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Motorola Z8 Preview

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Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
Just one look at the Z8 RIZR by Motorola is enough to get the idea which the designers have used to develop the phone. It is designed in highly contrasting black and signal yellow-green, which will appeal to most of the young customers but will also limit its target group to almost only them. Most phones (and other modern gadgets) are trying to be as neutral as possible, which helps for wide target group. Excellent example is Motorola's own RAZR series which became hit and were used by people with any social status, male or female.

The Z8 has futuristic design that stands out of the lines of the manufacturer. If we examine different other models we will see common lines in the design of the different series (clamshells, candybars, sliders) but Z8 look like entirely different phone. We may consider the Z6 as the slider-version of the popular RAZRs, but the Z8 has more differences than similarities with its RIZR-siblings.

Next to Q9h - Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview

Next to Q9h

   


One of the key features, which Motorola uses to advertise the Z8 is the form-factor, which is called "kick-slide". It is similar to the standard slider but at the end of the opening the bottom slider curves to lift the part with the display up. This way, the whole phone curves and this helps to hold it more naturaly next to the face, during a call. This reminds of a clamshell which is also slightly bended when is in open position.

Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview

The MOTORIZR Z8 feels very well in the hand both during a call or while using it. The front side has glossy finish applied to it but otherwise the phone is made in mat black plastic, which has rubber-like feeling. This helps for the sporty-feeling of the phone,targeting the active people. Although we are using a prototype, the construction is very solid and the only concern we have is the cover of the Sim card slot. Unlike almost all other modern sliders, this one lacks any assisting mechanism and its movement is carried fully by the hand. To slide it more comfortably, a short line raises between the display and the d-pad. This is where your finger is supposed to push but we often did it over the keyboard or the display. In the beginning both opening and closing are slightly tough, but with the time one gets used to it and does it easily. Still, we would have preferred to see a spring assisted slider.

Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
The display is 2.2 inches large unit with standard for the class QVGA resolution. Although it is capable of displaying up to 16 million color, we are not really impressed by it. The colors are not really saturated and the image is not very sharp, and if you put it directly next to some Samsung or Sony Ericsson W910 for example, the latter will look more alive. The display is bright unit and is usable in direct outdoor light, but the colors get slightly washed out.

Logically for a slider, the keyboard is located on the two parts. On the surface below the display are situated the navigation keys. Although they are absolutely flat, they are physical keys that must be pressed and not only touched. They are all very responsible and can be felt well thanks to the raised lines between them. We prefer such type of keys instead of the nowadays popular “touch-keys” like the one used in the Chocolate or Samsung U700 which completely lack tactile feedback and act slow.

Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
The numeric keyboard can do the job for dialing a number but is not very comfortable for long typing. The keys are about the average in size but press rather hard, with the bottom rows being harder. Actually, the third and forth rows are at an angle, because of the kick slide design and probably this is the reason to press harder than the first row. All keys are illuminated in signal green, which fits well with the design and doesn't remind of the old phones with monochrome displays and such backlight.

The left side has two volume keys and a video-call key tightly fit next to each other with no space between. On the right are the media and the camera shortcuts. All 5 side keys are flat which means you have to know exactly where they are to press them.

The back is also very futuristic looking, with rectangular glossy surface taking the middle. It houses the small camera lens, LED flash, the Motorola logo and the bottom part of it is the cover for the SIM card slot. This is the first phone we see with hot-swappable SIM card, which can be removed while the phone is working but putting it back in the place will require a reboot to get the phone functions working again. The SIM card can be removed without switching the phone off also because it is not below the battery, as in most other phones. The battery is located in the upper part of the back similar to the RAZR, while most other phones have it in the lower part.

Motorola Z8 Preview
The SIM card slot - Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
Motorola Z8 Preview
 

The SIM card slot

  


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Display2.2 inches, 240 x 320 pixels (182 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size4.29 x 1.96 x 0.59 inches
(109 x 50 x 15 mm)
3.95 oz  (112 g)
Battery1030 mAh, 5 hours talk time

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