LG Mach vs. Photon Q, or something else on the horizon?

My HTC Detail is nice, but it's showing some signs of starting to get flaky and it's a little bit slow.  Plus, they're about to light up LTE near me.  Therefore, I'm considering a new phone.

A physical keyboard is mandatory.  I don't like the way soft keyboards eat screen real estate.  My options appear to be to get an LG Mach from Ting, or wait until BYOSD is available for LTE and pick up a Sprint Photon Q.  

 

I care about being able to swap the battery out, or add a larger battery.  Advantage Mach.

I care about the display size and quality.  Advantage Photon Q.

I care about speed.  Advantage Photon Q on paper, though I'm not sure by how much in practice.

I care about the camera quality, but not the pixel count.  Advantage Photon Q, maybe, but both cameras appear to be mediocre.

I would use a world radio if the phone had one, but I currently use my Droid 2 Global when traveling overseas so that's not a dealbreaker.  Wait, I just read that the SIM was locked, so I guess that's advantage neither.

I care about the convenience of purchase and setup.  Advantage Mach, and it's too bad Ting isn't still selling the Photon Q anymore.

So my questions... is the Photon Q performance appreciably better than the Mach?  Are the display quality and speed on the Photon Q worth not being able to replace the battery and being more of a pain in the ass to acquire and set up?  Are there other tradeoffs that I've overlooked?

Finally, is there anything interesting on the horizon that has a physical keyboard?

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Comments

14 comments
  • As for the performance of the LG Mach, its benchmark scores are appreciable to the HTC EVO 4G LTE and Galaxy S III. Actually, it got slightly better scores than the Galaxy S III and when I tested the Mach at a Sprint store, it seemed really fluid and fast. I couldn't find a hint of stuttering anywhere. I can't speak for the Photon Q, though. Also, the Mach's IPS display looked awesome. Although it has a smaller resolution than the Photon Q, it has a comparable screen. 233 ppi for the Mach. 256 ppi for the Photon Q. Also, the Mach felt high quality. It's made out of plastic to be sure but felt as if I was holding something sturdy and solid. 

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  • BYOD for LTE has been available for a couple of days so find a phone. 

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  • How hard would it be to bring the Photon Q over to Ting? I am also interested in the device, but have been hesitant about joining Sprint again.

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  • Use the BYOD link https://ting.com/byod/get_started You will need the ESN/MEID for the phone (generally under the battery). You can use the Motorola Photon 4G for the model. That will activate the phone. Follow the instructions for the Photon except the Wimax settings. You will get an email from Ting with your MSL unlock code for making the settings change.

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  • Although Ting uses the Sprint network it is a separate organization. If you had connection issues where you live/work they won't be different although Sprint is going through some major network upgrades around the country. 

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  • And LTE will work?

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  • If you are in an LTE area. 

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  • That's great, because I'm in Chicago. I'll buy me an Photon Q off eBay or CL this week. The only reason to go to Sprint now is if you want unlimited data, but in reality with wifi and work unless you have uploads/downloads automated on your phone, don't think there's a point.

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  • Thank you all.

    I read some more reviews and decided that the Photon Q probably wasn't all that much better than the Mach, if at all.  The replaceable battery is a huge advantage for the Mach in my book, so I ordered one today.

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  • Actually, you can replace the battery in a Photon Q. I saw a little Youtube video on it. You had to gently pry it apart with a plastic tool, then remove maybe a dozen screws. It looked pretty easy. I like what I see of the Photon Q, but I read some reviews on Amazon where it did random stuff such as make random calls, shut off, overheat, etc. Seemed like there was an equal number of great reviews as bad reviews. I also like the Mach (from research). Camera is not as good though.

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  • Amusingly, I have both phones right now.  I bought the Mach and used it for a while, but it started having this problem where occasionally it wouldn't charge.  It may have been user error, but after the second time it did that I decided to pick up a used Photon Q.  

    They're very similar phones, but I think I like the Photon better.

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  • I think I would like the Photon Q better too, if I got one that had no issues, but I am not sure I want to take a chance. Can you comment on battery life on them? Does the Photon Q start up fast enough? I saw a youtube video comparing a Photon (not the Q) to a Samsung (Epic 4 G Touch?) and the Samsung started up much quicker and the user was already into the apps whilist the Photon was just waking up. I like the idea of a dedicated camera button on the Photon Q.

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  • I almost never reboot my phone, so anything that doesn't take hours is fast enough.  Or is that not what you're asking?

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  • I am not sure. Turning it on when it was completely powered down.

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