have never been a big fan of Motorola phones, but of late even this has managed to change.
The latest offering from Motorola, the Q9, is an attempt to offer a business solution at a serious level. First let’s talk about the design. To begin with, the phone has dimensions of 118 x 67 x 11.8 mm and weighs about 134g. Contrary to what most people would say, the phone isn’t THAT big. I've heard many a comment about its resemblance to a calculator, but this is probably because the form factor doesn’t work for all. For those looking for a full-fledged QWERTY keypad, the Q9 offers responsive keys.
The function keys are all placed above the keypad in Motorola’s usual flat-bed style, separated by ridges. Right in the middle you will find the five-way D-pad. For convenience the phone has the volume keys (that will also help you navigate when not playing music) placed on the right side along with the back key and the select key, just in case you want to use the phone with one hand.
The phone has a 2.4-inch TFT display capable of showing 65K colors at 320 x 240 resolution, just like the new iPod classic. To make life easier, a sensor decides the brightness levels for you depending on the light conditions. The iPod-sized screen also gives a good DPI (dot per inch) ratio and keeps the color reproduction quite accurate.
The front area has been given a glossy look, with a shiny black front and rubber finished back that has only the stylized ‘M’ logo and the battery cover. The camera is situated right at the top, along with a flash, but the self-portrait mirror is missing.
The Q9 makes use of a microSD card, the hot swappable slot for which can be found at the back of the handset on the right-hand side of the bend. As a newly adopted standard, the phone comes with a microUSB slot on the left of the phone.
Features and Performance
If you've used a Windows Mobile phone before, don’t expect a drastic change. The only upside the Q9 offers is that it’s not touchscreen equipped, so messaging and typing notes is a cakewalk, what with the responsive QWERTY keypad.
The Q9 works on Windows Pocket Mobile 6, and has been customized to include select useful features. To begin with, it offers eight messaging inboxes, for corporate as well as personal email. It’s equipped with a dual-processor HSDPA/UMTS engine, with a GSM bandwidth of 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900. The phone could have done with a little more processing power though. It works on a TI OMAP 2420 processor and comes with 96MB RAM and 256 ROM (flash), which is more than what most others offer.
You can use up to 2GB of extendable memory in the form of microSD cards. When we asked the technical spokespersons at Motorola, they claimed you can use a 4GB card as well when it’s made available. However, the phone’s been tested to offer optimum performance with the 2GB card, so it may be safer to stick with that. Apart from that, the phone comes with an inbuilt memory of 256MB.
Apart from Internet Explorer, which comes bundled with every Windows Mobile phone, Motorola has conveniently added the Opera Mini browser as well. Apparently, the Q9 includes a small-screen rendering (SSR) technology that "reformats web page content to match the size constraints of small mobile screens, thereby eliminating the need for horizontal scrolling." Landscape mode lets you view web pages in widescreen; but navigation can be a bitch – you will need to tab your way through. A touchscreen would have been handy here. The absence of Wi-Fi is another downside.
The phone supports Java, but comes bundled with a handful of the usual boring games such as Solitaire and Bubble Breaker. It does, however, include a host of applications like WorldMate, SplashID and Yahoo!Go, which allow you to check news, mail, and upload pictures to your Flickr account. The phone also has Trend Micro antivirus software – clearly a precautionary measure, since there are no known viruses for Windows Mobile 6.
Of course, having Windows Mobile 6 gives you a chance to use preloaded Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You can create, edit and view Word, but PDF files can only be viewed.
Music and Camera
You can only use Window Media Player to play either music or videos. As always, music isn’t that impressive a deal, since the volume isn’t particularly loud. The bundled speakers are stereo-enabled and truly amazing. You can watch a movie without having to worry about missing any dialogs uttered in hushed tones.
The only problem is that the player fails to update its library to any media content from the card; you need to access the card and open them individually, or simply open manually from WMP. You can play WMV, MP4 and 3GP files for videos and MP3 format for music. The video resolution is the same as the iPod, but Motorola inexplicably failed to bundle an application for converting videos.
The 2 megapixel camera has an effective flash. Picture quality is not that good though, but having a big screen helps. Even in daylight, the pics were rather shaky and grainy. You can record video in QVGA (320 x 240) resolution, which is brilliant.
Motorola has learned how to please people by packing in a number of features that work for them. The BlackBerry Curve, which doesn’t offer Wi-Fi either, costs a bit more than the Moto Q9, but does offer a bit more. However, as far as multimedia options are concerned, the Q9 is ahead of the Curve.
The Q9 costs Rs 20,720, and comes with a 1GB miniSD card free. Battery life is decent, and voice reception is quite clear. Playing video content consumes a lot of battery, but a portable charger is included. It’s a tiny rechargeable pebble look-alike, and can give you a full charge when your phone battery dies down. If you're the business oriented sort, this one is worth a try.