Would you believe that Motorola has been trying to decide what to do with the Photon Q for like...some large number of months? It's true. Up until today, the Motorola Upgrade Portal has been sitting steadily on "Future plan coming soon" for the poor ol' Q. Now, it has been updated to say "This device will remain on Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)" – not much of a shocker there, really.


Oh well, at least folks who may still be using the Photon Q should be approaching the end of their contract at some point in the very near future, assuming the device was purchased shortly after it was released back in August of 2012. If not, well, I'm sorry.


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.

  • silver_arrow

    I really wonder if they created a Moto Q that's like a Verizon phone (so has CDMA and H+) in addition to global LTE how well would it sell. Seriously they would have no competition. Just make one model, heck maybe 2 models, one Verizon and on for GSM carriers.

    • David Li

      The Moto G is available for Verizon, US GSM carriers, and Intl GSM carriers and it sells like hotcakes internationally. IMHO, the Moto G is the only viable low end Android phone. Anything speced lower (incl the Moto E) is a POS.

      • DonPorazzo

        I don't think that Moto G is a low end phone. My wife's Moto G is slightly faster than my Nexus 4 (though it has less ram).

        • overtook

          Really i find my nexus 4 to be faster than my G, maybe your n4 is just older?

          • DonPorazzo

            Nah, Moto G has faster CPU, GPU 3D, memory and even nand flash. Only 2D is faster on Nexus.
            I've checked it with few benchmark tools.

          • Firmino

            How adreno 305 is more faster than 320?

          • Simon Belmont

            I know, right? Somehow it just is in some cases, though I haven't looked into why that is exactly.

            Overall, though, I think the Adreno 320 is probably faster in real life usage. Especially in compositing of 2D graphics in the OS UI and so forth.

          • David Li

            I think the Nexus 4 had some thermal problems causing it to throttle at times. I'm not sure though.

          • Simon Belmont

            Some benchmarks peg the Moto G as faster than the Nexus 4. An impressive feat considering the Moto G is using a Snapdragon 400 and the Nexus 4 is using a Snapdragon S4 Pro (not far off of a Snapdragon 600).

            Now, don't get me wrong, as I don't take a LOT of stock in benchmarks versus real world usage, but it's an interesting thing, nonetheless. The Moto G is really a nice piece of kit.

      • Zach Mauch

        If a moto Q was made it should NOT be a low end phone. It should be a high end qwerty version of the flagship.

        However, I realize how unlikely that is. What the real solution is IMHO is for Moto to make a high end qwerty slider case for their flagship. It would get qwerty fans what they want, prevent having to make a new device, and make them a lot of money as qwerty fans will likely pay a premium for a good quality solution (I would pay $100 in heartbeat if it was as good as a built in 5-row).

  • atlouiedog

    As an owner of a Photon Q I stopped hoping for official update a long, long time ago. Fortunately with the current unified builds with other Motorola devices I'm continuing to enjoy new features.

    • Suman Gandham

      Yeah unified builds were a great idea for what is a shrinking community now...

    • nadlabak

      Well, this actually means the end of Photon Q being part of CyanogenMod (and derived) unified builds. Razr HD, Razr M and Atrix HD unified builds will go forward to builds requiring updated bootloader and other proprietary parts of the phone firmware while Photon Q will drop out...

      • DrCarpy

        What did you use to backup your phone? I want to get CM 11 for my Razr HD, but first I wanna backup my apps and sms without losing everything, but clockworkmod and others all don't work. Any help would be appreciated.

  • James Zhangya

    I also wonder when it can create high-definition converting like http://www.hdgenius.com

  • BAM1789

    What kind of internals is this phone using?

    • silver_arrow

      Dual core S4
      1 gig ram
      qHD display
      Shipped with 4.0.4

      Other than the display it is pretty similar to the Galaxy S III which lacks the keyboard nd has not only a higher resolution screen but the Sprint one got 4.4 recently.

      • BAM1789

        Yeah sounds like it could easily handle 4.4. And after just scoping XDA looks like there's tons of 4.4 builds. Official upgrades are never something to count on these days, might as well get your hands dirty when it's available.

        • Crafty

          Definitely could handle KitKat easily. No doubt about it.

          KitKat really is great even on lower spec devices. Google's work to that end paid off.

  • Richard

    The GS3 came out June 2012 and has KK on some carriers already.

    • joser116

      That's the GS3. The Photon Q was not a flagship. But considering that it shipped with 4.0.4 and was upgraded to 4.1.2, it should have gotten at least one more update

      • shabbypenguin

        Thats the sad part though, is it was a flagship though...

        • joser116

          Was it?

          • shabbypenguin

            Similar specs to the SGS3 and was sprints variant of Motos flagships for 2012

          • joser116

            That doesn't make it a flagship. Motorola's flagship products for 2012 were the Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD.

      • mgamerz

        I won an LG mach, it received one maintainence update and never saw another update again.

  • Crafty

    Sad. My Nook Color runs KitKat extremely well and has half the RAM and CPU cores of the Q.

    Of course I'm not running KitKat officially, but it shows you how well it works on lower spec devices. Hope the development scene is good for the Q.

  • BoFiS

    Good thing it, and the Droid 4, have really nice CM11 builds right now with 4.4.3 ;-)

    • josuearisty

      Droid Razr too!

  • xHabeasCorpusx

    None of you Photon Q users know what real pain is. I had a Droid 3.

    • Simon Belmont

      Ha. Yeah, that's a shame.

      The Droid 3 really got the shaft. If I remember correctly the Droid 4 was released only a few months after the Droid 3 and then the Droid 3 was basically left to rot (big fail).

    • http://twitter.com/imaginaryfanboy Kaique

      You don't know what real pain is. I had a Droid 2.

      ..but then again, there might be someone, somewhere, still with the first Droid. Poor little soul. lol

  • Konstigt2

    Extremely lame not to update a device at least 24 months after release.

    In Sweden (EU?) all hardware sold has a minimum of 24 months warranty. Also most devices bought on contract is locked for 24 months. So it makes good sense to have this as a lower limit on how long the device should receive software updates.

  • Thor

    I was a Photon 4G user. I guess I don't need to say anything more :-(

    • Simon Belmont

      Haha. Didn't the original Photon have a Tegra 2 in it (YUP, it did)?

      Yeah. You REALLY don't need to say anything more.

      • Thor

        Yup, Tegra 2 indeed! So it's nvidia who screwed us up right?

        • Simon Belmont

          Yeah, most likely. The Tegra 2 was a pretty crummy SoC, though not awful.

          It lacked NEON support which is why it lost support in versions past the initial Jelly Bean for the most part. Even my ancient B&N Nook Color from 2010 has NEON support.

  • mgamerz

    Not a surprise, the photon was in the same boat as the Atrix and those both got terrible support. All the old lines, Atrix,* Photon, and I think electrify all got practically no support. Including the second gen ones.

  • Dude

    The sad thing is the Photon Q is still the latest/best QWERTY phone ever made. Sprint only dropped it as a current model recently. A MOTO Q would be great - full MOTO X+1 with a QWERTY slide-out. Put me on the wait list.

  • Kerry Coleman

    This unit only got an update after 5 months... FIVE MONTHS out of the supposed 18 months...

    I love the Photon Q and bought one for each of my parents as well and they also love it... it BEGS for an update, v4.4 on my Nexus 10 is a DRASTIC change from its origins and the Photon Q would benefit as well...

    Screw you motorola

  • Da Fuq

    The RAZR i in Europe still has "Future plan coming soon" and is on 4.1 too. :(

  • http://twitter.com/imaginaryfanboy Kaique

    If you refuse to update your physical qwerty phone, then at least make a fucking new one!

    Fuck you, Motorola.