This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Sprint has officially announced the availability (mid-Januray online and mid-February in stores; $299 with two-year agreement) of the Motorola Q Windows Mobile 5-powered smartphone and Laptop magazine has already taken a good look at it. Let's just say that Sprint didn't exactly pull out all the stops to improve its Q in comparison to Verizon's. There's a new coat of paint, a Sprint-specific data management program and a mobile NFL portal. That's about all that differentiates it.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

The same old problems still haunt the Motorola Q on Sprint. A lack of dedicated volume controls and awkwardly placed backspace key mar an otherwise just-ok design. The Motorola Q is also wider than the Samsung BlackJack (available from Cingular), another popular consumer-oriented smartphone. Also, Sprint's Q was quite a bit slower than Verizon's offering. Kinda lame, Sprint.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

At the end of the day, if you're a Sprint customer, the Motorola Q isn't a terrible deal. It's no better than Verizon's Q (and is worse in the aforementioned respects) and the BlackJack actually makes use of Cingular's music and video service, something the Q doesn't do on either service. Essentially, tread this way only if you have to.

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Sprint MOTO Q [Laptop]

Press Release [Sprint via Everything Motorola Q]