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


(NFLX) - Get Report

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.

Bottom line:

Verizon LTE now has real 4G competition.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is


senior technology correspondent.