Sprint gets official with LTE-enabled Motorola Photon Q

After a brief mention in their quarterly conference call earlier today, Sprint has made an official announcement of the Motorola Photon Q. Here's a quick rundown of the specs.

  • Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Rear-facing 8MP camera with 1080p video capture and playback so you can leave your digital camera at home. Plus, those photos can be set to automatically upload to Google+ so you don’t have to worry about accidently deleting them.
  • Front-facing HD camera for easy Google+ Hangout video chats or conference calls
  • Mirror mode when connected with HDMI cable (sold separately) to view images, files and movies on a larger screen, like your TV at home.
  • Sprint ID, offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with apps, widgets, ringtones and more all, in a single download
  • NFC support to share links, apps, YouTube clips and more with Android Beam

Full specs and press release after the jump. We've got a full image gallery over here if you want to take a closer look at the hardware. 

First Sprint 4G LTE-Enabled Device with Full QWERTY and International Capabilities, Motorola PHOTON™ Q 4G LTE, Coming Soon

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (BUSINESS WIRE), July 26, 2012 - Sprint (NYSE: S), the only national wireless carrier offering truly unlimited data for all phones while on the Sprint network1, and Motorola Mobility today announce Motorola PHOTON Q™ 4G LTE, the next generation of last summer’s popular Motorola PHOTON™ 4G. The new device will boast a five-row, PC-like QWERTY keyboard, international capabilities and a generous 4.3-inch ColorBoost™ display, as well as the ability to operate on Sprint’s new lightning-fast 4G LTE network2.

Pricing and availability for Motorola PHOTON Q will be announced within the next few weeks. Customers seeking additional information can visit www.sprint.com/photonq.

“Motorola PHOTON Q will be the first 4G LTE device with a QWERTY keyboard and world phone capabilities to join the Sprint line-up,” said David Owens, vice president - Product Development, Sprint. “We want to make sure our 4G LTE handset portfolio has the full complement of choices for our customers. Adding a product with both a physical keyboard and world mode makes this a great addition to the Sprint family of devices. This is a dynamic smartphone that customers will really enjoy using and we are pleased to have Motorola as part of our 4G LTE device portfolio.”

Motorola PHOTON Q equips customers with the best of both worlds to communicate – a virtual keyboard for quick texts and a slide out PC-like QWERTY keyboard for double-thumb efficiency. Each laser-cut key is outlined in LED lights so users can see what they’re doing, even in the dark. It also has a dedicated number row for maximum typing efficiency and accuracy.

“When we talk to people who love their QWERTY smartphones, it’s evident this segment is passionate about their keyboards,” said Mark Shockley, senior vice president, Go-to-Market, Motorola Mobility. “Motorola PHOTON Q offers a class-leading keyboard and an amazing big screen so you can see and do more with your smartphone.”

Offering an impressive 4.3-inch ColorBoost™ display, Motorola PHOTON Q offers the largest screen currently available on a 4G LTE QWERTY smartphone. This makes it easy to browse the Web using Google Chrome without enlarging text, look at detail-rich pictures without having to zoom in, and watch a show without straining your eyes. Motorola’s exclusive ColorBoost™ display enables colors to be richer and more vibrant than other smartphones on the market. And with scratch-resistant glass and splash-guard coating, Motorola PHOTON Q resists everyday scratches and spills.

In addition to its technological prowess, Motorola PHOTON Q is the seventh device in the Sprint line-up to receive ULE Platinum Certification, the highest level of environmental performance recognized by sustainable requirements established by UL Environment and Sprint.

Additional key features on Motorola PHOTON Q include:

Android™ 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich
1.5 GHz dual-core processor
Rear-facing 8MP camera with 1080p video capture and playback so you can leave your digital camera at home. Plus, those photos can be set to automatically upload to Google+™ so you don’t have to worry about accidently deleting them.
Front-facing HD camera for easy Google+™ Hangout video chats or conference calls
Mirror mode when connected with HDMI cable (sold separately) to view images, files and movies on a larger screen, like your TV at home.
Sprint ID, offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with apps, widgets, ringtones and more all, in a single download
NFC support to share links, apps, YouTube™ clips and more with Android™ Beam
World Smart with 4G LTE Speeds

Motorola PHOTON Q is the first Sprint phone to feature SMARTACTIONS™, the free Motorola app that helps extend battery life and intelligently automates routine, everyday tasks so that smartphones can do more for consumers. For example, walking into a meeting, SMARTACTIONS can turn the ringer to silent so an incoming phone call won’t interrupt the meeting. If the battery is low, SMARTACTIONS can automatically lower the display lighting to ensure the battery lasts longer.

Motorola PHOTON Q is Business Ready with full corporate security including remote wipe, pin lock, and data encryption. It is one of several devices available with Sprint Professional Grade, a new designation for select smartphones that deliver enhanced security, device management and Exchange Active Sync capabilities to business users. Click here to learn more about Sprint Professional Grade designation.

On July 15, Sprint launched 4G LTE in 15 cities including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, Kansas City and Waco, Texas. Sprint today announced that four more cities will soon experience the speed and power of the all-new 4G LTE network. As the first national wireless carrier to introduce 4G service in 2008, Sprint will bring 4G LTE to the following cities before Labor Day:

Baltimore, MD
Gainesville, GA
Manhattan/Junction City, KS
Sherman-Denison, TX
Additionally, by the end of 2013, Sprint expects to have largely completed the build-out of its all-new 4G LTE nationwide network – with an enhanced 3G network – covering 250 million people across the United States. The launch of these metropolitan areas demonstrates Sprint’s continued commitment to investing in its network through Network Vision. For the most up-to-date details on Sprint’s 4G LTE portfolio and rollout, please visit www.sprint.com/4GLTE.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, over the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

·         Sprint’s first 4G LTE device with International roaming GSM capabilities and QWERTY keyboard
·         1.5 GHz dual-core processor for quick downloads and app performance
·         Five-row, slide-out QWERTY keyboard with large 4.3-inch ColorBoost™ display
·         Built with Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich
·         Enterprise Security
·         3G/4G LTE Mobile Hotspot capability for up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices (additional fee required; International Hotspot                 only supports one user)
·         Corporate (MS Exchange ActiveSync) and personal (POP & IMAP) email access
·         Messaging – personal and business email, Google TalkTM instant message and text messaging
·         Sprint ID offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with apps, widgets, ringtones and more all in a                 single download
·         GPS navigation enabled
·         NFC support to share links, apps, YouTube clips and more with Android Beam
·         UL Environment (ULE) Platinum Certified, the highest level of environmental performance recognized by sustainable                           requirements established by UL Environment and Sprint

·         Dual cameras – 8MP rear-facing camera and a front-facing HD camera
·         1080P HD video capture and playback
·         Google Play™ with more than 600,000 apps, millions of songs and books and thousands of movies, Google Play™ has something              for everyone
·         8GB of on board memory, support for up to 32GB SD Card, for a total of up to 40GB
·         Bluetooth® 4.0 w/ EDR
·         Wi-Fi® b/g/n

·         Dimensions: 2.6 inches x 4.98 inches x 0.54 inches
·         Weight: 6 oz
·         Display: 4.3-inch qHD 540x960 TFT LCD
·         Internal Memory: 1GB RAM x 8GB ROM
·         External Memory: supports up to a 32GB microSD card (sold separately)
·         Chipset: Dual Core 1.5GHz
·         Frequency: LTE, CDMA 800/1900 EVDO Rev A, World Phone - GSM 850/1900/1800/900, UMTS 850/1900/2100 (SIM is embedded in the phone, GSM SIM is locked and not removable)
·         Battery Specifications: 1785 mAh Lithium-ion battery (embedded)
·         Talktime: up to 7.5 hours

There are 32 comments

Sprint ID on ICS? Yucky!

hmmm says:

Except you can make it more stock than any other skin.

Gekko says:

not a big fan of sliders or this form factor. but that's the beauty of Android - to each his own!

bcbenton says:

What about the LapDock? Will it work with this phone?

autoexec.bat says:

It better! Until then I will have to wait patiently for my Photon update to ICS.

TLB69 says:

Im guessing,199.Pretty nice specs.Like you Gekko,not a fan of the slider,to each his/her own.

If this was less than three months ago, this thing would be flagship. Now all I can do is pretentiously scoff and exclaim, "ONLY Ice Cream Sandwich/Dual core/8 mp/qHD? The new HTC Turbo Q m1209 LTE Flare in white is at least 15 times better!" I miss the days when 5 mp and a 1.2 GHz single core gave us all nerdgasms.

Three months ago, they would have shipped this with Gingerbread with a ICS promise date of late 2012.

shaze21 says:

So disappointing. No 720p screen ruined this for me. i'm looking for a replacement for my photon and I thought this would be it, but I guess the search goes on.

Don't write off the screen just yet. The Atrix HD 4G's screen uses ColorBoost and it looks very nice.

joshua.worth says:

Only there is a big difference this is qHD and that phone has an HD screen resolution.

shahid99 says:

Battery still only 1785 why not big battery like razr ??

hmmm says:

They don't want it to be an inch thick. Sliders are already chunky beasts.

joshua.worth says:

Did you miss how thin the RAZR Maxx is?

codiusprime says:

Did you miss that the RAZR Maxx doesn't have a sliding keyboard?

I don't understand why Moto still only offers their 3300 mAh battery in the MAXX?

hmmm says:

Finally a replacement to the EVO Shift and Epic.

Mobius360 says:

While I've moved on from the need of a slider phone, this seems like a nice replacement for those ready to upgrade from their Epic or Shift.

codiusprime says:

Meh. Motorola hardware has become about as uninteresting as it gets as far as I am concerned. Maybe they will have something worthwhile in the fall.

stet says:

I’m not sure if I like the idea of the embedded SIM and battery.

Gaurav says:

I wish the Sprint versions of the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC Evo One X were world phones supporting GSM like the photon. :-( I don't prefer a slider with keyboard anymore... Guess sol....

darigaaz12 says:

And sprint told me no good keyboard phones were coming out when I bought my gs3. I know the specs aren't quite as good but I love keyboards...

codiusprime says:

Why would they? You ended up buying a phone in the end which is all they care about. Also chances are they didn't know anymore about this phone than anyone else did.

zhecht says:

Does "ColorBoost™ display" mean pentile?

Cubfan says:

As a lover of the first Photon, I have to say this successor is craptastic.

carraser891 says:

finally a qwerty phone to replace the aging Epic 4G

that.rick22 says:

i wish they would have added a video... will it have the dedicated camera button... or double flash... or the kick stand ... or expandable memory? i was waiting for LTE Moto phone

hmmm says:

I see what looks like a power button on top and the volume rocker on the upper right. In one of the photos in the motorla gallery you can see what looks like an additional button on the lower right side, under the volume rocker. I am hoping that's a camera button.


If you go to the motorola mobility website it lists up to 32GB microsd card under specs. And if you look closely at the pictures it looks like it may be accessible without removing a battery cover. Like there is a small door or whatever on the right hand side between the volume buttons and what I presume is the camera button.


If you look at motorola's gallery they show the back and it does not have a kickstand. It also looks like a single flash but it is rectangular rather than a circle so maybe it is larger.


rpankoe says:

Bout time, now let's get a release date!

hkklife says:

4.3" with a physical keyboard is AWESOME! Finally! But only 8Gb of internal storage, a RAZR-sized battery, qHD and likely no Webtop mode makes it a disappointment.

Now, let VZW get a juiced-up version of this thing this fall with a 720p screen, Maxx size battery, 16Gb storage, Webtop and Jelly Bean and make it a proper Droid 5 to honor the 3 year anniversary of the OG!


This is what the Droid 4 on Verizon should have been. But after getting the SGS3, I couldn't go back to a slider. Looks to be a decent phone. A continuing trend of bigger screen sliders would keep this form factor popular

speculatrix says:

it is GSM capable, as stated in the earnings call