Motorola PHOTON 4G Review

Motorola PHOTON 4G

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Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
Introduction:

Not too long ago Motorola was teetering on the brink of viability, but along came a little green robot and the company’s fortunes have changed drastically.  Sprint’s situation isn’t quite as bleak, but its hoping that their renewed partnership with Motorola helps turn the tide for the nation’s number three carrier.  They’re kicking things off with a bang with the Motorola Photon 4G, a beastly phone with a massive spec sheet.  Some of the highlights include a 4.3” qHD display, 1GHz dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 8-megapixel camera with 720p video capabilities and a kickstand.  The Photon is also a world phone with support for Sprint’s WiMAX 4G.  Included accessories are light: you simply get a microUSB cable and the AC adapter.


Design:

To be honest, the Photon 4G takes a lot of its design cues from the RAZR V9m.  From the dark gunmetal housing around the 4.3” display to the soft touch feel of the battery door the Photon 4G resembles the RAZR a lot.  Being one of the most beautiful flip phones ever it is not a bad source of inspiration.  The Photon 4G is definitely its own phone though.  It is large an unapologetic, but very well constructed and comfortable to use.

The Motorola Photon 4G feels well-balanced and natural in the hand - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
The Motorola Photon 4G feels well-balanced and natural in the hand - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
The Motorola Photon 4G feels well-balanced and natural in the hand - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review

Motorola PHOTON 4G Review

You can compare the Motorola Photon 4G with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

There once was a time that a 4.3” display would turn heads, but these days it has become passé.  Luckily the Photon 4G’s qHD display will still grab your attention by being brilliantly vivid, bright and crisp.  It has an above average viewing angle and we didn’t have much of an issue using it in direct light.

The Motorola Photon 4G packs a qHD display - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
The Motorola Photon 4G packs a qHD display - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review

Motorola Photon 4G is very large, but feels well-balanced and natural in the hand.  Though angular at first sight, the back of the phone is rounded and that makes it more comfortable to hold.  The volume rocker and camera key are both ribbed, which makes them easy to find by touch and feedback is good when you activate the buttons.

Left and right sides of the Motorola Photon 4G - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
The volume rocker and camera key are both ribbed - Left and right sides of the Motorola Photon 4G - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
Left and right sides of the Motorola Photon 4G - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
 

The volume rocker and camera key are both ribbed

 

Back - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
Back - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
Back - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
Back - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review

Motorola not only upstaged HTC by including a kickstand on the Photon 4G, but they also included a sensor that launches the Widget Clock app, which is similar to a desk clock app.  The kickstand is very sturdy, which comes in handy.  The microUSB port is unfortunately on the left side of the phone, making it impossible to plug in when the kickstand is being used in the intended manner because it becomes the bottom.  The sturdiness of the kickstand allows the phone to be turned the other way however, an unintentional advantage to good construction.

Motorola has included a kickstand on the Photon 4G - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
Motorola has included a kickstand on the Photon 4G - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
The Widget Clock app - Motorola has included a kickstand on the Photon 4G - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
  

The Widget Clock app


Top - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review
Bottom - Motorola PHOTON 4G Review

Top

Bottom


All-in-all Motorola has done a good job with what is essentially another black slab device.  It’s hard to really differentiate yourself in an increasingly crowded market, but Motorola is letting the quality of their work stand out with the Photon 4G.

Motorola Photon 4G 360-degrees View:



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PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi)
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
1 GB
Size5.00 x 2.63 x 0.48 inches
(126.9 x 66.9 x 12.2 mm)
5.57 oz  (158 g)
Battery1700 mAh, 10 hours talk time

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