During Sprint's earnings call, CEO Dan Hesse outed a the Motorola Photon Q, stating that it's "coming soon." With the cat out of the bag, The Now Network just sent out the press release making the device official, thought it's still missing pricing and release date information.


While this may be the first time we've heard the Photon Q name, it's not the first time we've heard of the device itself. In fact, we got a glimpse of this QWERTY slider last month. At that time, however, we didn't have the full specs. Now, of course, we do.

  • 4.3" ColorBoost display
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor (presumably Snapdragon S4)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage, microSD card slot
  • 8MP 1080p rear shooter, 720p front-facing camera
  • HDMI out
  • NFC
  • Full QWERTY slider
  • LTE, global ready
  • Android 4.0.4


According to the press release, pricing and availability will be "announced in the next few weeks." In the meantime, you can find out more about the Photon Q right here.

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 LTEnationwide 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 throughNetwork Vision. For the most up-to-date details on Sprint’s 4G LTE portfolio and rollout, please visitwww.sprint.com/4GLTE.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • RaphaĆ«l Briand

    Looks great!

  • Timothy Gelter

    Anyone know what that clock/weather/battery widget is called?

    • Sorian

      Motorola calls it their SMARTACTIONS app that is pre-installed on ATRIX HD, DROID 4, DROID RAZR/MAXX,

      • Mark

        SMARTACTIONS is a separate app actually.

        • Sorian

          Thanks for the clarification, on Motorola's spec page for the Atrix had it listed.

    • ProductFRED

      Actually they just jacked it from a One More Clock skin. (One More Clock is a skinnable clock widget in the Play Store).

    • Mark

      Circles Widget

  • Knlegend1

    Aw man I'm having doubts about the Droid Razr HD now. I know people are going to thumb me down, but this isn't looking good. Motorola usually make the same phone across all boards when they release a phone such as this and the Atrix HD. Hopefully the Verizon beast is truly the beast we have been waiting on. Well I have been waiting on. Anywho Sprint owners enjoy I'm out.

  • Laurence

    Am I the only one who dislikes the way that Motorola puts text underneath the icons on the Favourites Tray? It adds clutter and removes the visual distinction
    Favourites Tray and the rest of the icons on the screen. I also dislike the way that Motorola makes the background for the softkeys transparent. The softkeys are supposed to blend into the background, almost like they're part of the hardware, in order to put the focus on whatever app you're using.

    Small details like these are the reason why AOSP is still better.

    • 27yearold

      who the hell uses a default launcher. every ics phonee should come with go launcher because ics is even uglier than jellybean which is hard to do.

      • ProductFRED

        *Nova Launcher

  • Sorian

    I wonder if they will make this compatible with the accessories for the original Photon.

    • Todd

      The placement of the charging ports, lower left, instead of upper mid left, means it won't fit in the same devices. But the general alignment looks the same, so anything that needs the USB and HDMI ports in tandem may still fit, albeit awkwardly.

  • 27yearold

    WHY qHD and ONLY 2 CORES? it looks slower than droid 4... keyboard phones have always been the best for pro users, but cheap screen only knockoffs like gnex and gs3 are being sold because they make more profit off them and they are prettier for teenage girls. what else? under 4000 mah battery probably too. pathetic. at least release it on a real network like verizon so internet and coverage are better.

    • ProductFRED

      The number of cores doesn't matter. The Snapdragon S4 outdoes the Tegra 3 in CPU benchmarks (but not in GPU benchmarks). While I have a Galaxy S III i9300 (International Quad-Core), I've heard from people with the One X Tegra 3 and the One XL that the XL, with the Snapdragon S4, provides the same every-day performance with better battery life. Basically, you're still getting a high-end phone. And the qHD resolution makes it even faster because lower resolution = high performance. Actually, qHD on a 4.3inch screen is still a pretty high PPI.

    • KenP

      You imply that you are a pro user but you complain about 2 cores. I real pro user should know that more horsepower (or cores in this case) doesn't necessarily make it faster. A pro user would also know that there isn't a quad core chip that supports lte ready for production yet. Since you referred to Verizon, The biggest lte carrier, im sure that lte matters to you. Most people find their way around an on-screen keyboard actually better than a physical one, I know i do. There is a larger reason at hand besides teen girls for slider keyboards becoming an increasing rarity.

      • 27yearold

        with same clock speeds, similar architecture, proper coding, and more cores it probably multitask easier had has more raw power which pro users want, which is the best reason to have android. I've been running ubuntop from android phones for years for example, and for games, I'd love to have power for ps2 emulation.

        qwerty is going away because most users use their phones for same purposes teenage girls do, instead of world known scientists like me. and also you fail to comprehend and understand that qwerty phones have a touch screen too, so they are capable of using on screen keyboard for its advantages (like one hand swyping) as well as physical keyboard for it's HUGE advantages (typing without looking, more visible screen space, more input options, more customization, no need for autocorrect, which is terrible for uncommon words such as equations, code, scientific terms). android used to be great, and now it is being destroyed by people who don't understand technology and typically buy a gnex.

        • KenP

          For emulation and other heavy GPU applications the quad core is better, otherwise the s4 has proven itself to be just as handy if not more than quad core. The biggest benefit of a physical keyboard is more screen real estate the other reason you listed are all things i can do on an on-screen keyboard. So it is just a matter of personal preference and most users want a thin easy to hold device. But I understand your argument now.

          I apologize for bashing your first comment. You bashed screen only phones as unworthy. The phones you mentioned like the s3 and the gnex are great phones for pro users despite the fact of no physical keyboard. The s3 has the best internals out of any phone out .

          ps: I know many teenage girls who prefer physical keyboards. I guess keyboards are disappearing because of people like me who don't want them XD

  • Antonio Bonner

    as of now, Motorola seems like the only manufacturers that will make a phone with no on screen buttons. maybe other manufacturers will follow suit finally. Decent phone but could do without the Slider. Not sure why Motorola can't do like Samsung now and release a High End phone similar on all carriers so their phones don't get forgotten about when it comes time for major updates.

    • ProductFRED

      Also ASUS, but Motorola is more carrier-centric.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    We've added more pics and specs than were present in Sprint's PR.

  • robertrulez

    Slightly disappointed by the lack of HD in the display and the fatness, but this will most definitely be my next phone if it receives good reviews.

  • sky stanojevic

    no Standard HD screen=FAIL!.. why are qwerty phones getting shafted ?.. everything is awesome on this phone except for the last-gen screen.. pfft ,passs!!

  • Keyz Karanza

    Right now, I have a very bottom of the line LG Optimus Q I got at walmart (I use Straight Talk). One of the reasons I still love it, is the QWERTY keyboard. I would love to upgrade from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich. I would love to have a dual core instead of what is ostensibly NO-core. I would love to have a front facing camera instead of having to crop every picture to center my head. This could be my next phone, if it is reasonably priced anyway.

  • Brian Knapp

    I'm still on my G2 so this looks tempting, but I am hoping Google releases a QWERTY Nexus device this fall. I've gotten so close to buying the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but I think I will regret it (it only meets 3 of my 7 dream features, see below).

    You can't build your own phone like you can a computer, so we're at the whim of manufacturers trying to build a device that will appeal to a large market for a reasonable price. Enthusiasts with particular requirements (hardware keyboards on the best hardware for example) don't have great options.
    Just for fun my dream phone (in order of importance):

    1) Nexus. Stock Android. No carrier bloat. Updates from Google.
    2) 720 HD screen (4.6" or larger)
    3) 2000 mAh (or more) removable battery
    4) 2GB RAM
    5) Hardware keyboard
    6) Good camera and FFC
    7) microSD slot
    8) Fast dual core or quad core CPU
    9) NFC