Hands on with the Motorola Photon 4G

Hands on with the Motorola Photon 4G
Though Motorola may have some trouble getting one of their premium devices to market, they are right on time with the Photon 4G for Sprint.  The latest and greatest out of Schaumburg has a top of the line spec sheet, including a dual core Tegra 2 processor, 4.3" qHD display, 16GB of internal memory, 8 megapixel camera  and a handy kickstand.  It is also the first Android and 4G world phone available from Sprint.

The Motorola Photon 4G manages to feel good in the hands despite its large stature.  It is almost identical in size to the HTC EVO 3D, and the build quality is great.  The soft touch battery door gives you confidence when holding the phone and the kickstand is a nice feature that we miss on the EVO 3D.  The Photon 4G packs a dual-core 1GHz processor which is quite speedy, but we did notice just the slightest lag in our initial time with the phone.  You have to take benchmarks for what they are, but the Photon 4G scored an amazing 2700+ on the Quadrant Standard test.  With dual cameras, 1080p capabilities and a beautiful display the Photon 4G should be a multimedia powerhouse.

So far we like the photon, and it is definitely a contender for the best device in Sprint's lineup right now.  We'll put the phone through its paces, including testing the claimed 10hours of talk time and see how it comes out.  Stay tuned for our full review soon!

Related phones

  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1700 mAh(9.10h 3G talk time)



1. Harry Greer unregistered

How is the screen quality? How does it compare to the Droid X2 and the Droid 3? If the screen does not look as bad as the X2, it sounds like the Bionic is going to be a pretty darn good phone.

2. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Could this phone save Motorola's reputation this year? With Sprint bleeding customers, I don't see the strongest sales, but I think it'll at least make a showing.

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Wasn't Sprint supposed to pick up pissed off customers from the AT&T-Mobile merger?

5. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Lol, theoretically, but it posted a bet loss of subscribers last quarter.

10. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

"Sprint Nextel today reported that its second-quarter net loss widened to $847 million or $0.28 per share, from $760 million or $0.25 per share in the same quarter last year. However, the company added nearly 1.1 million total net wireless subscribers primarily driven by net prepaid subscriber additions (net postpaid additions for the Sprint brand were 275,000). The company achieved its best ever postpaid churn of 1.75 percent and the lowest prepaid churn in almost six years at 4.14 percent. The company continues to expect net postpaid subscriber additions for the full year 2011 and to improve total net wireless subscriber additions in 2011, as compared to 2010." Networkdood was the poster not me.

44. You're A Tool unregistered

HA. Reading FAIL.

45. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Sprint-posts-wider-loss-in-Q2-as-subscribers-flock-to-other-carriers_id20722 Not quite, according to this. If I'm wrong I'm wrong. But understand this: I rarely talk out of my ass.

54. danalmillan

Posts: 25; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

What you may not realize is that Sprint only lost that many customers due to the premier plan changes and the $10 premium data smart phone charge. I expected to see Sprint drop because these changes ticked off a lot of people. If they are done with the major policy changes then I do not think they will lose customers at that high of a rate again! JMO though

29. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

You mean Verizon bleeding customers.

37. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

As in the company that gained the most subscribers last quarter?

39. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

As in the company that bleeds customers dry.

41. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yeah, can't disagree that their prices are high. But they also invest a hell of a lot into their network; last I checked, it was twice as much per year as AT&T does.

52. The Devil unregistered

AT&T put 1% back into their infrastructure versus Verizon's 10%. That's a lot more than double.

3. Newton122189 unregistered

How do you figure that it doesn't have Motorola Blur? Just because it has some Sprint ID app doesn't mean that the UI doesn't look different than stock Android. That UI is Motorola Blur, it might be slightly different than the version on the Droid 3 but it's not stock Android.

9. Allday28

Posts: 337; Member since: Nov 19, 2010

But its also not moto blur. Moto got rid of that..


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I don't care what Motorola calls it, it's still Motoblur and you know it.

6. Tmachaveli

Posts: 425; Member since: Apr 01, 2011

I think its going to be a great phone getting my Sunday can't wait


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

so far from what we were trained on this phone, its seems to be a very nice device and a bit oriented to business people too.. Its also global which is one of the nicest features of the phone!!

8. baldilocks

Posts: 1516; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Lag......... Android's Legacy.

11. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Look at the battery? It is about to die, that is why it is laggy.

35. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I haven't noticed lag on the EVO 3D. Last I checked, the EVO 3D used Android as its OS.

50. oddmanout

Posts: 443; Member since: May 22, 2009

It was mostly laggy because the phone was just powered on... Most android phones lag within the first few minutes of it being booted. It has to upload and refresh data for certain applications.

12. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

It is a nice looking phone.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Always with lag excuses. I have seen people with a FULL battery use this phone and it lags. I can understand single core phones lagging but with dual cores, its unacceptable. I have been using the G2X for the past couple days now running with full stock 2.3 and a dual core processor. There is not one hint of lag, everything opens and closes instantly. The only thing that stutters any is on heavy based flash websites which the SGS2 has been the only phone to be able to at ease. Forget this phone, get the SGS2 when it comes out.

24. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

So how did you see it being use? Do they work for Sprint or Motorola. Or a tech review site because it is not out yet?

36. sun0066

Posts: 271; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

shut the f off

15. KingK unregistered

So clueless, that's just boot up lag. Phone is fast and smooth. Even SGS2 has lag in certain spots It's like people talking about lag on Atrix, using one, I see no lag at all. Learn how to use a phone properly and stop passing on the same drivel when you've never spent a lot of time with a phone except at a store demo.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

So you have used both devices right? Both the Photon and the SGS2 to know which one lags right? No I don't think so, I have never seen any SGS2 lag. This phone lags like crazy and theres no way this phone is as smooth and responsive during web browsing like the SGS2 is.

19. theBankRobber unregistered

So your saying you have played with this phone? It isn't even out yet so how could you have played with this phone? Why are you on here praising the SGSII, its a nice phone but myself and others are getting this phones because of its features. Say what u want about this phone but it will be a great phone.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Because I have owned and used the Droid 3. Similar phones with the same amount of lag. I know the Bionic and Photon will both lag while the SGS2 will completely outshine all of them. I have watched several videos of the SGS2 and people have put a lot of tests through it. They have ALL agreed that the SGS2 is lag free on every department.

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