Slim and Smart
November 7, 2006 by mac
Not me, my Motorola Q. There are camera phones, fashion phones, music phones, and Smartphone’s. After a couple of months or so using a new Smartphone (work tether), here is some insight and feedback. The “Q” was a replacement for a Treo 650 (PalmOS) that fell victim of a horrific accident in a local Starbucks. The below pros/cons contrast my Treo vs. Q experiences, however, I’ve also used a Blackberry and have a couple data points from that vantage. Goodlink is my IT mandated two-way push messaging solution and I share issues about this software as well.
The Q squeezes all the features you’d expect in a Smartphone — Bluetooth, IrDA, QWERTY keypad, 1.3Mpixel camera in an ultra-thin (11.5mm) device where Outlook meets camera and media player.
Great form factor (4.1oz; 4.3Hx2.5Wx0.5D-inch); much lighter than Treo; fits in pocket
Windows Mobile 5.0 is better integrated (sync etc.,) than the PalmOS on Treo 650
Side-mounted scroll wheel, makes for single hand operation. The Treo was a stop the car, get out and grab the “wand” for a two-hand operation!
miniSD card for portable video/music
Good QWERTY keyboard – not “abridged” like the new Blackberry Pearl
Excellent phone quality/performance
Very good screen quality (2.4-inch; 320×240 pixels)
Great system responsiveness; Verizon EVDO data network is speedy
Keyboard lock really works and does not make 911 calls on its own! However, with the phone in your pocket, it can still make calls if the GoodLink timeout hasn’t started.
Innovative translucent adjustment on any photo and can use as a background
IrDA transfer works exceptionally well for quick biz card exchanges
Motorola battery chargers are made small and exceptionally well for traveling
Web 2.0 hits the Q – an online Wiki with lots of tips and information.
Availability of add on software. Lots! One example is Musicdock that provides access to your XM Radio account via the Q.
The USQ ultra low-profile “skin” ($19.95) fits extremely well and works super in keeping the phone from flying across any car dash.
Weak integration with GoodLink software. Goodlink is my IT supported two-way push messaging solution. A weakness example is the need to modify multiple categories/screens for ringtones if you want to eliminate a ring that you thought was OFF in Windows Mobile 5.
GoodLink Contacts can’t be used for text messaging – must be in the Windows phone contact manager and doing a cut/paste is beyond challenging.
GoodLink Contacts can’t have distinctive ring tones – must be in the Windows phone contact manager
GoodLink has no audible calendar and task reminder options (can be done in a limited way with phone options), but rather messy
No GoodLink backup option (any reloads must be done OTA)
GoodLink does not retain selected calendar views when phone and Goodlink get restarted.
My office location and Verizon service seem incompatible. Spotty to no coverage.
GoodLink phone lock password can only be numeric – alpha characters can’t be entered. This was an incredible waste of time when I first received the unit and could have been eliminated had it been in the instructions
Windows Mobile Internet Explorer is a rather weak handheld browser – it does not scale the pages to the screen size, so formatting is odd and a great deal of scrolling is required to use it.
No automatic extra digit access code dialing for speed dial numbers
Landscape oriented screen requires more scrolling, but can be done so from the scroll wheel and the optional screen protectors slightly diminish the brightness of the display
The belt holster (included) is weak, but the Q easily fits in any pocket, so not an issue.
The standard battery lasts less than 12 hours (~10 hours idle, or ~2 hours talk time) when running GoodLink. A larger battery (which also places a bump on the back of the Q) provides significant more duty/cycle.
I’ve had to reset the Q once, but never by pulling the battery. I had to restart the Treo 650 frequently (weekly). It would just hang, sometimes in the middle of a call and it became a routine duty to remove the battery cover and push the reset button with the wand or more often than not physically remove the battery for a hard reboot.
Conclusions:I wouldn’t say that the Q is my perfect all in one device/Smartphone, but the form factor of the Q is very compelling, the operation is one-handed and straightforward, and the phone quality is very good.