Pros + The Photon has amazing call quality. Voices are loud, sharp and clear
+ The screen has great brightness and clarity, with good color
+ Build quality is light but solid
Cons - LED notification- It doesn't light up when you charge the phone or get notifications
- Camera's average
Summary I have had the Motorola Photon for two weeks now after upgrading from an HTC Evo 4G. Let me preface this by saying I loved my Evo; I got it on launch day and it was a great phone for the time I had it. However, my original unit went haywire after nine months and the replacement was... quirky. Nonetheless, I would have kept it had the Photon not come along, as I wasn't overly impressed by the Evo 3D. So what made me give up my beloved Evo for the Photon?
1. Call quality: The Photon has amazing call quality. Voices are loud, sharp and clear, and people on the other end report no noise or garbled speech. My Evo sounded like a toy compared to the Photon. A note on call quality: some people reported a "silent call" bug where they would connect a call but hear nothing, and this was admittedly a problem for a small number of users. However, Sprint recently released an update that seems to have fixed this issue for the majority of those suffering from it (for the record, I never did).
2. Battery life: I got good at managing my Evo's battery and could go a whole day with moderate use. I don't really worry about that with the Photon, however. Aside from some minor adjustments to app settings, I have done very little battery tweaking and it easily lasts all day with moderate to heavy use. It also has some basic battery management settings (reducing load at night is the default), something the Evo lacked.
3. The screen: The screen has great brightness and clarity, with good color. It also has a functioning auto-brightness function, something I gave up on using on my Evo after one week. The Photon's screen is easily visible under the direct summer sun, something my Evo struggled with. It's also more energy efficient than the Evo, helping reduce battery drain with equivalent brightness. HOWEVER: the screen is what's known as a PenTile screen, a different display technology than what many people are used to. This results in a pixelated appearance if you're not used to it. When I first looked at the Photon, I thought the screen looked terrible. After playing with some other phones and taking a second look at the Photon, however, I didn't notice it as much. Now, after two weeks, I only notice it if I look for it. When I powered my Evo up to wipe it in preparation for selling it, I was struck by how dull and muddy a screen I once considered gorgeous looked to my eyes. I recommend looking at the Photon in person before you buy it, and do it more than once if you notice the pixelation from the start.
4. Speed: It's fast. Everything seems faster than my Evo: boot up, browsing, launching apps, scrolling through screens, turning on the 4G antenna. Whatever I throw at it, the Photon handles. The few times it did lag was due to an app misbehaving, nothing a quick force close couldn't fix.
5. Signal strength: it's hard to compare across phones without a cell signal strength app (which I have not bothered with), but the Photon seems more stable than my Evo. The only times I've lost a call was talking to another cell phone user, and it was their location that caused it. My Evo was pretty solid in this regard, so for the Photon to surpass it really impresses me.
6. Build quality: the Photon is light but solid. It's comfortable to hold and the Gorilla Glass screen is not only durable but beautiful as well, with a very subtle taper where it meets the bezel. Note this does make a little gap that can attract pocket lint, but it's easy enough to blow out. My Evo was a joy to hold as well, but like many early adopters mine had minor cosmetic issues that I just don't see on the Photon.
7. It's Android!: not a plus over the Evo, of course, but I wanted to point it out as it means the phone is incredibly customizable compared to other phone OSes. If you don't like Motorola's stock UI (and I'm not overly fond of it; HTC's Sense blows it out of the water), you can easily change or hide it and not worry about it at all. Don't like the widgets? Replace them! Don't like the launcher? Replace it! Want a different lock screen? Replace it! Some people forget that the stock UI of any Android phone is not what you have to use.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the Photon. I do miss HTC Sense, but as I noted above it's easy to customize the UI to your liking. The Photon is everything I loved about the Evo, only better.
Oh, and for those for whom this is important...
8. Root: the Photon has been rooted and the bootloader unlocked, all within about two weeks of its launch. It will have good developer support.
9. Deals: before you will buy the Motorola Photon 4G, I suggest you have to check for best deal before you decide at: Dealsfine.info/motorola-photon-4g/
Thank for reading.
Pros - Fast android phone with 16GB onboard ram with expansion for up to 32GB More
- Call Quality Significantly better than the HTC EVO 3D it replaced (Including Speaker Phone)
- Signal reception is the best I have experienced on any Sprint Phone. I can get
Cons - Interface (Motoblur (or whatever they call it on this phone) is still not on par with HTC Sense
- While I think the color and screen are overall better than the evo 3d, items do come across pixilated at times
Summary For a business Android phone, the Photon was really my only dual core option with Sprint. I had upgraded my original Evo to the Evo 3D and was extremely disappointed. I was in San Diego for comic con and my phone would leave my charger at 7am and be dead before 1pm. This is with only making 1-2 calls and no internet surfing, minimal texting. Battery life was terrible. That was with GPS / Bluetooth / 4G turned off.
I need a phone that can last the work day and the Motorola Photon does not disappoint. I am easily able to make a large amount of calls, text, email and still have 25-40% OF juice left. This is with Bluetooth and GPS on the whole time.
There is a very significant difference in call quality between the evo 3d and the Photon, which was another deciding factor for my switch. Like the evo 3d, Menus are quick; I had no problems doing video playback and the camera works great. Still need to find a good case for it though.
I like the way the phone looks cosmetically, and I purchased the Doc Station (Which by the way sells for $99.00 right now at Sprint, not $129) The trick here is to buy two accessories if you're a Premier Customer with Sprint and save 25% on both.
I was really hesitant to leave HTC when I exchanged my Evo 3D to the Motorola Photon. At the end of the day it boiled down to battery life and call quality. There difference is measurable between these two devices that justified the switch in my mind. I am not trying to knock the Evo 3D here, because in my opinion the HTC Sense interface is by far the best of any Android device, but I think HTC messed up a little on this device.
Bottom line I am happy with the device, at least until he Samsung Galaxy II comes out :)
Pros Wi-Fi file transfer
Can Disable Sprint Software
Auto/Home Dock Stations/Software
Cons More Function than Form (isn't as pretty as some phones)
Not as vivid as a few other phones
There are phones with better cameras.
Not all apps can take advantage of the robust resolution
• Instantly & natively (without rooting phone or installing 3rd party apps) transfer files to and from Phone's Internal Memory and SD Memory directly to your PC using Windows Explorer via USB or Wi-Fi!
• Very Comfortable to hold, put up to face, and work on
• VERY Loud Ear Speaker
• Very Fast & Responsive
• Motorola are absolute experts in Hardware (they've been servicing NASA for decades)
• Desktop Communication is out of this world; tempted to stop using my Notebook
• TONS of memory (16GB + 1GB onboard; 32GB side loaded)
• You can totally disable Motorola & Sprint Skins & Programs (not that you need to -- this phone flies!). But if you do, you'll disable some fantastic Motorola widgets.
• Ridiculously high resolution really shines through on certain apps
• Super strong Corning Gorilla Glass anti-glare anti-scratch display
• Standard USB; Standard HDMI (well positioned on side of phone instead of bottom; huge advantage in many circumstances)
• Excellent and practical Kick-Stand which also works with software
• Special automatic programs to make it super easy to use with separate auto docking station (put the thing in your car's docking station and it has huge buttons and really practical car apps). Dock is only $60 and even comes with 18" jack for audio to car stereo. Dock has insert that allows phone to go into car dock with or without a case (only certain cases however)
• Special web app programs to use your phone as a computer on a TV or Monitor and still make calls, texts, emails, etc while using the phone as a computer with wireless mouse and keyboard.
• Phenomenal optional accessories including an amazing remote control (http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile+Phone+Accessories/Wireless-Accessories/Motorola-Smart-Controller-US-EN )
• A bit business-like phone in its look, feel, and hardware (won't appeal to Gen-Y as much as other phones)
• Screen seems less vivid and to pop a little less than some other phones (but at the same time, perhaps a bit more accurate in its color reproduction)
• There are phones with better cameras.
• Not all apps can take advantage of the robust resolution
Motorola is a company that has done high-end precision tech-work for decades with NASA and other major tech industries and companies. Their experience shines through as they created this phone to be durable, practical, efficient, and productive. For Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm, and other users that couldn't make the jump to Android because of loss of control, features, and productivity - Motorola has made the jump easier with this phone.
Hook the phone up to your PC's USB and pull down the drop down menu from the Photon to get these options:
• Motorola Phone Portal - Instantly Downloads & Installs free software (expect it to take 20" to download, install, and update this free, but robust software suite) to your PC from Motorola.com which syncs the phone to the PC allowing you to control Music, Photos, Videos, Podcasts, Playlists, etc. Let's you sync files you choose between Windows and your phone - and you can choose which files go to your PC from your phone and vice versa. This software also has built in backup software to instantly backup your storage card to your PC. It allows you to choose the location of your backup and will remind you to do so on a regular basis at the interval you choose. I personally just use my favorite backup program to do this (more below under "USB Mass Storage").
• Windows Media Sync - Allows you to use the Windows Media Sync on your PC with the phone
• USB Mass Storage - Mounts the phone as two drives: 1)Phone Internal Storage 2)Phone's External SD. This enables your phone to operate like two separate hard drives right in Windows (just launch Windows Explorer)! You can Right-Click the drive and rename them (e.g. "DROID" and "32GB SD"). Furthermore, you can permanently assign a drive letter to your droid's two drives which will allow you to use backup software on your PC (the drive letters won't change when you hookup other peripheral devices) Seamlessly and effortlessly backup your Photon's Internal and External contents without lifting a finger. To do this on your PC make sure your phone is connected via "USB Mass Storage" and on your PC: Windows Button > Type "computer management" and launch that program > Expand "Storage" and click "Disk Management". After it scans you will see all your drives including the two Photon drives. Right-Click each, one at a time, choosing "Change Drive Letter..." I changed mine to N and O (nice and far down the alphabet). Now you can access the drive path without it ever changing so you can have backup software read/write to and from your phone/computer. So you can change a file and/or add files on your pc or phone and keep them synced and backed up.
• Charge Only - This is great if you want to use your phone while charging it via your PC's USB port.
Wi-FI FILE SHARING!
SMB File Sharing Over Wi-Fi without ROOT, Hack, or SMB 3rd Party App!
OK, now this is amazing. The Photon comes preloaded with a Motorola App which allows you to do file sharing between your PC and phone over Wi-Fi! Just tap the Red "M" icon on your phone ("Phone Port") and your phone will tell you how to access it from your PC (e.g. it will tell you to type http://192.168.77.214:8080 into your browser). Fantastic and simple!
This phone has way too many robust and hidden features to do justice in this review. Go to YouTube and start looking at the three different docks for this phone, the two different remote controls, etc. This phone will not disappoint!
Pros - Great looking phone.
- 4G on Sprint
- Dual core processor (very fast)
Cons - Sleep of death
Summary I had this phone active for 30 minutes before I experienced the first of what would become many sleep of deaths (google "photon 4g sleep" and you'll see). The phone goes to sleep and never wakes up until you pull the battery and reset the phone. The phone also gets very hot during the period when it is "dead." I did factory reset after factory reset. I took it to Sprint. They installed new software that was supposed to fix this problem. I did more factory resets. The phone kept crashing. There are tons and tons of posts about this problem, possible causes, possible fixes. Trust me, I tried them all including taping the battery into the phone (loose connections is one theory).
Nothing fixed this for me. Sprint would not replace the phone since it was bought on Ebay. I sent the phone to Motorola using the warranty they provide. They happily took the phone, kept it for 8 days and then shipped the very same phone back to me.
I wanted to badly to love this phone. It's sleek, it's fast, it can roam to GSM outside of the US. It crashes constantly and is not reliable enough to use for more than 30 minutes at a time.
If you are considering this phone, please do your own research on-line about the "sleep of death" issue. Not every Photon that shipped has it. There are many happy users out there that have never reported this problem. I am not one of them. Just make sure you buy the phone from somewhere that will take it back for a full refund incase you end up like me with a lemon.
Pros Dual core loads apps fast. 4g is pretty quick (when it works). Feature-packed.
Cons 4g connectivity is a joke. Even the cities that supposedly have coverage, don't really have true coverage everywhere in that city. Battery life is also only mediocre. With NO voice usage and occasional web browsing, its dead in about 12 hours. I'd call th
Summary This review is partially a review of the phone and partially the review of this phone on Sprint's network (since the two are inseparable for the time being). I am leaving Sprint for good. First, I am not too happy about their faux "4G" network. Verizon's LTE 4G network is shockingly faster than Sprints. But that's not the worst of it. What pushed me over the edge was the fact that the cities that Sprint advertises as having 4G don't really have 4G coverage everywhere. For example, in San Jose, California - the hub of silicon valley - this phone rarely connects to the 4G network indoors. So unless you stand on the street all the time, this phone reverts back to 3G as soon as you go inside. And I think all that switching back and forth wears on the battery. But honestly the standard battery on this phone is better than ANY of the Verizon 4G phones Ive owned (Thunderbold, Droid Charge).
The thing is - this phone has a lot of potential. If it were on Verizon's 4G network it would probably be the best 4G phone on the planet. Put an extended battery in it, and put it on Verizon, and you would have a winner. But in this form, and on Sprint, its a let down.