Motorola
This new Motorola Q phone is not only smart - it's also really, really skinny.
By Columnist
msnbc.com
updated 6/8/2006 3:15:46 PM ET 2006-06-08T19:15:46

Motorola has been working on the Q, a slick, sexy cellular smartphone, for a few years. The result is something Motorola — and its first cellular partner, Verizon — can be very proud of.

The Q, which runs Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0, is amazingly slim — thinner even than its Razr V3 phone — and weighs just a hair over 4 ounces. (MSNBC.com is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC News.)

Motorola stuffed the skinny case with lots of features including all the software titles that come with Windows Mobile, such as Pocket Word, Outlook, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. It also sports a keyboard, a 1.3 megapixel camera and a mini-SD card expansion slot. They even added a thumb wheel controller similar to the one found on the BlackBerry.

Because it works on the Verizon Wireless network it boasts a high-speed EV-DO wireless modem for data. Bluetooth also is built-in but not all Bluetooth features are included, such as the ability to swap information with other Bluetooth handsets. If, however, you want to use it with a wireless headset or other hands-free accessories you’re all set.

The Q doesn’t feature Wi-Fi, which is included on some other smartphones. While it’s a nice feature, when I’m at home I prefer getting my e-mail from a desktop or laptop.

During my tests everything worked as described. That’s a huge selling point. The Q is a winner both as a cell phone and as a portable Outlook e-mail device — and it navigates Web pages with ease.

On the whole, the only feature that bothered me was the location of some of the keys on the keyboard. You get to the second-tier of characters by hitting a key on the lower left — the one with a black blob on it. But to get upper-case characters you hit the up arrow key on the right.  I found it odd — but as with any smartphone, there’s a bit of a learning curve before you can master the device.

While the Q is priced right at about $200 with a two-year contract, as can be expected, Verizon will be making its money back in monthly fees. Verizon is offering one plan that bundles voice and data with 1,350 minutes for about $110 a month. If you’re a business person, $110 a month may not be so bad, but for regular users, this could be a tough pill to swallow.

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