August 23, 2012, 3:22 PM — As someone who uses his phone more often to send text messages than to make calls, I've been disappointed at the lack of phones with physical keyboards. Software keyboards are getting better every year (my favorite for Android is SwiftKey); but until I can accurately touch-type on them, I'll continue to prefer having physical buttons for typing long messages. Someone at Motorola seems to have read my thoughts, because the company's new Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE for Sprint ($200 with a new two-year contract, price as of August 8, 2012) is one of the best keyboard-equipped smartphones you can buy right now.
The Photon Q looks like a slightly chunkier version of the Motorola Photon 4G, which premiered on Sprint last year. Both phones have angled corners, though the Photon Q lacks the Photon 4G's useful kickstand. The Photon Q's angled corners make it comfortable to hold while making calls, and the phone is compact enough to fit easily into most pockets. The Photon Q is largely composed of a soft plastic that feels good to the touch, though I was hoping that the phone would be wrapped in Kevlar like the Droid Razr and the Droid Razr Maxx.