Motorola Q 9m

Motorola's first full QWERTY smartphone, the Q, was designed for CDMA networks such as Sprint and Verizon Wireless. The company has since updated the device and labeled it the Motorola Q 9m, and is offering it on Verizon's EV-DO network. Verizon was able to get the device in a sexy black casing with Verizon red trim. The 'm' in the Q 9m's name stands for multimedia, and this device certainly delivers plenty of multimedia experience.

The Motorola Q 9m weighs in at 134g (4.7oz) and measures 117.5mm x 65mm x 15mm (4.6" x 2.6" x .6"). For those paying attention, that's only slightly bigger than the original Motorola Q. However, this device does not look or feel any bigger in person. The Q 9m fits perfectly in one hand, making it extremely easy to The back of the device is coated in a soft-touch layer that offers plenty of grip without making it difficult to slide into a pocket or the provided protective pouch. The build quality is superb, with absolutely zero creaking or looseness.

The edge of this smartphone is metal and painted Verizon red, while the front and back plates are black. The front of the Q 9m is extremely similar to that of the original Motorola Q, though it has undergone some distinct design improvements. The first of these improvements is the elimination of the empty space between the bottom of the keyboard and the bottom of the phone. The face of the Q 9m is evenly distributed, with the display taking up the top half and the keyboard taking up the bottom half. The d-pad and accompanying keys separate the QWERTY keyboard from the display, and they are nice and big. Surrounding the d-pad are the end/send keys, left and right soft keys, as well as home and back keys. These are separated by a RAZR-like electro-luminescent rubbery lining which glows red when the backlight is active. The d-pad is large and extremely easy to use, with no confusion as to which direction you are pressing.

The QWERTY keyboard is curved slightly upwards on the ends, making it ergonomically pleasurable for your thumbs. The keys are covered in an odd coating similar to the soft-touch of the back of the device that I have never seen used on a phone before. Despite the lack of space between the keys, the Q 9m has arguably one of the best QWERTY keyboards I've ever used on a phone. The keys are domed, making it easy to tell them apart. The bottom row includes shortcut keys for mail, voice command, and Verizon's custom multimedia screen.

The layout of the keyboard, however, could use some improvement. For instance, there is only one shift key, on the left side, and there is no backspace key - users are expected to utilize either the back button up by the d-pad or the one located on the side of the Q 9m, by the scroll wheel. Also, the location of some of the punctuation seemed a bit odd to me, though that's entirely personal preference.