A look is enough to notice that the Motorola Q9h is from the same family as the first Q. It is a slim Windows Mobile smartphone with landscape display and QWERTY keyboard, hinting about its message centric orientation. While it is obvious that the two phones have much in common, they are also pretty different, thanks to the more mature look of the Q9h. The Q is rather targeted at the younger customers, while the Q9h looks classier, with one-piece keyboard curved line and rounded angles. Very slim and light weight for a feature-rich smartphone, it fits very well in the hand and excellent in the pocket, which was one of the main ideas when designing it. The used materials are in black, some parts are math others are glossy but both feel great and give the phone an excellent touch-feeling, which we can say is best in class. This is something very important for such phone, as customers who buy it will expect it to feel as a solid mini-computer, and not as a s cheap plastic toy. The only problem we had with the construction was the little play of the battery cover, but we hope this is just our unit, which is a prototype and has been passing through others before us.


Model Dimension (Inches) Dimension (mm) Weight (oz) Weight (Gramms)
Motorola Q9h 4.64" x 2.63" x 0.46" 118 x 67 x 11.8 4,72 134
Motorola Q 4.57" x 2.48" x 0.45" 116 x 63 x 11.5 4,06 115
Samsung BlackJack 4.44" x 2.32" x 0.46" 113 x 59 x 11.8 3,52 100
BlackBerry Curve 4.20" x 2.40" x 0.60" 107 x 61 x 15.5 3,90 110,5
T-Mobile Dash 4.42" x 2.46" x 0.53" 112.5 x 62.5 x 13.5 4,23 120


One of the things that differentiates the Q9 from other WM Standard phones on the market is the display, which untypically is in landscape orientation instead of portrait one. This gives larger width and makes it more convenient when it comes to text or internet browsing. Another similar phone is the Samsung BlackJack i607, which AT&T offers also as an alternative to the BlackBerry phones. HTC’s offer is the Excalibur, available as the T-Mobile DASH, but it doesn’t support 3G.

2.4 inches in diagonal, it is pretty large for the overall size of the phone and with the standard QVGA resolution still gives good DPI (dots per inch) ratio. Although it has only 65k colors (some phones offer 16 million colors, which is 256 times more!), the TFT display is excellent and have very accurate color representation. Thanks to a sensor that controls its brightness level, it remains visible even in bright outdoor light which is hard to most displays without sensor unless you manually set their brightness at 100% everytime. We believe that such sensor is a must for every new phone.

As we said earlier, this class of phones is characterized by the display and the keyboard, and while the display is great, the keyboard of the Q9h is probably the best on the market. Although it must be small to fit in the slim phone, and although there is almost no physical space between the separate buttons, they felt excellent thanks to the relief and are pressed softly, with robust feedback. Typing text is extremely fast and very comfortable and as the candybar Q Q9 is narrower than a landscape-oriented PDA with sliding keyboard (АT&T (Cingular) 8525 for AT&T, HTC Mogul for Sprint, T-Mobile Wing for T-Mobiles USA and others), you don’t have to move your hand from one position to the other and the smaller size actually gives better performance! When typing a short text this doesn’t make great difference, but the more you type the more you will appreciate the excellent small QWERTY. If you type long text it will feel more comfortable than the competition and will save you some time and tiredness.

The keyboard is in four rows, with the bottom one housing shortcuts and the Space key, which is twice bigger than the other buttons which is slightly smaller than we would have loved to, but does its job very well. The other six keys on this row are Calendar, Contacts, 0/+, Windows Media Player,Camera, Voice recognition. The 5 shortcuts are pretty useful and we appreciate that Motorola included them here.


The 0/+ key is here, as the numeric keyboard is oriented as a standard one of a phone, but the numbers are put as alternative characters, in (darker) blue color. An illuminated line at the top of each also helps to find them fast among the others.

Above the QWERTY, in the flat glass-like surface around the display, are situated the navigation keys. The 5-way metallic D-pad with the reflecting middle position is very comfortable and with average to large size. In contrast to most WM PPC phones, it has backlight both around the 4-sides and around the middle position. Surrounding are the two soft keys and the home and back buttons respectively situated below. Illuminated curved lines divide them from the Internet and Answer on the left and the Messaging shortcut and Reject on the right.

The only other keys are the ones on the slim right side, which are designed as alternative navigation. Here you will find Up, select and Down buttons tightly next to each other but with good relief so can be felt with no problem. Below is the Back arrow key, necessary to navigate through the menus. All four keys have excellent relief, press response and feedback. The trio replaces the Wheel found on the first Q, and Motorola claim that after tests with lots of different people, this navigation method proved to be better. We believe this!

Standard, the four side keys are not illuminated, but the ones on the front are. Motorola has used light blue backlight for all characters, with only the numeric keys being in darker blue to differentiate visually. All buttons are illuminated very saturate.

The glossy left side houses only the universal microUSB port, which is used for charging, synchronization with computer and for attaching the headphones. Motorola was the first to use this type of connector (in the Q9h and the RAZR2 family) instead of the senior miniUSB, but Nokia followed the example and showed three models with microUSB (8600 Luna, 6500 Classic and 6500 Slide), which means the standard will most probably get very popular. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use earlier accessories you have and in order to plug standard headphones (3.5mm jack) one must find an adapter, which still is not as easy as finding a 2.5-3.5mm or miniUSB–3.5mm one.

Visit the Gallery for Additional images of the Motorola Q9h

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7 Comments

1. argonnj unregistered

"BlackBerry has been the leader in this market segment for years and this is a fact that the major manufacturers don’t like." Well start with dropping Win Mobile. Blackberrys are popular, not just for their hardware design, but for their rock solid OS. Unlike Win mobile which tries to cram a regular PC into a phone (which isn't need) Blackberry OS is designed for easy, reliable operation. Win Mobile is overly complex and buggy to be any use on a mobile phone. You take the greatest hardware design, add Win Mobile and what you are left with is CRAP.

2. Christopher Cox unregistered

I love BlackBerry devices because I send and receive A LOT of messages. What do you have to do under Windows Mobile to send and receive rapidly? It takes a lot of clicks to do something. On a BlackBerry, sending an email, sms, mms, pin, or anything is done with literally 2 clicks after typing in the first few letters of the persons name from the home screen. As long as WM remains as inefficient as it is, it will never surpass BlackBerry as a messenger/email system of choice for most people who email a lot.

3. unregistered

You guys have obviously not worked with WM 5 or later. It also take only 2 button presses to send a message to someone in WM. WM is also very stable. Since i got my phones (HTC Wizard, Samsung i600, HTC Tytn), the only time some of them needed a reset was to do the WM 5 to 6 upgrade.

4. timothy unregistered

hey guys my name is tim and i work for at&t, if you have any questions about any of our phones our service or rate plans fill free to come to my page and send me a message and i will get back to you asap! www.myspace.com/att_mobility_solutions

5. sandeep unregistered

thanks for the nice and informative review. helped me.

6. bernard unregistered

this is the best phone i have ever had. gps, 2.0 megapixle w/ flashm wm6, best qwerty ever, bluetooth 2.0, automaticaly adjusts screen brightness based on outside light and battery life. the moto q9h manages all this w/out making the device bulky at all. lacks ony WiFi.

7. Mark Fowler unregistered

This device has the Blackberry connect software available from AT&T. I recently got this phone and I get the benefits of Balckberry mail and the flexibility of Windows Mobile. Great phone for business users with most of the multimedia features that most consumers want.
Q9h
  • Display 2.4" 320 x 240 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Battery 1170 mAh(6.50h talk time)

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