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Motorola ZN200, W396 and W398

Discontinued
14th August 2008

Last week Motorola announced three relatively cheap multimedia phones, the Motorola ROKR EM25, EM28 and the EM30. This week, Motorola have followed up with a batch of.. well.. three relatively cheap multimedia phones. In fact, three phones that compete pretty much head on with the handsets announced last week.

What gives? Did Motorola accidentally order too many phone designs for the same market segment? Does anyone still care? Or are we being too harsh?

As long-time readers might know, Mobile Gazette actually likes cheap phones and to be honest these are probably going to offer a lot of features for not much cash. But other than the deeply flawed ZN5, we haven't seen any interesting mainstream phones from Motorola for more than six months.

All of these devices are slated for release in Q3 2008.

Motorola ZN200

We first featured the Motorola ZN200 last month - this slider phone has a 1.9" 176 x 220 pixel display, a basic 2 megapixel camera, microSD expandable memory, a multimedia player, USB connectivity, an FM radio and stereo Bluetooth. As a multimedia phone it seems pretty reasonable, although the lack of 3G and the low resolution display may put some people off.

It looks a little like the US-only Motorola Z9 to look at, except for the cool looking indicators on the top which are a feature of some other Motorola handsets such as the old W220. It's quite a smart looking phone even if the specification is a bit limited, and really the key factor will be cost.. although Motorola haven't given a guide price for the ZN200.

 Motorola ZN200

Motorola ZN200 at a glance

Available:

Q3 2008

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

Data:

GPRS + EDGE

Screen:

176 x 220 pixels, 262k colours

Camera:

2 megapixels

Size:

Medium slider
105 x 47 x 16mm / 115 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

GPS:

No

Battery life:

Not specified

Motorola W396

Trying very hard not to look like a RAZR, the Motorola W396 clamshell phone is a very basic handset except for its multimedia features. There's a very basic VGA resolution camera, and the 1.8" 128 x 160 pixel display is on the small side. However, it does come with an MP3 player, microSD expandable memory and an FM radio. There's a USB 1.1 connection, so transferring files from a PC is possible.. but slow. There's no Bluetooth either, but on the other hand it offers excellent language support for Africa and south Asia, plus Catalan, Basque and Galician. Talktime is an impressive 9 hours or so.

Perhaps you can consider the W396 as a step down from the ROKR EM28, and it is clear that this is a handset aimed at a very particular type of customer. It isn't for everyone, but we must grudgingly admit that it has a certain appeal.

 Motorola W396

Motorola W396 at a glance

Available:

Q3 2008

Network:

GSM 900 / 1800 or 850 / 1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

128 x 160 pixels, 65k colours

Camera:

0.3 megapixels

Size:

Compact clamshell
95 x 45 x 17mm / 94 grams

Bluetooth:

No

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Not specified

GPS:

No

Battery life:

9 hours talk / 16 days standby

Motorola W388

Basically the Motorola W388 is just the W396 but in candy-bar form. It's a little lighter at 83 grams, but otherwise it seems to be the same. It's a smart looking device with an unfussy layout that should appeal to customers looking for a more traditional style of mobile phone.

 Motorola W388

Motorola W396 at a glance

Available:

Q3 2008

Network:

GSM 900 / 1800 or 850 / 1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

128 x 160 pixels, 65k colours

Camera:

0.3 megapixels

Size:

Lightweight monoblock
109 x 46 x 15mm / 83 grams

Bluetooth:

No

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Not specified

GPS:

No

Battery life:

9 hours talk / 16 days standby

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