I really prefer a phone with a physical keyboard. I do a lot of tweeting, texting, and email from my phone and I'm no fan of the software keyboard. Unfortunately phones with physical keyboards are getting more and more difficult to find. Sure, there are keyboard cases like this one available for various phones, but they never work as well as a physical keyboard attached to the phone.

I've been watching the horizon for several months, hoping for a new HTC keyboard phone or something appealing. There hasn't been too much. And, by the looks of things, there wont be. So I decided to settle on the Photon Q LTE that came out last August. It's a Motorola phone, which makes me less than thrilled, but it has a keyboard and a development community behind it.

Anyway, the device arrived today. It's much larger than my Evo Shift - which is another thing I'm not thrilled about. You can't buy a smaller phone these days - at least not a smartphone.

The first thing I did (aside from ensuring the device actually worked - since I'd purchased it off of eBay) was unlock the bootloader and root the phone. It was a pretty painless process and that meant I could delete some bloatware that all carrier phones seem to ship with.

I was running Android Jellybean on my Evo Shift and the Photon Q runs Ice Cream Sandwich, so it's a step back, but not by much. And since I was running a customized version of Jellybean, my Evo Shift was a little sluggish anyway.

The rest of the setup was pretty painless. Having contacts backed up through Google makes it easy to switch from device to device. For now I'm happy to have a device that is more responsive and shouldn't have any issues making phone calls (my Evo Shift was having intermittent speaker issues).


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