The Motorola Q seems to bring some pleasant surprises. I was asking myself before I got the Motorola Q, how different can it be from other Windows Mobile devices, such as the Treo 700w that I just worked with (day #10 to day #18)? If this is what you are thinking, think again, and keep on reading.
Very thin device
Just something that is very noticeable (and not Windows Mobile related) is the fact that the Motorola Q is a thin device. It also feels light. I personally find the design to be elegant and appealing.
Surprise surprise: No stylus, and no touch screen
With the Treo 700w, my approach was to minimize the use of the stylus, and see if I can get by without it. My main goal was to be able to use the device as a single-handed device and not to have to manage an extra component (the stylus) as much as possible. With the Motorola Q, I found out that I have to get by without the stylus because it doesn’t have one. Not only this, I have to get by without the touch screen, because it doesn’t have one either. If you are a stylus fan or a touch screen fan, you may be wondering how that is possible. Actually it is. Not only possible, but with less choices, things seem to be simpler.
Guess what? Thumb Wheel and Undo/Back key (the BlackBerry way)
This is probably the ultimate surprise. If you have used a BlackBerry, you know exactly what we are talking about. The Thumb Wheel (similar to the Trackwheel on the BlackBerry) allows you to roll through applications, menu items, lists of messages, list of appointments, etc. and click to make a selection. The Undo/Back key (similar to the Escape key on the BlackBerry) allows you to undo or go back a step.
The keyboard is easy to type on
The keybaord is slightly wider than the Treo 700 keyboard (just slightly, maybe not even a quarter of an inch) but this seems to make a significant difference when it comes to typing on the QWERTY keyboard. For now, I seem to be more at ease with the Motorola Q keyboard (even though I just started using it), and I am expecting that overall I will be typing a bit faster and hopefully making fewer mistakes.
Thumb Wheel versus 5-way Navigation Button
While the Motorola Q added the Thumb Wheel and the Undo/Back key, it kept the 5-way Navigation Button. In some ways, these are overlapping because they provide similar navigational capabilities. I am curious to see how the two mechanisms are going to work together.
Windows Mobile simplified
The Windows Mobile version on the Motorola Q seems to have a more streamlined interface compared to what I have seen when using the Treo 700w. Navigation seems to be easier, and getting to places seems to happen with less clicks and less “thinking”. This still needs to be confirmed as I use the device more extensively, but for now, this is my first impression.
Tomorrow the first impressions are likely to be less important, and the core functionality and usability factors are likely to take over as I complete the setup of the Motorola Q and synchronize my data.