Sprint is very stingy with accessories as it packages the Motorola Q with an AC charger, a mini USB cable, and reference material. At least Verizon included a holster.
The Motorola Q for Sprint has all the same core features as the Verizon version, including Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone Edition, 128MB of flash memory and 64MB of RAM, a 312MHz processor, push e-mail capabilities, EV-DO support, a 1.3-megapixel camera with video recording, and so forth (see the Features section of the Verizon Moto Q for more). However, the benefit of the Sprint version is it ships with the latest software update from Motorola that is supposed to resolve some of the sluggish performance and battery issues that users experienced with the original model.
Of course, there also are differences with the carrier's content offerings. The Sprint Q comes with OnDemand content, which pulls all the current headlines, sports scores, and weather for the user's region (based on zip code), as well as stock quotes, maps, movie times, and more, and puts it into the palm of your hand. For sports nuts, you also can check out Sprint's NFL Mobile service, where you can get real-time scores and stats. Both services are offered as part of the Sprint Power Vision pack, which ranges in price from $15 to $25 per month. We are, however, disappointed that the Q does not support Sprint's other 3G content, such as Sprint TV and Sprint Music. To be fair, Verizon's Q doesn't support the carrier's comparable V cast service either.
There are a couple of other carrier nuances. First, in Internet Explorer Mobile, Sprint has added an item on the Favorites list called Sprint Powerdeck, which allows you to quickly scan for software updates, search FAQs, contact Sprint, and check out other useful links. There also is a shortcut from the Start menu to the Sprint software store where you can buy and download more applications, games, ringtones, and screensavers.
One final note: the Sprint Motorola Q does support dial-up networking via Bluetooth and USB, but you will have to subscribe to the phone as a modem service plan. Pricing for this starts at $39.99 for 40MB per month, or if you sign a two-year service agreement, you can get an unlimited data plan for $49.99.
We tested the dual-band Motorola Q (CDMA 850/1900; EV-DO) in San Francisco using Sprint's network and call quality was OK. We could hear our callers just fine but noticed a slight hiss in the background; nothing that prevented us from having a conversation though. On the other end, friends said our voice sounded a bit digitized, and they could tell we were using a cell phone, but overall, still clear and loud. Activating the speakerphone yielded similar results. We also were able to pair the Motorola Q with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset without a hitch.
General performance was a bit sluggish. Though we had no problems transferring and viewing Word and Excel documents and various PDFs, there was a noticeable lag when opening said files. Web browsing on the Q was good for the most part. Sites such as CNET.com and ESPN.com took about 10 to 15 seconds to come up, while less graphic-intensive pages took less time. Multimedia was a mixed bag. Listening to music through the Q's speakers was pretty much atrocious. The sound was hollow and faint, and like most cell phones, the Moto Q has a 2.5mm headset jack, so you can't plug in a good pair of headphones. The Q does, however, support Bluetooth stereo headsets. Video performance was much better. We watched a WMV clip, and enjoyed smooth playback with some slight pixelation. The Motorola Q's battery is rated for 4 hours of talk time and up to 8 days of standby time. In our tests, we were able to get 4 hours and 51 minutes of continuous talk time from a single charge.
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