Motorola has become almost synonymous with the wildly-popular Razr, so we weren’t surprised to discover that this business phone, the Motorola Q9, takes its design cues from it.

Like the original Razr, the Motorola Q9 is broad and flat and has a 3in screen taking up its top half. The Motorola Q9’s rubberised back feels comfortable in the hands and we were pleased to find Motorola has made the front of the Q9 sturdier than the flimsy aluminium of the original Razr phone (which we feared we’d break). The Motorola Q9 is actually quite hefty at 134g. Since there’s glass (or heavyduty plastic) covering the screen all the controls north of the keyboard, it’s no surprise that it dwarves the likes of BlackBerry's Pearl. It offers no concession to the hand - unlike the BlackBerry Curve, however - and you’ll definitely want to use the Motorola Q9 two-handed.

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What will appeal, along with the Motorola Q9’s smartly striking looks, is just how functional the Q9 is. Motorola wasn’t confident enough about its predecessor, the Motorola Q, to launch it worldwide, but the Motorola Q9 stands up very well against almost any smartphone.

You get a full Qwerty keyboard that curves neatly around the Motorola Q9’s central navigation controls. The keys reminded us of those on a scientific calculator or a ZX Spectrum, which we liked, but found too close together. Few smartphone designs past muster in this respect, though.

We’ve said before that we like the intelligent-seeming Windows Mobile 6.0 operating system and it’s particularly true on this portrait layout handset. Program icons line the top of the screen - intriguingly, Motorola has chosen the Opera web browser over Internet Explorer for its Q9 - and there’s almost no chance of your not being able to get online.


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