If you're a big mobile gamer, you'll appreciate that the Photon Q can handle most games available in the Play Store. One bonus of having a physical keyboard is that some games and emulators let you map specific actions to specific keys. The arrangement isn't perfect, but it's a huge step up from having to use a virtual control pad.
Call quality over Sprint's network left a lot to be desired: Voices sounded a bit muffled, and I heard a low buzzing noise whenever someone spoke. You and your caller will be able to hear each other, but you may have to speak up a bit to make yourself heard clearly. I tested the phone in our San Francisco officean area with good reception. Since call quality varies depending on your location, you should consult coverage maps to get an idea of how good the call quality will be in your area.
The Photon Q is one of just a handful of phones that can connect to Sprint's new LTE network. Unfortunately, that network has yet to launch in San Francisco, so I couldn't test the phone's speeds on it. On Sprint's current 3G network over a strong 3G connection, the Photon Q managed an average download speeds of 0.49 megabit per second and an average upload speed of 0.86 mbps, according to my measurements using the FCC-approved Ookla Speed Test app.
Even with LTE turned on, the Photon Q held out over the better part of a day (about 5.5 hours) of normal useincluding sending text messages, downloading a few apps, and playing a game or two for several minutes at a timebefore the battery ran out of juice. We haven't yet run the Photon Q through our official PCWorld Labs suite of battery tests; when we do, we'll update this page.
The Photon Q does have an NFC chip, so you'll be able to take advantage of any software that may use that technology.
The Photon Q ships with Android 4.0.4 beneath a custom Motorola overlay. I used a Motorola phone back in the days when the company relied on MotoBlur, and this new overlay is leaps and bounds better. For the most part, the operating system looks and behaves like Android Ice Cream Sandwich, with just a few tweaks.