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Motorola MOTO Z8 (formerly the Motorola RIZR Z8)

 Motorola RIZR Z8 open Discontinued
12th February 2007, updated 15th February 2007

Let's get straight to the point, the coolest thing about the Motorola MOTO Z8 is that it's.. well.. not straight. Unlike conventional sliders with a simply up/down mechanism, the MOTO Z8 curves inwards so that it is more ergonomic to use, rather like a clamshell phone.

 Motorola RIZR Z8 It is a pretty interesting device (if you can get past the "oh no not again" RAZR styling). The MOTO Z8 is a 3G Symbian smartphone with HSDPA (up to 3.6Mbit/sec), 90Mb of internal memory expandable to 4GB using microSD cards, a 2 megapixel primary camera (but without autofocus) and an impressive maximum talktime of 5 hours while on 3G.

There's a comprehensive multimedia player and stereo Bluetooth support. Motorola's press department chose to illustrate the MOTO Z8's multimedia capabilities by slapping on a picture of Johnny Depp for some reason.

Symbian is a little bit of an unusual choice for Motorola. Most of their recent smartphones, including the promising looking ROKR E6 have been Linux devices. Although Motorola have used Symbian in the past, we had almost assumed that they had dropped the operating system entirely.

It's hard to be enthusiastic about the Motorola MOTO Z8 though, because it's really just a 3G version of the RIZR, and that's just a RAZR clamshell phone. It appears that even Motorola were struggling to sell the device, because their press release looks like it has been penned after one too many drinks at the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona, and includes such gems as "Goodbye image. Hello reality." and "Enabling you to expand your music experience wirelessly, the MOTORIZR lets you set your music collection free ... from wires.  [It] syncs with your compatible Bluetooth enabled music center wirelessly.  Using compatible stereo Bluetooth accessorie you can enjoy your favorite tunes wirelessly without ever missing a call..". Yeah.. wirelessly.. we got that. (And it's a relief to find a press department with worse spelling and prose than Mobile Gazette).

If this sort of thing is what floats your boat, then the Motorola MOTO Z8 should be available some time during Q3 2007..

Update: first impressions are deceptive, and we have to admit that the RAZR styling counts heavily against this handset. The Z8 has hidden depths - for example, the Symbian user interface is exceptionally slick and it's combined with a very high build quality. We understand that the MOTO Z8 was developed by the team that Motorola acquired from Sendo. However, in our view the Z8 has been spoiled by predictable styling and poor launch marketing.

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Motorola MOTO Z8 at a glance

Available:

H2 2007

Network:

GSM + UMTS

Data:

GPRS + UMTS + HSDPA

Screen:

240x320 pixels, 16m colours

Camera:

2 megpixels

Size:

Medium slider
Size/weight tbc

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

Not specified

 

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