Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Toy: Motorola Q

By now most of you know that I have a pretty strong predilection for gadgets, with particular emphasis on phones and mobile devices (see my countless posts earlier this summer regarding my iphone)

Anyway, I recently received a new toy (actually, it really is more of a business device), the new second-generation Motorola Q replete with Mobile Windows 6.

I am going to save my long review for later this week after I have fully field tested this bad boy, but having used it for about 72 hours thus far, my early impression is very favorable. In fact, I am pretty damn stoked on this thing.

A bit of background: I am one of Blackberry's original users. I mean that almost literally. I was Ruder-Finn's beta Blackberry user and up until the last year, I have owned literally every single AT&T and T-Mobile blackberry ever produced. Literally. I was a Blackberry acolyte, to say the least.

Then, one fateful December year ago, about one year ago, my Blackberry blew a gasket and died. I will never forget that day or the fact that I was compelled to go almost 48 hours without a mobile device. I'm just getting over that now.

Given how much I travel, my IT guy, who's also a good friend, encouraged me to abandon Blackberry and try a Windows Mobile (WM) device instead. After a bit of hesitation and much research (I research new tech offerings like a freaking talmudic scholar. As the Wife can attest, when it comes to new devices, I can spend days on the computer) I decided to go with the Cingular 8525, primarily based on the fact that it was one powerful little device that could act like a mini PC while I travelled, thus allowing me to leave my laptop at home.

I must say that upon first use, I was pretty impressed with the 8525: I loved the 3g speed, which is faster than my home PC, and I liked the fact that WM 5 was essentially an extension of my Outlook, enabling me to toggle back and forth seamlessly between PC and Mobile device.

That being said, there were a lot of things I eventually grew to dislike: the battery life on the 8525 is truly atrocious. It NEVER made it through a full day without needing to be recharged, which is a real pain considering I am on the road at least five days a months, if not more. This is a key reason why I bought the iphone; to serve as a backup phone. Also the form factor of the 8525 is terrible (read: it's a damn brick) and while I saw the promise of WM5, it was/is buggy as hell and felt more like a beta software version than ready-for-prime-time. Among its many problems, I had to manually reboot it multiple times a day as it would freeze up on me for no apparent reason -- even when it wasn't in use.

Anyway, after one year of usage, the negatives were starting to outweigh the positives and I was strongly considering moving back to Blackberry.

But then I came upon the Motorola Q.

As I said, I will save my full review for later in the week (I am headed out of town in the am for two days so this will give me a good sense of how this thing performs while on the road), but I have to say that thus far, this is nearly a perfect device: it has so much functionality built in it is incredible (including GPS!), it comes with THREE batteries (and single battery life is far better than the 8525), including an extended version and most importantly, in typical Microsoft fashion they have quickly worked out the warts and WM6 rocks (great interface, very stable relative to WM5, easier to navigate, enhanced functionality, etc).

More on this later but I have to say that if I owned this thing a few months earlier, I would not own an iPhone (though I hasten to add that I would own an ipod Touch instead) and I'd be completely ok with that. In fact, if this thing hold up, there is an excellent chance I will cancel my iPhone service and just use it as an (expensive) video ipod.

Bottom line: while I still like Blackberry a lot, but methinks the good folks in Waterloo have a lot to be worried about with Microsoft coming on this strong.

More later. Next post I'll try to send from the Q, live from the road.


Anonymous said...

i tried to finish this for old times sake but could not. sorry. gs

wiley said...

Dude...I'm in London and lost my Blackberry last night. I can't tell you how freaked out I was. I retraced my steps for two hours. I was a total basket case. This s an intense addiction. I've had a blackberry as a lifeline for every day for 8 years. I can't tell you how many people I've had to notify that they will not receive my usual, immediate response. Not directly relevant to your post but I'm sure you can totally relate!

gs, btw, great comment, although we may need to offer you a gateway device.