Motorola PHOTON 4G specs review

Motorola PHOTON 4G specs review
The Motorola PHOTON 4G is shaping up to be Sprint's alternative to the Motorola ATRIX 4G, yet it comes with an extra trick or two up its sleeve. Offering plenty of processing power and display real estate, the Tegra 2-powered device will definitely overshadow almost any other handset in the carrier's portfolio and will sit lined up right next to another highly acclaimed smartphone - the HTC EVO 3D. How can we be so sure? Let us go over the PHOTON 4G's specs and see what makes us think that way.


Luckily, soon after its introduction, we had the opportunity to get our hands on the Motorola PHOTON 4G, albeit only for a short while, so we do have and idea of what using the smartphone actually feels like. While playing with the device, we were more than satisfied with the way it rested in our hand – sturdy and easy to grasp despite the fact that it packed a spacious 4.3-inch qHD display. We hope you would agree that high-end internals do not matter that much if a smartphone is not comfortable to use, so we are happy to say that the PHOTON 4G looks like a winner in the ergonomics category so far.

The cut off corners of the smartphone are another nice touch that we liked and it seems like their purpose is to make the device feel more comfortable to hold while playing video games or watching videos on its bright and vivid display. Or, if you prefer, you can simply pop out its kickstand and let the PHOTON 4G rest on the table while you watch a flick, listen to your favorite tunes through the phone's built-in stereo speakers, or check out YouTube's latest selection of lolcats.

If you are a fan of premium materials like brushed aluminum, for example, we will have to disappoint you as there is none of that seen on the PHOTON 4G, but nevertheless, the handset's body has a nice soft-touch finish added to its matte plastic body so it feels rather pleasant to the touch.

With its weight of 5.57 ounces (or 158 grams), we do agree that the Motorola PHOTON 4G is a bit on the heavy side. Being half an inch thick means that it is also slightly thicker than other smartphones in its category like the Samsung Galaxy S II or the HTC Sensation 4G, for example, but we are more or less fine with that as long as the device is easy to handle. We should also mention that behind its back cover hides a beefy 1700 mAh battery rated for the impressive 10 hours of talk time.

Now that we know the Motorola PHOTON 4G should not leave you with a bad impression the first time you get a hold of it, it is time to take a peek under its hood and see what goodies hide in there.

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  • 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. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes another winner for Sprint. Wow just another great 4G phone on Sprint. That is not to mention that the Samsung Galaxy S II is STILL not even out yet. Sprint has a killer line of ultra powerful Android phones. Just another notch on the belt of America's hottest carrier Sprint!

9. Allday28

Posts: 340; Member since: Nov 19, 2010

Get a life!

12. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Yeah, I gotta give the thumbs up to Sprint on this one. Very impressive. If they can continue to improve their coverage and customer service, they could a few consecutive quarters in the black.

2. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

And so far (at least with the EVO 3D), Sprint is ordering sufficient stock of their high end handsets. At the same time after sales started last year, the EVO had sold out, and no one knew when new stock would be available. Give Sprint credit for adequately ordering this time around. (thumb up)

3. jwl3429

Posts: 36; Member since: Sep 28, 2009

If this and other new phones will not get upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich why buy them as in less then a year they will be dated with no future upgrades.

4. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

It's shipping with Gingerbread, which means it most probably WILL be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich. Most high end Android phones right now have gone through two software updates: the original DROID started out with Android 2.0 and ended up with 2.2, the DROID X started with 2.1 and now has 2.3, and the same with the Evo.

5. urthatguy

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 22, 2011

meh. another android phone, next

14. guest89 unregistered

what else is it suppose to be...its always gonna be just another android phone.

6. Su-Rio

Posts: 51; Member since: May 05, 2011

isnt this the first dual core phone with 4g, 3g, and GSM? nice phone for sprint!

7. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

i'd definitely take this if i was on Sprint at the moment.

8. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Am I the only one who thinks it is kinda ironic that, considering how important Verizon was to Motorola's success, both AT&T (Atrix) and Sprint will most likely have a premium device from Moto before the Bionic on Big Red?

10. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

the best takes time to deliver my friend.

11. iSlackerz unregistered

My biggest question about the Photon is: Why does a phone, that is significantly larger than its sibling, with essentially the same internal hardware, have a smaller capacity battery? If Motorola can stuff a 1930 mAh battery into the, relatively, svelte Atrix why can't they do the same for the more physically imposing Photon?

13. DedManzChest unregistered

I'm so glad to know that Sprint's phone line-up won't stay Samsung and HTC centric. Come on LG, Kyocera/Sanyo, HP/Palm! Show us something good w/4G! You can do it! Don't let Samsung or HTC hog up the spot light!

15. homineyhominey

Posts: 29; Member since: Mar 10, 2011

Kyocera tried it's hand twice with Android devices on Sprint. The Zio and the incredibly depressing Echo. Both those phones had some major flaws in their design and delivery. LG has been making some noise on some other carriers, so hopefully they come up with a big daddy and HP/Palm might not ever come back to Sprint. (Or might not be welcome.)

16. damienh28

Posts: 49; Member since: Dec 23, 2010

Im really considering this, As a sprint fan-boy I was happy we had this speedster but i never really liked Motorola, Im a Samsung guy, My epic is awesome but The sequel will be so wack, sound like and the galaxy s2 or full touch 4g not sure i don't like to guess, but whatever it has to be dominant, But i think i want this its fast and sexy looking,

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