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Motorola MOTO Q Global (2008)

 Motorola MOTO Q Global Discontinued
30th August 2008

Americans have a strange idea of what is "Global" - for example, the Baseball World Series is only played between the US and Canada, and most Europeans from time-to-time will have struggled with web forms that don't understand non-US phone numbers or postal codes.

The reason we mention this is that the Motorola MOTO Q Global also shows a strange idea of what is "Global". On many levels this is a very promising looking smartphone, but it is strangely flawed in its implementation.

The Motorola MOTO Q has been around since 2005, and during this time it has popped up in many different CDMA or GSM variants. The MOTO Q Global follows on from the MOTO Q9h in that it is a GSM device with UMTS and HSDPA high-speed data, but this time it is available exclusively on the US AT&T network.

This is a Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone with a 2 megapixel camera, microSD expandable memory, stereo Bluetooth, USB connectivity and all the features that you would expect to find in a Windows mobile phone of this class.

 Motorola MOTO Q Global It's a quad-band GSM phone with support for GPRS and EDGE data, but crucially it only supports UMTS 850 / 1900 and not UMTS 2100 which is the most widely used variant (in Europe, for example). The MOTO Q Global is a 3.5G device, so if you are in an HSDPA coverage area you should be able to get broadband speeds. One other serious omission from the MOTO Q Global is WiFi - a feature that many global travellers would prefer to having to pay expensive roaming rates.

The Motorola MOTO Q Global does include GPS, so you can add your favourite satellite navigation application to it or use Motorola's TeleNav Track2 system that the MOTO Q Global supports. Sadly, the MOTO Q Global lacks a touchscreen, and the 2.4" QVGA display is only barely adequate for this task.

Processor speed is important in a Windows Mobile device, and we suspect that the 325 MHz TI OMAP 2420 with just 96 MB of RAM might prove sluggish. The standard battery is a 1170 mAh cell which can power the MOTO Q Global for up to 5.5 hours talktime and 19 days standby time. A useful optional 1800 mAh battery boosts this to 9 hours talktime and 30 days standby time, although these are presumably GSM figures rather than 3G.

If the Motorola MOTO Q Global had better UMTS support and WiFi then it truly would be useful for the global traveller. If you are interested in a Windows Mobile 6.1 handset that has tri-band UMTS and WiFi, then perhaps the HP iPAQ 910 (also available in the UK and Germany) is the sort of thing that might suit.. but it is much more expensive than the MOTO Q with a contract from AT&T.

The MOTO Q Global is currently available from AT&T for around $150 after rebate and when bought with a two year contract. Note: AT&T's product page seems to have some errors. Microsoft and Motorola appear to have the correct specifications.

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Motorola MOTO Q Global at a glance


August 2008


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 850 / 1900




240 x 320 pixels, 65k colours


2 megapixels


Messaging device
4.7 x 2.6 x 0.5" / 4.7 ounces
118 x 67 x 12mm / 135 grams



Memory card:









Yes (A-GPS)

Battery life:

5.5 hours talk / 19 days standby


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