Motorola Photon 4G Android Worldphone Review

User Interface

The Photon 4G runs on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) along with Motorola's Motoblur interface. The phone also offers Sprint ID integration. Sprint ID offers various ways to customize your Android smartphone. By selecting a Sprint ID, you'll get a pre-selected group of widgets, shortcuts, wallpaper, and apps that correlate to the ID theme. For example, if you select the ESPN Sprint ID, you'll get sports-related apps and more.

You'll find seven customizable home screens on the Photon 4G. By tapping the home button from the home screen, you'll get a thumbnail view of each of the home screens.

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In addition to the four touch sensitive hardware buttons (Menu, Home, Back, and Search) found on the Photon 4G, you'll notice Motorola has placed four static icons at the base of each of the home screens. These icons provide easy access to the phone, web browser, Sprint ID, and application listing by default. The first three of these applications can be customized by pressing and holding the icon and selecting a new application to add to the Dock.

As is the case with many of today's smartphones, the Photon 4G comes with some added software that we could do without. Thankfully, Sprint and Motorola let you uninstall many of these applications without hacking the phone. Some of the preinstalled applications include NASCAR, Motorola Phone Portal, Sprint Zone, Sprint Mobile Wallet, Sprint Radio, TeleNav GPS Navigator, and more.

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Even if you don't want to remove some of the preinstalled applications, you can organize them by placing apps in groups. There are four predefined groups by default: All apps, Recent, Downloaded, and Sprint. From the upper left corner of the app screen, you can view existing groups and add new ones. To add an app to a group, simply tap the plus "+" icon in the upper right corner of the app screen near the Android Market icon. For easy access, you can place a shortcut to any of the app groups on one of your home screens.

The Photon 4G comes with both the standard Android keyboard and the SWYPE keyboard.

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