on December 9, 2011
I owned this phone from its release date until I changed jobs and no longer could carry my own device, about three weeks ago. Before this I used the original Motorola Droid on VZW for nearly 2 years, so am a bit of an Android "expert."
This hardware is a fine phone, one of Motorola's best phones ever, bar none. Voice quality is superb, with nice feedback in the earpiece so you can can hear your voice as you speak. The speakerphone is loud and clear. Sprint 3G service in Atlanta is good, so I rarely had dropped calls in over 10,000 minutes of airtime.
The screen is big and bright in all types of light, indoors and out. Coming from a device from circa late 2009/early 2010, this phone is a revelation of speed! Business users take heed - this device supports most if not all Exchange Server security policies including on-board encryption, remote wipe and more. This means you don't have to buy a nice but still clunky bolt-on like Touchdown. This also means you have a single calendar on your phone for both corporate and personal - no need to toggle back and forth to see where you need to be for work and for fun. That was big for me.
The camera is more than serviceable and the camcorder takes great, mostly stutter-free video. Dual-core means it can run most anything you throw at it and it should get ICS 4.0 once its released sometime early 2012.
That said, Sprint's "4G" service lets this thing down. Because it's a "4G" phone, you have to pay Sprint an extra $10/month for their "4G" service. Why the quotation marks?
Sprint's 4G service is the clunkiest imaginable. First, coverage in metro Atlanta is spotty at best. Second, to connect to a 4G signal is to open the 4G widget and click "connect." Then the phone goes through an authentication process that takes 30 seconds, as it collects a unique IP address on the network. I never got better than 6-7 mbs down, usually more like 2-3 mbs down. And a downside of the WiMax 4g signal (which Sprint is getting away from, by the way) is that it doesn't like movement. So if you're driving around as most of us do, you're more prone to lose the 4G signal.
Once you lose the 4G signal, you must open the widget and reconnect all over again. It got so frequent/cumbersome I ended turning off the 4G radio more often than not. So $100 for the truly unlimited plan, plus another $10 for the 4G service, plus fees - it was $127/month for what was essentially a 3G phone. That's why Sprint fails this phone.
I'll come back to Sprint once they get their 4G act together.
on July 25, 2012
The need to purchase this Photon was prompted by my first Photon taking a plunge to the bottom of a lake. The Photon is a great phone and I'm puzzled why Motorola discontinued making it after only several month's on the market. If you are looking for a dependable 4G smartphone this is a good one. One word of caution when purchasing this phone online is that it doesn't come standard with a SIM card. I don't have the need for one at the moment as my carrier Sprint doesn't require the use of one while operating my phone in the U.S. I am not sure what other carriers require, so be aware.
on June 8, 2012
I've never had the same phone for two years, so when I was able to upgrade I wanted to make sure I could handle living with the phone for two years. I love android but hate the battery life of the phones. So when I saw that this phone had up to 10 hours of battery life, I was pretty much sold. I use my phone for almost everything. From weather to reminders and timers. I've heard that it over heats, freezes, crashes and dies within hours of it off the charger. So far I have had no problems with the battery's life. It has never froze or crashed on me and it has not over heated. It does get a bit warm if you tend to use it a lot though. If you get an app killer, the battery life lasts me about 10 to 12 hours. It's fast, stylish and has room for more space if you need it. It's made for people like me who use it for everyday things and business people. Everything can sync from your computer to your phone and vise versa. It's simply amazing.
on September 7, 2011
I was very unhappy with my old Pantech. It didn't do much of anything and it was slow and boring. My
husband had just upgraded his old Palm Pre to the new Motorola Proton 4G Android phone and he is happy all of the time. I thought it was time for me
to take the plunge and left my previous carrier to
join him on Sprint and now I too have the new and
exciting Photon! It is so fast it's unreal. I can
get things done easily and quickly I just wish that it came with a better "instructional booklet". Not
being very good with all of the new tech items the
book that comes with the phone is of little help.
I found that if I just played with it I could find a number of great things! This is exactly how I've been finding out all of the things that my Photon can do! I love finding new things all of the time, just going into and out of different things makes it a lot of fun as well.
The camera is AWESOME! I have a friend who is a very good photographer and he said the camera was
incredibly good! It was clear and the color was
excellent. I must say that this was one of the
best things I've done in the past few years with this new phone. I know that in two years I'll be
ready to update again as things change so quickly.
Thank you again, what a great product!
on November 30, 2011
I'm not a power user of these smartphones....I just wanted a phone that worked well and something that could provide me with live TV. The Motorola Photon 4G Android is a winner on both counts. I am a news junkie and the "CNN app" that is so highly touted just didn't do the job for me. So, I junked my Verizon contract and signed up for Sprint due to their "Sprint TV and Movies" pre-loaded application. I am very pleased. It comes with several free live channels, though most of the "live" offerings, (such as ESPN, and ABC) are recordings of previous shows. However, for $10 a month extra you can get a package containing real CNBC, MSNBC, and others live as they are being broadcast. That package also contains the Discovery Channel and some other things I'll probably never watch. But if you want to catch late-breaking news stories, a phone with this Sprint package is the one to get. And, yes, the Photon's screen is a good size with great video quality. Very impressive. It takes great pictures and video, too, though I don't use those features very much. If you are an Android user, the inter¬face is the same. I previously owned the second iteration of the Droid and that phone kept accidentally calling my presets in the phone application when in my pocket. Very annoying. The Photon is less prone to accidental button pushes. It has a nice mini-HDMI output which is handy if you want to watch something on a larger screen, but beware...the quality on that screen will suffer. A nice touch is the phone's included chrome kickstand which allows you to watch the video without some third-party application or case. Battery life so far seems excellent. I was able to watch more than three straight hours of live video with the supplied battery and a higher capacity battery is available.
I've had the phone less than a week, but I give it a best-of-phones rating. I did a lot of comparison shopping, both in-store, and on-line, and the Photon won out. Yes, I held the nice new Motorola RAZR in my hand, but the thinness is not worth the extra money to me. They wanted $260 out the door at Best Buy for the RAZR vs. a deal I got for $90 for the Photon. I feel my Photon is more secure. The RAZR just felt like it could crack in half if you dropped it. 4G connectivity is great, though I would expect that here in the greater Los Angeles basin.
I highly recommend this Motorola Photon 4G and especially Sprint's unlimited plans. I get unlimited data and texting for $80 a month plus another $10 for that upgraded live video package and still save money from the old Verizon contract.
You wont go wrong with the Photon.
on October 22, 2011
I purchased three of these phones for a family data plan. I recently switched to Sprint from AT&T, and decided I was done with Iphones and decided on the Photon 4G narrowly over the HTC Evo 3D. Setting them up was very simple, and had all three phones ported and working on my coffee table at home.
However, one phone (the one ported to my phone number, of course) was problematic. Despite all three phones being brand new, this one phone did not behave exactly like the other two. Although signal is not the strongest inside my house, I was able to make phone calls out of and into the other two phones. The problem phone would attempt to make a call, connect through Sprint, but then would do nothing. No ringtone while dialing, no sound, despite the phone saying it was connected. It would even ring the other phone I was calling, and say it was connected, but couldn't talk to or hear the other phone. The same was true when calling this phone. The phone would ring, you could answer the phone call and the phone would say "connected", but you could not hear the other line, or talk to them. If you're curious, yes, all three phone had the current software and PRL on them.
Sprint attempted to change some settings on the phone, which was fruitless. I took the phone into two different Sprint stores to no avail. I returned the phone, and its replacement worked without a hitch (thus far). After doing some research, I've read that others have had this problem with the phone, and they refer to it as a software glitch that can be solved with a phone restart. This phone did not respond to phone restarts to fix the problem. I can only assume that some of these phones from Motorola have some sporadic issues, which is why some people are so infuriated with the phone after receiving it.
Therefore, when getting this phone, I would ensure it is working correctly since it seems that some of them are working incorrectly, for whatever reasons. Please note that despite the voice problems on the dysfunctional phone, data transfers worked flawlessly.
Other than one problematic phone, I've been quite happy with it. It's fast, it's very loud, call clarity is generally good, and generally what other people have said about the phone's positives. I don't notice any screen clarity problems (being grainy, etc), and have used Netflix on the phone, and it looked great. Some people have complained about the charging ports being on the side of the phone resting on the surface when the kickstand is engaged - that was a compromise of design. Those ports are on that side for any dock that the phone uses (or will use) and isn't a concern if the phone is docked. I do have to say that the screen is very touchy, and for a guy with big fingers used to an Iphone display, its been a tad frustrating at times when typing because any slight touch of the screen can result in unintended input. I'm hoping that this will be remedied with the screen guard coming with the otterbox that I've purchased for the phone, as others have suggested it does. Battery life is generally good for a phone like this, certainly better than others have suggested is the case for the HTC phones. I can go an entire day on a single charge with about 1.5 hours of talk, an hour of web/data usage, and random email checking. The phone does require a daily charge though, which may be unappealing to some who are used to getting several days out of their phone on a single charge. Compared to the other "big" android phones on Sprint at the moment (HTC Evo 3D, Samsung Galaxy II), I think this phone is much sturdier in construction than the other two (especially the Samsung) and comparable in performance to the HTC Evo 3D. I think any of these three are good phones, and this one is certainly on the same level as the other two.
Also note that the phone comes with a lot of junk software. An SD card will be a necessity if you plan on doing anything with the phone outside of just making calls. Only 2 GB (roughly) were free out of the 8 GB of internal storage with the pre-loaded software. This may not be an issue if you plan on rooting the phone, as it appears a lot of this stuff can be removed by rooting.
Other than the learning curve from going from an Apple phone to an Android, this is a great phone, especially if Motorola can work out the kinks with some of these phones not working correctly.
on June 13, 2012
The Photon is a amazing phone this phone is packing a lot of features 1 ghz Dual Core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 720p video recording, 8Mp camera, 4.3 inch qhd screen. 4G/GSM/CDMA, Kickstand. These are top of the line specs and the phone is probably one of the best on the Android market. I have had the phone since the first week it came out. I have had a few issues with text messages not coming through and having to reset my phone(not sure if this is a phone issue or a issue with Sprint). Just be prepared to charge this phone often as it is a battery killer. Using any apps or going on Facebook destroys this phone's battery. I have tried many variations of task/app killers and data savers and none seem to help too much. Functionally, the phone works great but poor service from Sprint and a lackluster battery really weigh down this phone's performance. it's still a great phone but I think I will be going with the iPhone when my contract is up.
on December 30, 2011
We just purchased this Sprint Photon for my wife, and I have to say it outruns my Droid 2 on Verizon. We thought we'd have trouble getting used to the lack of a slide-out keyboard, but that was no problem at all. We're both in our 60's and found the Photon to be very user-friendly. It's fast, extremely rugged and reliable, and battery life is better than any Smartphone we've had.
on February 3, 2012
I'm an electronics technician and a smartphone junkie; over the years I've owned handsets made by Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry, Ericsson, Pantech, HTC, LG, and Motorola, along with a few others...on networks like Cingular, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and a few carriers in Europe as well...but the phone that I've settled on for my daily use is the Motorola Photon on Sprint's network here in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I bought my first Photon back when it was released last year, but soon made the mistake of selling it when I was lured away to the newly released Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch...I tried the E4GT out for about three weeks, but then I ended up selling it to a friend and purchasing another Photon, taking a bit of a loss in the process. (But to me it was worth it.)
Now don't get me wrong, there is no doubt that the E4GT is a "pretty" phone that is fast & thin, the Super Amoled display is incredible, it's processor is lightening fast, and it has a fantastic camera, but (in my opinion) you just can't beat the Photon for it's vastly superior radio & data connectivity, remarkably better voice & speakerphone quality and volume, and its incredibly quick and accurate GPS lock and navigation...basically, everything that (to me, at least) makes a smartphone a smartphone.
A few side-by-side examples of what I consider to be critical differences between the Photon & the E4GT:
I stream audio every day on my 50 minute (round trip) commute to work using Sprint's 3G data network, taking the same route every time; with the Photon I average perhaps one lost connection (rebuffering for a few seconds) every three trips, but the E4GT lost connection (on average) two to three times EVERY SINGLE TRIP, and not necessarily in the same locations.
The E4GT had sketchy reception (voice and data) inside some casinos here in Las Vegas, but the Photon performed perfectly in these same areas. Side-by-side there is no comparison in both voice and data connectivity, in my experience with both phones.
Over the course of about three months with my first Photon, I dropped calls MAYBE four times, and I suspect at least two of those drops were caused by the other caller. With the E4GT, I dropped that many calls in the first week alone... (and it continued to have spotty reception after that...if you ask anyone who has owned both phones, they will tell you how much better the Photon performs in this regard...and that is AFTER the latest Samsung OTA update was applied...)
The call quality and volume are decent on the E4GT's regular speaker and speakerphone, but the Photon's sound quality through both the regular speaker and speakerphone is SUPERB, the best I've ever experience on any phone. You can seriously turn the volume all the way up on a regular call and it will go so loud that it sounds like you are actually using the speakerphone; the speakerphone itself goes even louder, of course, and all calls made in either manner on the Photon are crystal clear and don't have the slightly "tinny" and hollow sound like they do on the E4GT.
GPS lock and accuracy on the E4GT was almost comical for me coming from the Photon (and the HTC Evo 4G before that); even after using software and programming menu tweaks to clear GPS cache, calibrate GPS receiver, etc... By contrast, the Photon's GPS lock and accuracy are spot-on, right out of the box.
If the Samsung Epic 4G Touch kept it's Super Amoled screen and awesome camera, but packed the insides (voice and data radio performance, speaker quality) and build quality of the Photon, then I would take it...that would be THE phone to beat...but until that happens, the Photon is absolutely the best phone I have ever owned for all around performance as a smartPHONE. It even has the advantage of having a GSM radio to go along with its regular Sprint CDMA radio, so you are able to use GSM networks overseas with local SIM cards. (The Photon's GSM functions are locked to Sprint in the U.S., but unlocked to whatever carrier you wish to use if you are overseas; just pop in a local pay-as-you-go SIM card and you are good to go.) This makes it a true business phone that can travel the world as well.
So anyways, if you are trying to decide on which phone to buy, I would recommend that you definitely try them both out; but make sure to test them thoroughly, and by all means, hang on to your Photon until AFTER you have used the E4GT for at least a few weeks and run performance tests under real world conditions. In the end, I am confident that you will end up preferring the Photon for the critical advantages that I've listed above. (Individual results may vary, of course!) Good luck, and cheers! :)
on December 4, 2011
I will start off this review by saying I am a smartphone Junkie, every time a new one comes out, I go and buy it just to try it out, most dont make it past 3 days without getting returned. I have had Samsungs, Blackberry, HTC. My Evo 4g is what kept my dedication but something was missing so thats what I will compare this phone to since it's the only one that stands up to it with a fight. Now Im not going to post a novel of a review because I hate when people do that I want people to get straight to the point.
Battery- has exceeded my expectations lasting a full day without a charge and I am constantly texting througout the day, internet browsing, and music videos. I have never had a smartphone last this long PERIOD.
Performance- smooth cannot beat the fast speeds with the dual core, no lag or freezing applications pull up at lighting speeds
Settings- I noticed it has more user settings then my evo, more customizable
Structure- Phone seems solid so far havent dropped it but the kickstand also seems more durable then the Evo's.
Call Sound- MUCH better then the evo, loud and clear, the speakerphone is also better then Evo.
Call quality- I haven't had a dropped call yet (will update if soemthing changes)
Display- It is griddy like everyone else has stated but its not extremely noticable unless your planning on having your face 6 inches from the phone at all times, at 10 inches or more you cannot tell the differences, this DOES not effect the colors and text both are bright and brilliant.
LED notification- It doesn't light up when you charge the phone or get notifications, but "light flow" app fixed that real quick- no biggy.
Camera- somethings not right about the camera, I feel as though it doesn't take pictures as defined and HQ as My Evo did and that was only a 5mp camera this one is 8mp, maybe I need to mess around with settings but the Evo wins in this category for now (will update if anything changes)
Recommendations: If your going to get a screen protector like I do for all my smartphones then I would suggest going with a "clear" protector I got the anti-glare one and it makes the display look more griddy then it normally does,The anti-glare protectors are naturally a little cloudy and thicker then the clear ones so I am assuming the clear one will work better with the screen.