NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Though its launch last month underwhelmed Wall Street, Motorola Mobility's (MMI) - Get Report Photon 4G superphone for Sprint (S) - Get Report, due out July 31, marks the fastest 4G model we've ever tested.
Operating system: Android 2.3
network: Sprint's CDMA/EV-DO/WiMAX (North America), GSM (Worldwide)
screen size: 4.3-inch capacitive
screen details: qHD, 960 X 540 pixel touchscreen
processor: Dual-core, 1-GHz Nvidia Tegra 2
camera: 8-megapixel on back, front-facing VGA camera
memory: 16 GB Flash storage, 16 GB microSD
price: $200 with a two-year contract
arrival date: July 31, 2011 at Sprint
The Photon 4G averaged download speeds of 5 - 6 Mbps time and time again, topping out at 10.1 - 10.2 Mbps. That's cable modem territory! The best we ever experienced with all other Sprint 4G devices we've tested was 2 - 3 Mbps.
In addition to the business specs -- world phone capability and a docking station that, with the $100 Bluetooth keyboard, turns the Photon into a computer complete with a miniature view of the phone's screens and a full-sized Mozilla Web browser -- other notable features include a big touchscreen, a fast, dual-core processor and lots of memory.
When you place the Photon in the HD cradle, the phone's screen turns into a wired HDMI keyboard and two-button mouse. While it worked slickly, it took us a little time to get used to switching between the mouse and keyboard functions.
Browsing the Web on the phone worked very well, but streaming HD content from
didn't. The Photon 4G outputs 720p video via the HDMI connection on the dock. In the movie we watched on a separate HDTV screen, actors' motions were choppy, not fluid. However, when we watched the same flick on the phone's quarter-HD screen, it looked great.
Another plus: The phone acts as a hotspot, so you can share the wealth.
Verizon LTE now has real 4G competition.
--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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Gary Krakow is
senior technology correspondent.