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The Q8 is what you’d go in for if you wanted a slightly downsized version of the Motorola Q9 business phone. It has all you’d ever need from a business phone in terms of features, but let me first give you my opinion on how those functions worked.
Personally I like the design of the Q8. The QWERTY keypad is easy to use and its slim lightweight design (116 x 64 x 11.5 mm) is perfect when it came to holding comfortably or shoving into your pocket. The five way nav-pad makes navigating the menus easy and the jog dial on the side only enhances that experience.
On the other side of the phone is the 2.5mm earphone socket and below that is the miniSD card slot. Lower down is the multi-purpose mini USB port for charging and PC connectivity. Under the jog dial is return key for moving back through menus.
The weirdest thing about this phone is the display. For some reason – and this is not something you’ll notice straight off – the display is off by a few millimeters. I thought it was a design flaw with just this one piece and decided to check out other pictures from the internet... and what do you know, it seems to be a consistent feature. I have no clue why this is so, but I'll let you in once I find out.
Features and Performance
The Motorola Q8 runs on a Windows Mobile 6.0 Standard edition. Since it doesn’t have a touchscreen, the OS may not look like your regular Windows Mobile OS. I have no complaints as navigating this menu is much easier. Unfortunately there seem to be some quirks with the OS. For example, in the Messaging menu, you have to keep going to Options > Folders to view messaging folders (like Drafts and Sent Items). The view will stick to the one option selected, and if you roll back it’ll take you to the main Messaging menu. Quite annoying.
It’s never an easy thing to set up your email or even your GPRS in a Windows Mobile handset, and that has always irked me. It gets way too intricate most of the time and I simply couldn’t get BPL to function at all. Though the Setup Wizard had options for Vodaphone and Idea, BPL was sadly not included.
The document viewer supports all kinds of extensions, including PDF and PowerPoint. A handy Zip file viewer allows you to extract and compress files. The Calendar feature is nothing you haven’t seen before. Other features include Tasks, Calculator, Multiple Converter, Memo Pad for quick notes, Voice Memos – and Windows Live and Windows Live Messenger apps. These are pretty much prevalent in almost all phones these days. The Q8’s voice recognition application is a notable exception, but then it wasn’t too responsive.
I appreciated the way the Q8 handled music. The quality of audio was loud and clear as is, but the Q8 also has an Audio Enhancement feature that allows you to control a few aspects such as the bass, clarity and surround. The external speakers are superbly loud, so using the speakerphone went well. There are a couple of games like Solitaire and Bubble Breaker.
The large 2.4-inch QVGA display with a resolution of 320 x 240 was more than adequate for watching videos. Another oddity was the Media Center option in the menu – for some reason it showed me media files (images, videos and audio) that were in the phone memory but not those in the memory card. Seems to me it's a space-filler application that doesn’t serve any specific purpose. Funnily, there's a Pictures and Video option anyway. Go figure.
The 1.3 megapixel camera with flash and video recording is just about okay. Nothing to write home about; it's just another camera with average features. I would have liked it better had it allowed the use of the whole screen as a viewfinder and not just a tiny section in the middle. The image quality was okay.
The Q8 supports EDGE but has no Wi-Fi, which is not too big a deal. It has Bluetooth for file transfer, USB for PC support with ActiveSync for backing up your data, and supports email via IMAP4, POP3, SMTP, Exchange with Push email clients, and also has RIM support. So connectivity-wise it has no problems.
The Q8 is powered by an Intel PXA272 (417Mhz) processor, has 128MB ROM, 64MB of RAM and 40MB of internal memory. These specs don't exactly make the phone blazingly fast; in fact the Q8 proved a bit sluggish when opening applications and larger files. But you'll be impressed by the bundled kit. Aside from the regular battery that gives no more than 3 hours of talk time, it also has a second (larger and fatter) battery and a portable charger. If you are a traveler and don’t often get a chance to recharge, this is a good option.
I like the design and handling of the Q8. The video and audio capabilities are nice, and it’s decently equipped connectivity-wise. However, there isn't much to make it stand out. At a price of Rs 16,239, which includes goodies like the additional battery and portable charger, it may be the only way the box is worth so much. I feel the phone itself isn't – It has too many oddities that didn’t bode well with me. So, on the whole the Q8 is just about okay.
|Network||GSM 850/900/1800/1900, EDGE|
|Physical||116 x 64 x 11.5 mm, 85g|
|Display||320 x 240, 65k colors, TFT, 2.4 inch |
|Memory||40MB internal, miniSD for external |
|Media||MP3, AAC, 3GP, Voice Recording|
|Camera||1.3 megapixels, LED Flash, video|
|Connectivity||USB, Bluetooth, Infrared|
|Battery||240 hrs standby, 3 hrs talktime |
|Street Price ||Rs 16,239|