On the right edge Motorola has put two scroll buttons. Between them is a select button, beneath them a back button. They do for moving through e-mails, web pages, documents and the like and if you hold the select button down you can use the scrollers to control the device volume.
The screen too is vital to usability and here we have a wide format 2.5 inch 320 x 240 pixel display. It would benefit from being a little larger, but in fairness it is in keeping with other devices and is sharp and bright enough.
On the software front, Windows Live Messenger is here as a bona fide part of Windows Mobile 6. There is always the possibility it won’t make it into versions of the device that operators include in their ranges, though. For example, Riyad found that Orange had taken it out of the Windows Mobile 6 SPV E650 he reviewed a while back.
Elsewhere, Motorola has made some interesting software choices. Pocket Internet Explorer is gone, and in its place is the very good Opera web browser. Among its features is the ability to open more than one web page at a time in different windows, something that Microsoft really should have implemented in Pocket Internet Explorer with Windows Mobile 6, but failed to do.
Motorola has also chosen to eschew Mobile Office, the Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and PowerPoint Mobile suite that is newly available to Windows Mobile Smartphone users with Windows Mobile 6. Instead you get DocumentsToGo, a suite that lets you create Word documents, edit Excel, read PowerPoint and PDF files and managed Zipped archives.
There is a voice control utility that works fairly well in quiet conditions, and Motorola has included McAfee Virus Scan too. Not that there are any Windows Mobile viruses out there at the moment, but I guess Motorola thinks it is worth playing safe.
My review sample wasn’t a fully boxed retail version, but everything was ticketyboo with it except for the fact that the battery wouldn’t fully charge. I got it about 80 percent full, and from that managed four and a half hours of music with the screen forced on. I reckon a battery that can charge fully should manage at least five hours.
One more point of pure irritation is that the mini USB power connector isn’t your standard mini USB power connector. Oh no, it is smaller. This means you can’t carry one universal charger several devices.
The Q9 is a bit on the large side for my taste, and while its keyboard is very good the screen is a bit small. Aside from the fact that it is hampered by the lack of Wi-Fi it does its job well.