For years Motorola has produced handsets firmly based on its best seller, the Razr V3. Fortunately, the Motorola Q 9 (previously known as the Motorola Q q9 and Q 9h or Q9h) breaks away from the thin clamshell design we know a little too well and is a slim, BlackBerry-style device that features a full Qwerty keypad and Windows Mobile 6.
Motorola is starting to break away from its clamshell roots and produce handsets that look and feel different. The Q 9 is a smart phone designed primarily for texting and emailing. Similar to BlackBerry handsets, the Q 9 is wide enough (67mm) to accomodate a large screen and full Qwerty keypad, but it's also only 12mm thin, which means it fits in your pocket and doesn't cause too much disruption.
The keypad is really well designed and we found it good for writing out long emails and text messages. Each key on the keypad is raised in the middle, making it easier to distinguish between them, and the keypad is curved, which matches the movement of your thumbs better than a straight one.
The colour screen is relatively large and satisfactory for reading long documents and emails on, but we think it could have been made wider still. Also, instead of a scroll wheel for scrolling through emails, Motorola has added a simple up, down and select button system on the top-right side, which some people might not like.
The Motorola Q 9 runs on Windows Mobile 6 Standard, which among other things means it supports push email through Exchange Servers, in addition to letting you set up push email via a Windows Live Hotmail account. You now also have the option to access emails through a BlackBerry server, using RIM's Windows Mobile 6 application.
There's HSDPA (3.5G) connectivity for browsing and both Internet Explorer Mobile and Opera Mobile browsers are pre-installed. Unfortunately, there's no Wi-Fi, but Motorola claims this is to increase battery life. HSDPA can currently achieve speeds of up to 1.8Mbps in the UK and we found it worked well, making browsing the Web a fast and enjoyable process.
Email and processing features aside, Motorola has made sure this phone isn't just about business. The Q 9 also features Windows Media player that lets you watch online video and play MPEG4 and WMV video files among others, and supports a variety of music formats, including MP3 and AAC+.
You can listen to music using the proprietary headphones or use a pair of stereo-Bluetooth (A2DP) headphones. On the back of the Q 9 there's a 2-megapixel camera that takes acceptable pics for MMS messages and mementos, but don't expect to print out large, clear photos.