Motorola Photon Q

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Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE
First releasedAugust 2012; 11 years ago (2012-08)
PredecessorMotorola Photon
Motorola Atrix HD
SuccessorDroid MAXX/Ultra
RelatedMotorola Atrix 4G Motorola Photon Motorola Droid 4
Form factorSlate, slider
Operating systemAndroid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgradable to Android 7.1 Nougat via LineageOS 14.1[1]
Storage8 GB on board and MicroSD slot

The Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE[2] (XT897) is a smartphone manufactured by Motorola which runs on Sprint's 4G LTE network.[3] The "Photon Q" has a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. It runs the Android operating system and includes a built-in, sliding keyboard similar to the one on the Motorola Droid 4.

As of 2018 it is still the most modern Android phone with a landscape slide-out QWERTY keyboard. As such, there is still demand for this phone, including those in the Android developer community. Enthusiasts and free developers have shown that it is possible to desolder the on-board SIM IC and connect a SIM socket/card to use this phone in other networks or countries.[4]


The Photon Q launched with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and was considered a flagship/halo device for the operating system, thanks to its 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus. On April 25, 2013, the Photon Q was upgraded to the 4.1.2 Jelly Bean version of Android.[5][6] However, it was excluded from future Android upgrades, and will remain with 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Motorola has not provided any public-facing explanation for why Android 4.4, KitKat was not released for the device - or any future Android releases. The Photon Q did not receive Motorola's benchmarked two-year target for software upgrades, which was later dropped, again without any public explanation.

Community software[edit]

LineageOS Version 14.1 (tracking Android 7.1 Nougat) was updated until February 2019 at which time LineageOS 14.1 was discontinued for all devices.[7][8]

Team Win Recovery Project Currently supported (as of May 2018) with 3.0.2-0 as the latest version available for download from the official TWRP website.[9]

SailfishOS 3.0 Available through a community port, latest (as of July 2019) is[10][11]


The processor of the Moto Photon Q is a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus dual core CPU. It includes 1GB of RAM, and notable for its time, a micro-HDMI port. The Snapdragon S4 family of processors were jointly supported by Qualcomm and Google through the Android 6.0, Marshmallow release cycles. The Photon Q shares most of its platform underpinnings with the Motorola Droid RAZR (XT925), CDMA RAZR HD (XT926), Atrix HD (MB886), and Droid RAZR M (XT907), albeit shipping with Sprint adaptations.

The device is compatible with Motorola Lapdock devices. While Motorola's Webtop desktop shell was not supported, the device works with Lapdock 100 and Lapdock 500 in "mirror mode" with the final ice cream sandwich update, however support and functionality were discontinued with the Jellybean update. Additionally, it functions as an Android laptop solution when paired with LineageOS or another modern community ROM with multi-window support.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Info about xt897, LineageOS Wiki
  2. ^ "". Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ Motorola Photon Q - Get it now, Sprint
  4. ^ Good News !!! SIM CARD MOD IS HERE !!! Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE, By CornholioGSM, 10 October 2012, XDA Forums
  5. ^ Hildebrand, Jerry (25 April 2013). "Sprint Photon Q Jelly Bean update starts its roll out today". Android Central. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  6. ^ Find and update the software version on your Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE Archived 11 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Sprint
  7. ^ "Changelog 22 - Pushing Pie, Bracing Builds and Careful Calculator".
  8. ^ "LineageOS Downloads". Archived from the original on 8 April 2017.
  9. ^ "TWRP for Motorola Photon Q". Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  10. ^ "SailfishOS for Photon Q". 26 December 2015. Archived from the original on 10 June 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  11. ^ "SailfishOS 3 for Photon Q and siblings". 23 November 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2019.