First thoughts after snapping some unboxing photos and firing the Z9 up? It's a nice-looking handset, it's big, it's fast, and it's got tiny buttons. The glossy burgundy finish looks really nice, and the wee little pin-head buttons aren't as hard to use as I feared they might be upon first glance. 3G connection speeds here at the Berkeley, CA office seem to be pretty good, as I was able to both hop on the Web and start watching some ESPN video clips with nary any delay at all.
But this phone is big! Not thick, but big as in large footprint-big. I was kind of surprised at how large it feels in hand, especially as compared to the RIZR Z6 slider that's been available on Verizon for awhile now. The Z9 is actually about the same length and width as the RAZR2 V8, so it's not huge or anything, but the added thickness and heft as compared to the V8 just make it feel larger. There's an upside to that size, though, as the front is graced by a nice, big, 2.4" QVGA display.
Anyway, check out the photos and stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks. Or just go buy your own now - the Z9 is available as you read this from AT&T.