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Unmaking Motorola's Q 144

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the under-the-hood dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has a breakdown of Motorola's Q Phone, looking at the cost of each of its components. From the article: 'It costs Motorola about $158 to build the phone. That includes components and assembly but excludes other expenses such as marketing, distribution, and licensing fees to Microsoft, which makes the phone's Windows Mobile operating system.' By comparaison, the BlackBerry 8700, only costs $123 according to the article. The difference between the two, the BlackBerry 'doesn't play video or music, and unlike the Q, it doesn't have a camera.'"
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Unmaking Motorola's Q

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  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:20PM (#15754419) Homepage
    My god....mon dieu!! etc... 158$ must turn into what? 500$ retail? Have fun losing that phone.

    Of course it'd be nice if cell companies both offered this monstrocity of a money pit and the el-cheapo phones that companies like Moto make as well. You know, that whole "free market" thingy...

    Tom
    • $150-250 on 2-year contract with no activation and $175 early termination... so $225-350. I think $419 or something when you lose it.
    • by JanneM (7445) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:45PM (#15754488) Homepage
      You know, that whole "free market" thingy...

      It is a free market. But the customers are the carriers, not the consumers that end up using the phones. If the US had a mobile phone market where you could use the same handset with any provider perhaps you would start seeing phones offered to please the end-user. As it is, what they're selling and you're buying is a provider phone plan; the phone is just the necessary piece of gear to use the plan.

      • Granted, the customers are the carriers, but the carriers put in a considerable effort to please the customers with their phone choices.

        The problems that limit choice are the combinatorial effect of:
        Most users not being geeks.
        Each power-user handset having a considerable cost in training Customer Care folk.
        Many geeks want their toys for the cost of the parts, never for the MSRP (the cheapskate factor).

        So the carriers pic
        • Granted, the customers are the carriers, but the carriers put in a considerable effort to please the customers with their phone choices.

          Verizon paid Motorola a considerable amount of money for exclusive access to their lastest phones, a deal they stole from Cingular. Why? Because consumers want those those phones, and being the exclusive provider means they might switch carriers to get them.

          What outsells the marvelous powerful sophisticated Treo650 by an enormous margin? The Razr

          Because the Razor is a

          • Three people in my office purchased the Razr and hate them. They said that sure it looks pretty but it handles like it is stuck in molasses i.e button presses are slow to respond. These were the first bunch that came out through Rogers cellular service.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Yeah, the Treo is a brick.

            If I hadn't encoded four seasons of Futurama and 100 miscellaneous videos to play on it with TCPMP. and have all my .oggs on 2G SD cards, and use my ssh client to log into work, and didn't have a street level map of the surrounding three states on an SD card with the Bluetooth intefaced moving map GPS software, then it probably wouldn't be worth the extra bulk for the library of Palm-Reader books, the high-speed e-mail responses, and https browsing powerful enough to check my bank
        • In the Netherlands, any phone you buy with a plan may be sim-locked, but after a year the provider is obligated to remove the lock. And hell, my MDA Vario was unlocked about 3 hours after I got it, and this was because I got it at work.

          This idea of mobile carriers providing tech-support for phones is just nutzoid, as is the idea of carrier-monopoly on a phone type. Carriers focus on services, and other stores can focus on selling phones (with or without subscription).
          • by Anonymous Coward
            The obligation that the carrier unlock it after a year is a grand idea. I hope it's contagious.

            Nutzoid or not, it is a pervasive expectation in the US that if there is any feature your phone you want help adjusting you can dial 611 and get help with it. That this level of hand holding has the unintended consequence of narrowing the field of handset choices is rarely deduced by the general public.

            It's also worth noting y'all have had GSM running much longer over there than we have, so there is a good deal
        • I own a Razr and chose it over the Treo (and would have chosen it over the Q had it been available). Why? Like the other poster, I don't like its ergonomics. It feels like a PDA that can do phone calls. I am under no illusions that my phone is a phone that can play music, surf the net, send email, etc in a half assed manner...

          BUT...

          It's good enough. My five year old Nikon coolpix (an 800, a prehistoric 2 MP version, but good enough optics to not really miss the newer ccds) takes better pictures. Even
          • I am very much the type of person who would rather have one thing that does one thing well than lots of things mediocrely (sp?). I have a decent digital camera for photos, my ipod for music and I used to have a cell and a PDA but that was sacrificed when I bought my Treo 600.

            For me, I got the treo because I go fed up carrying my PDA AND a phone on my belt. I went from an Audiovox 6800 which is a really small phone compared to the Treo and after about a day I got used to the size. It's big but not that big a
      • If the US had a mobile phone market where you could use the same handset with any provider perhaps you would start seeing phones offered to please the end-user.

        Well, for any carrier using GSM this is pretty trivial. Switching providers can be as easy as swapping SIM cards. To do so though your phone needs to be 'unlocked', which typically means you aren't buying it directly from carrier as they tend to lock the phones they sell so they can only be used on their network (though it's possible to get these u

        • T-Mobile is GSM. T-Mobile will unlock your T-Mobile phone for you after you have used their system for 3 months, even if you only have a pre-paid plan.

          Be sure you get a Quad-Band GSM [wikipedia.org] phone like the Motorola RAZR V3 (now V3i). There are only 4 GSM bands, and a phone with all 4 bands allows use in Europe, Asia, and any place there are GSM providers, which is becoming everywhere. (Apparently there are some areas that use a 5th band, called GSM400, but that is not used in modern systems. See this GSM frequen [answers.com]
      • Being able to use any handset with any provider is exactly what standards like GSM and UMTS are all about.
        If you dont like what the carrier wants to sell you, go find an unbranded unlocked phone somewhere else (you wont get a carrier subsidy obviously) and put in the SIM (or USIM in the case of UMTS) card from the carrier of your choice.

        Anyone who buys crappy locked in CDMA phones when you can get much better GSM phones is an idiot (either that or someone who is unable to use a GSM phone in the places they
      • But the customers are the carriers, not the consumers that end up using the phones. If the US had a mobile phone market where you could use the same handset with any provider...

        You can, assuming a GSM carrier (Cingular or T-Mobile). Verizon and Sprint use totally different, older, radio systems (CDMA), so the incompatibility is on a hardware level, not a "software block" level. And unlocked European-spec GSM phones are readily available on EBay and elsewhere - just make sure to get one that does the 8

    • Of course it'd be nice if cell companies both offered this monstrocity of a money pit and the el-cheapo phones that companies like Moto make as well. You know, that whole "free market" thingy...

      Hunh? What are you talking about - have you ever looked into buying a cell phone? The vast majority of phones offered by the phone companies are 'el-cheapo' phones. By simply going to the Verizon wireless website I'm bombarded with an offer for a phone that's only $9.99 (with contract). How much cheaper do you want

  • The Motorola Q is quite apptly named for such a distinguished race of beins as "The Q". The Q need a communicator that is very agile and capable to match their omnipotentance, and of course the Blackberry won't cut it without its video and camera. Humph.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Moto A1200 MING [gsmarena.com] is Motorola's real bad ass. When does that come to Amerika (a.k.a. backwater of mobile phone technology)?
    • it's never coming to verizon wireless - they only do cdma. They can't "no GSM" fast enough these days. Why would they want to be compatible with the rest of the world? This way they can sell you their expensive world phone service - which includes them mailing or messengering a separate phone to you when you the the US.
      • ". They can't "no GSM" fast enough these days. Why would they want to be compatible with the rest of the world? "
        I guess that Asia is on another planet.
        CDMA is very popular in Asia. GSM is the standard in Europe. In the US you have the freedom to select a carrier that uses one or the other.
        T-Mobile and Cingular both use GSM.
        If you would rather use GSM chose one of them. Then you can import any GSM phone you want that supports all the GSM bands and stick you sim card in it.
        BTW your expensive world service wi
        • I don't think your CDMA phones from the US will work in Asia either. At least with GSM you have coverage in most of the world except South Korea and Japan (for sure), and perhaps China too (haven't been there to find out though).
          • Just like GSM you can get multiband phones.
            And yes China is the fastest growing CDMA market in the world.
            CDMA seems to be growing very quickly in south-east asia.
            I am not even saying that CDMA is better than GSM. I like the SIM card idea from GSM but from what I have heard CDMA has some advaantages over GSM.
            Just wanted to point out that.
            The US wasn't the only country in the World not using just GSM.
            and my favorite.
            Pointing out that a European was doing exactly what they accuse people in the US of doing. Thi
    • 2008 probably, were always 3 years and a gen and a half behind asia. About half that for europe too, but decades behind Europes service.
    • I am sorry to inform you that Ming may never come to US. It is specifically made for the Chinese/Asian market with superior handwriting recognition technology according to Motorola. Which means I should start buying it in Taiwan and selling it on eBay!!!!
      • I dont know for sure but I believe that the A1200 MING was submitted to the FCC for FCC certification which probobly means they are (or were) planning to release it stateside at some point.

        I too wish I could get a motorola EZX linux phone (moto dont sell ANY of them here in australia :( )
    • Well, here you go: http://www.myworldphone.com/motorolaa1200.html [myworldphone.com] $479

      The only sucky thing about it is the lack of EDGE and no 802.11. Otherwise it looks like a fantastic phone.

  • Flawed Analysis? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1zenerdiode (777004) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:30PM (#15754446)
    I'm always a little shocked when I see things like this.

    It's quite difficult to gauge the true cost of a consumer device when you don't know:
    - Component purchase volumes and associated discounts
    - Overhead (R&D, administrative costs)
    - IP licensing - both for the finished good and associated components (patent fees, etc.)
    - Who manufactured certain key components (the LCD is mentioned)
    - Locus of manufacture (which country?)
    - Test and rework costs (what defect rates are expected of raw components and finished assemblies, what quality standard?)
    • They sure make a lot of assumptions. Some a pretty obviously wrong, some a obviously right, most of them you just can't tell. You can't make broad assumptions because you can be sure that Moto pays a lot less for a battery than Palm does for example, but how much?
  • Features or Cost? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by foxylad (950520) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:30PM (#15754448) Homepage

    Am I alone in not being attracted by all these bells and whistles phones have these days? I want a phone to be a phone - I already have a digital camera to take pictures, and a music player to play music. Why try to cram all these features into a mobile phone, which just complicates the user interface and adds cost?

    And don't get me started on email on phones - several of our managers have Blackberries, and despite their bigger keypads, it is still painfully obvious a message was created on one. Plus they tend to be sent at 10:30pm...

    We have a new joke going around the office - have you heard about the new crime wave of Blackberry muggings? Crazed people accost you, force their Blackberry on you, and scarper.

    • While we're at it, let's also stop trying to force all these PCs to do so much. All I really need my PC for is word processing, the user interface for getting into the word processor is terrible, the UI cluttered with all these extra programs and settings. Don't even get me started on how much all of these features drive up the hardware costs. What I want is a machine that just puts words onto paper! When will they get this through their heads?
      [/sarcasm]

      Am I the only one who hates carrying 5 computers in
      • What I want is a machine that just puts words onto paper!

        That is called a typewriter, and may I say, that they do a find job at that. (with a fairly dcent user interface and the wonderful reqward of a "Ding" every time you finish writing a line. I think that is why Charles Dickens wrote such long novels...

        • That is called a typewriter, and may I say, that they do a find job at that.

          So? They have entry level base model phones that don't have camera or music players. They are cheap too... selection is limited, but then have you tried to buy a typewriter lately, selection there is limited too.
    • Am I alone in not being attracted by all these bells and whistles phones have these days?

      No, you're not. I had the opportunity to play with the Q phone at the new Motorola store in downtown Chicago. (Which is not odd at all when you consider that the Q is ALL they sell. Who came up with THAT marketing idea?) My initial reaction was this: It's a piece of technological junk that does very little over top of existing handsets, has a confusing interface (in the finest tradition of Motorola), and is really more

    • by east coast (590680) on Friday July 21, 2006 @12:01AM (#15754537)
      Am I alone in not being attracted by all these bells and whistles phones have these days? I want a phone to be a phone - I already have a digital camera to take pictures, and a music player to play music. Why try to cram all these features into a mobile phone, which just complicates the user interface and adds cost?

      Perhaps you are. Ultimately, why bitch about it? They make plain old cell phones for people like you. It's not like these gadgets are being thrust on you. As for the rest; somehow I feel OK having a phone that has internet access, a camera and music playing abilities. It makes it so that if I need these things they're all right here in a simple small package without having to carry at least three other devices. Maybe you feel good about carrying this crap around or you think it makes you look "geek" in some fashion but I'd rather not have to deal with leaving hundreds of dollars worth of hardware (actually thousands if you count my laptop for internet access, and I still need the cell in that case!) in my car or worse taking this stuff around in a mall or store where it can be lost or I can have security bothering me over why I feel the need to carry a 300 dollar camera around randomly.

      We have a new joke going around the office - have you heard about the new crime wave of Blackberry muggings? Crazed people accost you, force their Blackberry on you, and scarper.

      Wow, that's uh... yeah... funny... i guess. Actually it marks a problem with how people think in relation to technology. OK, so you don't want the latest and greatest, you don't want the camera, the email, the text messages. Fine, don't buy into it. Too many people I know bitch and moan about being able to be contacted on their cell phones. Turn them the fuck off or don't buy one in the first place. That's my solution. Blackberry is normally an evil tool of the office but I see more and more people using them for personal reasons. This doesn't mean that you need to own one nor should you feel compelled to. Don't act like technology is forcing itself into your home, if that's the way you feel about the technology that you own perhaps you should seek professional help.
      • I should have qualified that the joke is not amusing to the Blackberry users - they grimace while the rest of us smirk.

        And you're right that my preference should not stop you getting a phone with a cappucino maker built in, if you want one. But that isn't what I'm suggesting - I posed the question to see if anyone else felt the same way, and if maybe the phone companies were missing a market.

    • Re:Features or Cost? (Score:2, Informative)

      by KokorHekkus (986906)
      Am I alone in not being attracted by all these bells and whistles phones have these days? I want a phone to be a phone - I already have a digital camera to take pictures, and a music player to play music. Why try to cram all these features into a mobile phone, which just complicates the user interface and adds cost?

      No, you're not alone but you're relativly marginal in low margin segment.

      Compare with computers or cars that only really basic features, like a computer with no frills at all or low end asi
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Once you step into a Treo, you will find it hard to go back to a "regular phone."
      I have internet access all the time, everywhere. I can buy from Woot, Ticketmaster, I can read my favorite blogs, and I get to see regular web pages... not just those wimply little itty-bitty text pages made for weenie cell phones.

      I have a 1 Gig SD card, and a set of Shure e4c in-ear headphones. I have 900 meg of MP3's which is just perfect for an airplane flight. I store an additional 50 meg of files, and have 50 meg free.
      I
      • I have a 1 Gig SD card, and a set of Shure e4c in-ear headphones. I have 900 meg of MP3's which is just perfect for an airplane flight. I store an additional 50 meg of files, and have 50 meg free.

        You must be using the "1MB=1000000 bytes" methodology, because I only see 957MB on my formatted SD card. :)
        • You must be using the "1MB=1000000 bytes" methodology, because I only see 957MB on my formatted SD card. :)


          Actually, flash memory cards are measured using the binary system, so a "1GB" card has a 1GiB flash chip inside it.

          However, the fact that you lose 67MB is easily found.

          NAND flash chips (the kind used in flash storage media) is inperfect, and bad blocks abound. Typically 2% of the available blocks are reserved for bad block remapping and replacement. 20MB gone.

          SD cards have to have a special "secure" mo
    • Am I alone in not being attracted by all these bells and whistles phones have these days? I want a phone to be a phone - I already have a digital camera to take pictures, and a music player to play music. Why try to cram all these features into a mobile phone, which just complicates the user interface and adds cost?

      Personally I hate the bells and whistles too, in large part due to the fact that the extras are usually at the expense of the quality and reliability of the actual phone component! (And the inf

    • I have ordered a RAZER because it has a large keypad for texting - but thats because I cant find a phone with a long battery life.

      All I want is a mobile that does text messages and the occasional call - and most importantly lasts for as long as possible between recharges. I am sick of carrying different chargers around with me for all my gadgets, so now I buy things that take standard rechargeable cells - and you cant get a phone with standard rechargable cells.

      You can get mobiles with just the phone and te
    • I already have a digital camera to take pictures, and a music player to play music. Why try to cram all these features into a mobile phone, which just complicates the user interface and adds cost?

      All of these functions are converging into one device that does everything. I already carry a phone and an mp3 player. I ordinarily don't carry my digital camera, but having one in my phone means I can take pictures of unexpected things. I expect a lot of other things to be added in. We already have internet a
    • Am I alone in not being attracted by all these bells and whistles phones have these days? I want a phone to be a phone

      So buy one of the phones without bells and whistles then. PDA phones are an electronics swiss army knife. But if all you want is a butter knife, just buy a butter knife and stop complaining every time someone comes out with a new and better swiss army knife.

      I already have a digital camera to take pictures, and a music player to play music. Why try to cram all these features into a mobile pho
  • by ElitistWhiner (79961) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:31PM (#15754449) Journal
    RIM Blackberry is the only phone available in the US that offers a fraction of the communications functionality Europeans take for granted. Even then, Blackberry is just a promise given the Reseller Plan's which throttle what little useful functionality is in the device to add-on services.

    Camera, MP3, video objectify the space into lust-have consumerism which drives a cultish demand producing absolutely no redeeming downpayment on the future.
    • What's in the Euro phones that are missing in the US phones? What's wrong with having a camera or an MP3 player in the phone? People find that useful. Putting personalized crystals on your phone, yeah perhaps that is what you would call lust have consumerism. But an MP3 player is quite useful even for professionals. You can review notes on a client if you desire. If you are a real estate professional you can take a quick pic and send it off to a client.
    • by digitac (24581) on Friday July 21, 2006 @12:18AM (#15754591) Homepage
      Actually the driving force behind Blackberry features has traditionally been the government's need for security. The government has put strict requirements on the device to be sure it's secure. That's something I can appriciate.
      There are server-side policies for EVERYTHING. A rep once told a group of us that if we could find any way to get data off a Blackberry that couldn't be stopped/restricted by a policy on the server he'd buy us lunch and get it fixed. In an enterprise environment the admin can restrict everything.
      We can (and do) set password policies. Length, age, complexity, number of attempts can all be configured. There's even a distress feature so the device notifies an admin if the user is forced to unlock it (you change your password by one character). The admin could then send a wipe command to the device which completely wipes all data.
      It even has AES encrypted storage. If you turn that on, even if you unsolder the memory chip you can't read the data (though you could theoretically proceed to brute-force it).
      The lack of cameras on all Blackberries (is a God-send!) is due to the restrictions placed on cameras in senstive areas. If one Blackberry had a camera they may all be banned from those locations (rumor has it there may be one coming though, I hope not).
      No MP3s because it's a business first device. I personally don't agree with this one. I wish it would play WAV file voicemail (promised, never delivered). It doesn't have removable storage or even enough for more than a couple songs, but this relates back to the security issue. They can't be used to copy documents from a computer and it's near impossible to remove sensitive data from the device.
      It's not perfect, but at least it has a reason.

      Digitac
  • It didn't use the neutered smart-phone version of Windows Mobile. If it used the regular version of windows mobile (like that on PPC's) then I would be interested...
    • This is a bit religious, but I think it'd be garbage with the stylus-oriented PocketPC OS. As is, it's an "a-phone-first" which never requires more than one hand unless you want to "type" (which is faster than stylus input anyway.)

      Availablity of a stylus turns Windows Mobile into Brain Age.
      • Yeah, just a bit religious. :-) I would say I can probably type faster with a stylus than you can with a thumbboard. Which would mean more if the virtual keyboard driver in Mobile 2003 SE did not drop (annoying) or mutate (worse) characters at higher input speeds.
      • You obviously haven't used one. I don't care so much about the stylus, but Smartphone is NOT designed for QWERTY keyboards. If you read my other post, you'll see that it's my opinion that the Smartphone interface is one of the major shortcomings of the device.

        Digitac
        • On the contrary, I have a Q, and have used it plenty. I have not used a PocketPC-based phone, but have used a PocketPC-based PDA. I simply don't want to use a stylus when using a phone.
          • I have a HTC Wizard. Due to its sucky stylus holder I don't have a stylus. For phone features this is fine, press the green "phone" hardware button. Bash the screen as the number buttons are a fair size. Press the green "phone" hardware button again.
    • Eh? From what I have read, I thought Windows Mobile for smart phones was an enhanced version, not a reduced one?
  • I think you actually mean licensing "subsidies".
  • The Nokia E61 [nokia.com] has a nicer operating system than the Q, Blackberry, or Treo, it's small, mature, and high quality. (Despite the European web site, you can order it in the US from on-line dealers.)
    • I just purchased two Nokia E61 phones. I'm generally happy with the product especially the WiFi support and lack of a camera. The price and documentation could be better. I am currently having problems with getting the VPN client to work. The device seems to require a Nokia NSSM policy server to deliver the IPSec parameters. It lacks a user interface to manually enter the parameters. I'm upset enough about the required policy server that I probably won't ever use or specify a Nokia firewall. If anyon
  • by digitac (24581) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:58PM (#15754526) Homepage
    ...is that the Blackberry WORKS! Those Q's are nice to look at but terrible to use. We bought 6 at work when they first came out, 4 have been returned in favor of the Blackberry. The Blackberry does less, but it's reliable. Here's the mini-review I give to everyone at work who asks about them:

    The Good:
    -The screen is nice, bright, easy to read indoors, and a nice size in general.
    -The general form factor. I like thin devices and the Q is that, it doesn't seem to have unneeded bulk.
    -The network. Some like it, some hate it, but few will argue that Verizon's EVDO network is fast where you can get it. Allows for streaming a Slingbox nicely.

    The Bad:
    -Most of the problems can in some way be related back to Windows Mobile SMARTPHONE Edition. Had they gone with the full PocketPC software (and required touchscreen) the interface would be less awkward to move around in and you could do simple things like, oh I don't know, switch back to that task in the background?
    -The keyboard...sucks. Most similar devices (mostly referring to Blackberries, Palm Treo's, and a couple others) have standardized portions of the key layout. For instance the backspace key is next to the L key so it's easy to get to since you typo a lot on small keyboards. On the Q it's a flat button, unlike the letters, up near the D-Pad and easy to miss (actually had someone ask me where it was after they had been using it for a week). The Enter key is where the backspace key should be (you can imagine what problems THAT causes), the only shift key is on the right side of the keyboard near the bottom (unlike the others). And in general the keyboard just doesn't have a good "feel" to it.
    -The scroll-wheel, they should have left it off completely. The Smartphone interface wasn't designed for it. I believe they only put it on their to lure the Blackberry users, which is fine if it actually behaved like the Blackberry's, but it doesn't. You can't use it as the primary navigation tool like the Blackberry (you can only scroll vertically), and it is slow to respond to any input. Even the little bump they put around it to supposedly protect it from accidental activation hinders its usefulness.
    -Stability, or lack there-of, may relate back to the Windows Smartphone OS, but we have other Smartphones that are MUCH, MUCH more stable. The Q will get hung up on the simplest tasks. If it's not freezing completely, it has dropped the network and won't reconnect until you reboot.
    -No push-mail. They didn't ship the Q with the AKU2 service pack so it can't use Exchange Mobility push mail. That would be fine, because we have a Goodlink server, but Goodlink doesn't run well on the device due to the Smartphone interface. For one thing, we require a password, but on Smartphones Goodlink limits passwords to just numbers which require the use of the ALT key on the Q.
    -It just seems slow. Nothing on the device seems to launch, run or close fast. In fact I often find myself setting it down while waiting for it to do something.
    -Battery life...painful. My Blackberry will usually last about 4 days if only used for e-mail, 2-3 if using the cell phone. Motorola Q: 13 hours, which is coincidentally the exact amount of time one user's relationship with the device lasted.
    -Charging. It has a mini-USB plug so you should be able to charge it anywhere, right? Wrong. If you want to charge it from a computer you have to have the POS ActiveSync software installed. If you want to charge it from the wall, you'd better have brought your Motorola USB charger because 70% of the mini-USB chargers I have tried won't work. Some will power the device but not charge the battery and some won't even register. It's not the amount of power either. I have one that provides up to 1100mA while the Motorola one provides 800mA, but it won't work. I haven't figured out why yet.
    Cheap build quality. While we haven't damaged any, they just don't feel very durable. I've dropped, tossed, kicked and stepped on my Blackberry. I dare not set the Q down on a table hard, it feels l
    • by brogdon (65526) on Friday July 21, 2006 @12:20AM (#15754597) Homepage
      Just to play Devil's Advocate, I have a Q and love it. It plays my episodes of Futurama without skipping and all of my various formats of music with the Core Pocket Media Player. It gets my email for me, streams internet radio stations, and has a very capable web browser (though I hope the minimo people get a compatible build out for the Q soon). I got a mini-SD card for it that holds 2GB of stuff for about $50.

      I, personally, have no issue with battery life other than when I play movies and so forth all day. However, I expect that to drain the battery much faster than normal phone usage drains the average cell phone anyway.

      I also don't know why you said the Q doesn't have push Email services. Mine pushes my gmail out to me just fine, and you can also set pocket outlook to poll your email accounts automatically every few minutes if you'd rather do it that way.

      Also, I don't have a problem with my unit locking up at all. I often have pocket IE, Outlook, and the media player all going at once, and they seem to get along just fine.

      As far as I'm concerned, I got phone with a 400kb internet connection, push email, web browsing, internet streaming, video and music playback, plus whatever other little software I want to install for the cost of a $200 handset and a $50 card. So far it's working out to be a prety good deal.

      BTW, check out Qusers.com [qusers.com]for more people with Q's. They can tell you the good (and bad) of their experience.
      • I'm glad you like your Q, I really am. I'd just like to make a couple of observations about your comments.

        You won't get any argument from me that the Q does more, much more, than the Blackberry. Movies and audio playback are missing from the Blackberry; games and web browsing are better on the Q. Our users have reported complaints about most of those though. One user said it would play several MP3s then stop, another said the web browser was "hit or miss" (sorry, no specifics). From your remark about minimo
        • by Anonymous Coward
          This is actually easy. Pick a home screen layout that has the most-recently-used applications displayed across the top. So to switch from IE to media player, I hit HOME, right on D-pad (more than once if it wasn't the last app used), then the action button.

          In most apps this isn't necessary, as the BACK button brigns you to the last app you were using before the current one. But Pocket IE has fucked that up and it tries to load the previous web page instead.

          So, I find this EASIER than PocketPC. There you hav
    • Ditto... (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      We tried the Q at my office and discovered many of the same things. We tried running the MNotes client on it and the UI was terrible to use for that. Luckily, our Verizon rep let us trade it back in on a Treo 700w, which is much, much nicer to use, although it is much more expensive.
    • by wadetemp (217315) on Friday July 21, 2006 @12:42AM (#15754658)
      - The Enter key is where an Enter key is on a computer, and the "Backspace" button (a frequently used button) and the "Back" button. Seems sane to me. "Backspace" is an "accident" button, and it's in prime position to hit with the edge of your thumb when you make a mistake. The "Enter" key is one you know you're going to hit before you get to the end of the paragraph, and not that frequently used, so its location is also appropriate. I've tried a Treo 650 and found that to be OK, but I was accustomed to my Q already.

      - Yeah, I don't like the scrollwheel. I can't get my hand in position to use it and find the D-pad and menu-letter shortcuts to be much faster and 1-hand-friendly.

      - I've run it for 4 weeks. No stability issues or crashes. I sync with Exchange and POP frequently, use web search, calendar, make phone calls, etc... fairly normal usage.

      - No AKU2, no problem. Every 15-minutes is plenty for me. There is an SMS-based solution to this anyway, supposedly, although I'm not what that requires on the server. It certainly requires free text messages.

      - My battery lasts for 2-3 days with ~1 hour of talk time and 15-minute email syncing. I've heard MSN Messenger can run-away when you don't have a data connection... maybe that was it?

      - Regarding charging off a computer... why?... you still need to pack a cable anyway. I simply don't use ActiveSync, because I can sync over the air, so I'm not plugging in for that either.

      - Regarding build quality, I sort of agree, but it's mainly the battery cover that's at fault. I've read putting some sticky padding between it and the battery will solidify it.

      - You never really mention how "most of these problems relate back to Smartphone edition." I switch to tasks in the background by hitting Home and clicking right once (for the most recent app) and clicking the "do it" button. That seems reasonable. I can probably do that faster than the time it takes to whip out the stylus. What do these other problems have to do with Smartphone vs. PocketPC?
      • I addressed some of these comments in a reply to another poster, so I'll save the space and refer you to that post for replies to most of your comments. A few I will address here though.

        The keyboard. I must take issue with you on this. If you type a lot on any small device, you're going to use the backspace key a lot. It's position on the Q does not lend itself to being touch-typed like the other keys, and as I mentioned breaks from the convention established by it's predecessors. I'll grant you the positio
    • ...is that the Blackberry WORKS!

      We have about a dozen blackberries in my office, most a little over a year old. At this point, only about half of them are able to actually receive calls (thought most still receive email fine). I'm not trying to say that the Q is better (I've never used one) but it's pretty bad in my mind when the Blackberry can be used as a benchmark for reliability. Perhaps there is an inverse relatioship between feature set and longevity? I can't wait for the PC-quivalent cell phone tha

    • Also bad:

      The LCD screen. It's mounted in the phone sideways.

      Maybe I'm just hypersensitive to such things, but LCD displays are supposed to be used with the widest viewing angle being from side-to-side. This is so that both of your eyes can see roughly the same thing, and are able to focus and collect a stable image.

      The Q's LCD display is narrowest in viewing angle from side-to-side. This means that both eyes see different images (different contrast, different coloration), which is quite hard to look at.

      R
  • Image? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:59PM (#15754529) Homepage Journal
    I think it's interesting with all of the power of the web that some news sites, generally seems to be the sites of more traditional media, neglect to furnish a basic image of the device or subject in question. I'm interested in a photo just because I've never heard of or seen this thing.

    Google Image Link [google.com]
  • huh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by zoloback (785676)
    So A phone that sends email... my cable company gives me phone service, my phone company gives me TV and Internet, My Email portal sends sms alerts to my phone, which can take pictures, my digital camera records videos and my video camera takes pictures...
    Makes me wonder what does my wife do when I'm not home...
  • by Greyfox (87712)
    Who do I have to kill to get a wifi-enabled smartphone capable of running some SIP software? As far as I can tell the only thing that matches that description is the HP Ipaq and apparently they sucked hard enough that all the cell providers who were selling them pulled them from the market. I want to connect to my asterisk box when I'm at home and the cell network when I'm not. It really shouldn't be that hard. It's like trying to find a flat-rate VOIP provider that's compatable with asterisk. Near as I can
    • *chuckles* grab anything with the new qtopia 4 [trolltech.com] when it comes out on devices. I know for a fact we have SIP in the base phone-package. (Not qtopia core tho, so dodge them if you want SIP).
    • After looking at this video [google.com] of the Nokia E61 that someone above mentioned it would appear that it is capable of doing what you ask. Found it online for about $500-550 (Canadian dollars).

    • push email, cameras, symbian OS, lots of other stuff.
  • No comparison... (Score:3, Informative)

    by puppetman (131489) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:22AM (#15754757) Homepage
    I had (lost it at the dump) audiovox smart phone with Windows Mobile. I also carry a Blackberry on a rotating basis for support at work.

    My Audiovox phone had a about 2 days before it needed a recharge, doing pretty much nothing (the screen was in sleep-mode). The Blackberry goes a week (and it's constantly downloading email from our Nagios server, and replying to acknowledge issues, etc), all with the screen on.

    The Blackberry did everything with a scroll-wheel that was also a button. The windows-mobile needed a stylus to scroll, etc.

    For me, the Blackberry won hands down: the screen was nice, the performance was great, and the keyboard is very usable with a bit of practice. And this is a 2 year old model, that has been dropped in the toilet (and survived) and is dropped probably once a week.

    Rim had done an amazing job.

    • Totally agree with that - I also used a BB (7230) on a rotating basis for support at work, it would easily last from the time I picked it up (monday morning) to the following monday.

      Not so sure that the later models battery life is quite as good though.

      This is one crutial aspect of mobile usage that seems to escape a lot of manufacturers nowadays. What is "smart" in a phone that only lasts a day or two on a charge? My current personal phone (SE W550) does a good 4+ days on a charge, and that is generally
  • I got it off of ebay, brand new in the box. It runs windows mobile 2003, it's an older phone...
    It'll check email at scheduled intervals (mine's set for every 5 minutes), I run AgileMessenger (free) to keep in touch with people on AOL Instant Messenger, viewers for Word/Excel/Powerpoint, has a nice calendar program, a Secure Digital slot, etc etc. Only thing it lacks is bluetooth, which to me isn't really that important anyway.

    It's a rather large phone, but it FEELS like a phone, which I love. I've used T
  • .. I saw, about a year ago, which has the sole purpose of dissecting modern hardware into component costs and listing them for all and sundry to see .. anyone know that site I'm talking about? I've tried to find it again, but I can't for the life of me wrangle Google into the corner ..
  • Or unmasking? 'Unmaking' doesn't unmake any sense to me.
  • I compared the Q to the Treo 700P. I must admit, for such a low-cost device, the screen is fantastic! It also seems suitably snappy. Even the form-factor is quite sexy (amazingly thin and yet such a large screen). But the user interface is absolutely horrible. Even after using the Q for an HOUR, it was still extremely difficult to use. The keyboard is not well designed but the lack of a touch screen is what REALLY kills it. Trying to type something? The backspace is, well, a joke. Trying to navigat

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