Motorola took special care of the connectivity capabilities of the Q 9h. Along with GPRS, the device is UMTS and HSDPA enabled. The initial excitement about the supported over-the-air data transfer technologies soon gives way to the disappointment with missing WiFi. However, this is the only communication feature the Q 9h fails to provide, if we don't count the obsolete infrared port. PC communication is ensured with the included USB data cable.
Along with the usual functionality, Bluetooth on Motorola Q 9h may be used in the so called PC Remote mode. Once you've paired your device with the PC via Bluetooth, the Q 9h screen displays a keypad map showing the keys, which can be used for controlling programs on the computer. The Motorola Q 9h lets you remotely control the desktop, Windows Media Player and PowerPoint on your PC. Bluetooth pairing allows sending email, contacts, tasks, calendar items, audio, ring tones, pictures, video and voice notes to a compatible device. In the Bluetooth utility you choose the type of file and select the objects for sending. Having selected object type, all available files display for you to tick off and send.
Windows Mobile 6 features the Documents To Go office suite, which enables opening and editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. PDF viewer and ZIP manager are also available. Files can be sent via Bluetooth, attached to MMS and email, as well as transferred to a computer for editing. Our Motorola Q 9h unit failed opening some of the PDF files. Zip To Go on the other hand, extracts zipped files effortlessly but is incapable of creating new archives.
Motorola Q 9h pays due respect to the widely-used and appreciated Opera browser. The version, which comes preinstalled in this handset, is Opera 8.6. Virus protection is ensured by McAfee VirusScan, available under Office Tools. This application, somewhat annoyingly, was constantly trying to be in control even with all of its active settings disabled.
In terms of additional applications and software, the Motorola Q 9h pays the price of lacking a touchscreen display. Most of the additional applications don't make a difference if a device has phone capabilities or not. However, the difference between PocketPC and Smartphone is crucial. So users will have to always make sure the extra application they wish to install is compatible with Windows Mobile Standard, instead of Windows Mobile Professional.
Multimedia is duly covered in Motorola Q 9h. Along with the Windows Media Player, a File Manager is also available for the pictures, videos, sounds, games and applications.
Talking of music and video, we can't afford to overlook the headset included in the retail package. The headphones have a somewhat unusual design, with the two earbuds on equally long cables. Where the cables join, there's a square remote pad with a mic and voice command key. There's no lapel clip. The headset performance fails to go beyond midlevel and, given their connector, you'll just have to live with the audio quality offered. The headset isn't the only accessory supplied in the retail box. The charger and user manual are accompanied by data cable and a 512MB microSD card with an SD adapter.
The camera at the back sports 2 megapixels. You can choose between four resolutions: 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixels. Brightness has seven levels; six presets are available for the white balance. When turned on, the LED flash is lit all the time, so you get a pretty good idea how your shot is gonna come out. This however affects the handset's battery life. The 8x digital zoom has four steps, but its quality will hardly cause any cheers.
With adequate lighting pictures are passable, quality plummets in bad light conditions. This Motorola device is meant for work mostly and some users are likely to ignore its shooting capabilities. The camera could've been better by all means with a little effort. With Sony Ericsson P1 for example, which is more of a business device too, pictures looked a whole lot different. The lack of a lens cover seems a minor complaint here.
When recording video, you can choose between three resolution levels: 320 x 240, 176 x 144 and 128 x 96 pixels. Most of your recordings will most likely never leave the storage card for direct viewing on the handset's screen, as watching them on PC makes sense for higher resolutions.
In terms of hardware, there's almost nothing to complain about with the Motorola Q 9h. Well-readable display, solid construction and a perfect keyboard make a good enough advantage list. OK, a dedicated plug for the headset and miniUSB could've been more welcome. The Windows Mobile Standard has its pros and cons. The preinstalled Opera is a nice touch, provided that most users would've installed it anyway. Documents To Go are a definite advantage over some of the competition with the enabled file editing.
With UMTS and HSDPA, backed by EDGE, the Q 9h is a strong enough option. The great downside is the absent WiFi. If you can live with that, and want Windows Mobile without a touchscreen, this smartphone is worth considering.