Motorola Photon 4G initial hands-on

The Motorola Photon 4G is here, and we got a nice up-close look at it today in New York City. CEOs of Sprint and Motorola Mobility, Dan Hesse and Sanjay Jha respectively, took the opportunity to reiterate their companies' commitment to each other, promising ten new devices within the next year.

The Photon 4G has a beautiful 4.3 inch qHD display, a 1 GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB onboard memory, WiMAX connectivity, and it's webtop ready. It's a world phone, and it's running Android 2.3 Gingerbread at release. It's got the same Blur you've all come to love, which Sprint execs lauded for its enterprise-friendly security features. And contain your excitement: Motorola reps have said that it does NOT, I repeat does NOT have a locked bootloader. Is Motorola reconciling with the developer community?  EDIT: Looks like some of the reps at today's event weren't on the same page as Motorola, as the company has backtracked and said that the Photon does indeed come with a locked bootloader. Bummer. Check the pics and the video after the break.

More in the Photon 4G forums!

  • If my contract was up I'd buy this. Hopefully I will win an EVO 3D though so I don't have to think about it ;)
  • Evo 3D is aight but this one it is better
  • Uh oh... A kickstand I see? Let the hating begin.
  • Let the people who have never tried owning a device with a kickstand begin hating you mean.
  • You know it, I love my kickstand on my Evo. Set it up all the time to watch streaming of movies, golf tournaments, etc.
  • I think the kickstands are a great idea. However, I think it's a terrible idea to put the usb port on the table side of the phone, when in landscape. Just dumb. Didn't HTC do the same thing (which was criticized) with the Thunderbolt?!
  • I really like the kickstand on my EVO too. I use it daily & I'll be sad to see it go when I get the 3d. I'll have to get a case for it I guess.
  • what happens if u break ur kick stand the phone will look ugly as hell
  • I like this. If the EVO 3D wasn't already coming out, this would be at the top of my "to get" list. But, it's better than the EVO 3D only in terms of onboard storage, and I'm afraid that's not enough of an advantage.
  • Same here. For a short time yesterday, I was debating on whether to get this over the EVO 3D or not. I use my kickstand on my EVO daily & when I saw it on the Photon I initially thought this was going to be my next phone. But the advantages of this phone over the 3D aren't big enough for me to jump aboard. If it were stock Android though, I'd be all over it!
  • If the EVO 3D was 4D and came with free porn, I wouldn't buy it, but this? It has all of the specs I want and need. It will replace my EVO in December.
  • Are you kidding me?! The Guy in the video just talked about the kickstand and 8mp camera with 2x led flash like he was Steve jobs inventing copy and paste! The Tegra is the only new tech in this thing and the bootloader WILL be locked. This is a joke to compare to the 3d.
  • is the 3d single core or dual core?
  • Not a locked bootloader?? That would be an amazing turn of events for Motorola but I'm not ready to believe quite yet, this whole bootloader debacle has been nothing but a dog and pony show from Moto thus far.
  • I wonder if it has SMR/CDMA.X radio, which supports Sprint's upcoming 800MHz CDMA rollout - meaning better coverage. The EVO 3D has CDMA.X. I'm thinking the Photon may not because CDMA.X is in Snapdragon chipset, which the Photon doesn't have. But it's still possible there is another chipset with SMR. Android Central, please research this. I'm trying to find the FCC posting for Photon. Keywords to look for are SMR, CDMA.X.
  • I've been waiting for a phone that has international capabilities to replace my EVO 4G, but give me most of the same features as my EVO. I'm pretty sure the Motorola Photon will be my next phone. Can't wait for it to come out. You can check out the new Motorola Photon @
  • 3 phones to be considered for my next upgrade:
    - Photon: for its world-phone capability
    - Evo 3D: for its solid build/support, 3D
    - Within: for its beautiful screen, good camera Decision, decision. Or someone please step up and put all of those good things in a new Super Duper Phone :).
  • I'm still getting the Within because its simply better. The Photon makes a good case though. I simply will never trust Motorola anymore. Last time I owned one was before the Sprint/Nextel merger, when I had an i836. HTC and Samsung ever since.
  • I had the same opinion about motorola because there phones were crap in the past.
  • The new sprint HTC Super Duper 4G. I would buy it just to have a phone with that name.
    I can see the commercial now.
  • EVO 3D has SMR radio, which will support Sprint's 800Mhz rollout later this year, providing better coverage. Photon is good for international travel, EVO 3D might be better if you don't travel globally.
  • I'm thinking the same exact thing! Has there been a release date announced for the Within yet? My upgrade is coming here in about 3 weeks so hopefully I won't have to wait too long after that to hear the specifics.
  • If the droid bionic has a locked boot loader I'm going to sprint for this phone
  • The Bionic is a VZW phone, it WILL have a locked boot loader.
  • the bionic will be unlocked but why do u want your phone like that it does not make any difference now that you can not tether
  • I like how when the guy speaking shows the kickstand and claims it locks the phone in that orientation, the screen immediately flips 180 degrees. Fail! This is in the running for my next device. That or the next Nexus(which I am hopeful will be on Sprint).
  • That and it sounded like he said it had a 2.3mm headset jack. Lol.
  • he did!
  • Now why and the hell didn't they just make the Atrix like this o_O
  • If this has the same Pentile display as the Atrix, it actually going to have a lower effective resolution than the original EVO 4G. No thanks.
  • Finally a CDMA Android phone with world capabilities for those stuck with Sprint. Just wish it did not have a tablet size screen.
  • There's the XPRT for that!
  • I should have said this is the first one I would personally consider :)
  • So, does anyone know anything about this multimedia dock? Is it like the Atrix dock or more like the original Droid dock?
  • I believe it's just like the Atrix
  • kickstand would be nice, but I'll stick w/ the Evo 3D. Specs are almost the same but 3rd Gen Snapdragon > Tegra 2.
  • Yeah, I have a Tegra 2 dual core tablet and it's not a very good performer compared to Snapdragon.
  • If Motorola makes the next Nexus phone with like a 1.2 ghz dual core, 1gb of ram, and like super thin with a huge screen i will have a zorgasm
  • WHEN? This WILL be my next phone, I can't wait!
  • Why do all Motorola phones look so boring/ugly? Major turn off.
  • Never mind the phone...what the hell what that thing that got on front of the camera with all the warts?!! LOL
  • Oh and actually looking at the phone, the back of it looks just like the Bionic's old design.
  • Okay, so it's another Motorola Brick, all the bells and whistles minus the open boot loader, and if I heard the guy correctly - although he's probably wrong - a 2.3mm headphone jack??? What, is this the stone age?
  • I "mis-heard" the same thing. Of course, the guy was fumbling so bad through his presentation, I'm hoping he just misspoke.
  • Is this a mistake, it only has 3 GSM bands? Why isn't it quad-band like every other phone nowadays?
  • Thanks for the link.
    I was supervised to hear the rep said: 'it got 2.3mm jack' MM
  • I might wait on this just because of the gorilla glass
  • what does the gorilla glass do?
  • I'm still leaning towards the 3D, but damn it's a good time to be a Sprint customer.
  • Anybody else thing this Moto rep is just kinda making it up as he goes? "It's got 1..2..3..4.. 7 screens, and, uh... you can change screens..." I've never understood the concept of getting a rep to work a show like this with such a nasally voice and who is so un-eloquent. </rant> That aside, this is an interesting looking phone, and I agree with what Phil said in another article about there already being a number of apps optimized for the Tegra 2 already.
  • Not that it really matters but did anyone else notice the guy said it had a 2.3mm headphone jack? I know it was a mistake, but...
  • The 2.3mm is a mistake. It is 3.5mm headphone jack. Check out the Specs here:
  • when its time to trade in the EVO4G....I will skip by the evo3D straight to the Moto Photon....looks like a solid phone!!