The Motorola Q 9H - also known as the MOTO Q Global - targets the international traveller who wants to be productive and enjoy multimedia with a Windows Mobile handheld. Unfortunately, this Motorola mobile phone falls a bit short on data connectivity and GPS features.
Hot on the heels of its multimedia-friendly Motorola Q 9m, Motorola now delivers a Q smartphone intended for business travellers. The Motorola Q 9h is the first Q to support international roaming via quad-band GSM.
The Motorola Q 9H also throws in Bluetooth, a GPS receiver, and a slew of software extras including the Opera browser, and the Documents to Go productivity suite.
But the Motorola Q Global is not always as travel-friendly as you'd wish. While it supports 3G HSDPA/UMTS, data speeds when roaming overseas slow to pokier EDGE rates. (Wi-Fi support would have been nice, too.)
And the TeleNav GPS navigation software (which you must download to install and pay for as a service) doesn't work when you're abroad. While you can still use the Motorola Q 9H with GPS-enabled mapping apps such as Google Maps to see where you are and find nearby businesses, you don't get routing help or turn-by-turn directions when you presumably might need them most.
Looks like a BlackBerry - or a blackjack
Mostly black with silver accents, the Motorola Q 9H's design appears sleeker and more BlackBerry-like than ever. Weighing in at a mere 0.13kg and measuring 117x66x13mm, it sports a landscape-format 320-by-240-pixel screen that also brings the Samsung Blackjack to mind.
We found thumb typing on the Motorola Q 9H's keyboard - which has undergone a complete overhaul from that of the original Q - quite comfortable and certainly easier than it was on older versions. The familiar navigation pad and keys (seven in all) between the screen and the keyboard are augmented by BlackBerry-like controls on the side of the device, for up and down scrolling, selecting, and going back through menus.
But when trying to access features or programs that weren't accessible via the hardware buttons, we found navigation surprisingly complicated. For example, there is no quick way to get to the settings on the Motorola Q 9H, which on many Windows Mobile smartphones appear on the main Start menu.
We found the Motorola Q 9H fine as a phone. In our informal tests, voice calls sounded good, and web browsing and email access was a pleasure on the speedy 3G network.
The Motorola Q 9H has a built-in 2Mp camera with lots of menu controls, including image resolution, brightness, white balance, flash, and up to 8X digital zoom. But we are disappointed in the high-res images we captured: They are grainy and fuzzy on a PC, even those that looked good on the Motorola Q 9H's much smaller screen.
On the other hand, we are impressed by the multimedia playback. A video of Enya's 'May It Be', which includes a fair amount of 'Lord of the Rings' film footage, looks terrific and sounds great, when run in full-screen mode on the mobile version of Windows Media Player. The video is stored on a Micro SD card that slips easily into a slot on the Q's lefthand side, a big plus over the slots that sit under the battery (and therefore require opening the case) on some smartphones.
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