A new review of the Motorola Q by the New York Times offers a few more reasons why BlackBerry users will probably find the device unpalatable. We had already heard that the Q was having problems freezing twice a day, but these myriad UI issues seem like a regression from the usability of the stalwart BlackBerry.
The Times review cites many small usability issues that add up to general annoyance with the Q’s Windows Mobile OS, such as the excessive number of steps to edit address book entries, save or send camera photos and navigate the application menu.
If only it really were a menu! Instead, you see jumbo icons. Only six of them fit on the screen at once (three across, two rows). If you want a program on the last row, you have to scroll seven times, pausing each time to make sure you haven’t overshot, by pressing the down-arrow key (or turning the notched thumbwheel). Why no list-view option? Better yet, why can’t you type the first letter of the program you want, as on the Treo? On the Q, that whole alphabet keyboard just sits there, wasted.
The Times article also pointed to a lack of in-menu Copy and Paste commands, preventing users from grabbing text from web pages and emails for later use. The reviewer offers this final thought:
Maybe Motorola thought that this dumbing down would help make the Q the BlackBerry for the masses. But average Joes are people, too. Why is it O.K. to waste their time?
While my personal BlackBerry 8700r may not be as sexy as the Q, I would much rather keep it and all of its wonderful functionality than use a device that looks great but works like a dud. I’m sure most BlackBerry Cool readers would agree.