Motorola MOTORIZR Z3

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Motorola MOTORIZR Z3
  • Motorola MOTORIZR Z3
  • Motorola MOTORIZR Z3
  • Motorola MOTORIZR Z3
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Solid and well built, excellent slider, A2DP Bluetooth profile, good voice call quality

Cons

  • Buttons and keys require a firm press to activate, no standard 3.5mm headphone jack, speed of messaging and menu

Bottom Line

Motorola's first ever slider phone is a solid, but not outstanding mobile phone. The MOTORIZR offers a well balanced set of features for a pretty good price, but there is nothing new or unique about this handset.

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The MOTORIZR Z3 is Motorola's first ever slider mobile phone. While it doesn't prove to be an outstanding unit, the MOTORIZR is still a solid phone thanks to a 2 megapixel camera, A2DP Bluetooth support and a microSD card slot for extra storage.

Features

The MOTORIZR is excellent for voice calls, with volume levels that are more than loud enough in most situations. We were impressed with the clarity of calls, even when background noise (such as a busy Sydney street) was apparent. The hands free speakerphone, activated by pressing the right selection button during a call, is also clear, but its volume could have been louder.

Motorola certainly hasn't compromised on features. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0. A USB cable is included in the sales package. The MOTORIZR also features the AD2P Bluetooth profile for streaming music to any compatible Bluetooth accessories, such as wireless headphones. The music player included is fairly notable, supporting MP3, AAC and AAC+ file formats, while the player also offers playlist support and a repeat play mode. Unfortunately, Motorola hasn't included a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, so unless you use Bluetooth, you'll have to be content with the standard ear-buds.

Users can store their music using either the 20MB of internal phone memory, or the MOTORIZR's microSD card slot, located underneath the rear battery cover. Motorola includes a 128MB microSD card in the box.

The MOTORIZR has a 2 megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom and a light for night time photography. The camera's performance was average, meaning that its more than good enough for the occasional quick snap, but not adequate for any serious photography. The camera is bare on options with only a five and ten second timer and video recording (in MPEG4 format at 15fps) included. There are no effects or advanced settings.

The menu system is much the same as previous Motorola phones, with simple icons in the main menu and a list format for most sub-menus. The MOTORIZR is quite easy to use but once again, the graphics of the menu aren't as crisp or clear as some competitor's interfaces. Furthermore, some users will be disappointed by the speed of the interface in certain menus. Scrolling through long lists is a little sluggish and can become frustrating.

The MOTORIZR comes standard with WAP 2.0 and supports standard SMS, MMS and email messaging with POP3 and IMAP protocols. Voice activated dialing, a 1000 entry phonebook with the ability to add photos to a contact, and a number of PIM features such as alarm clock, calculator and currency converter are other features of the MOTORIZR. For SMS messaging, Motorola continues with its iTAP predictive text input method, which will take time to adjust to should you be used to the more popular T9 method. Messaging speeds were not as fast as we would have liked as there is a notable delay when trying to message quickly. Key presses take longer than usual to register on the MOTORIZR's screen.

Design

The MOTORIZR measures 105.47mm x 45.50mm x 15.99mm and weighs 115g. Our review unit was finished in a rubberised, matte black, but the phone will also be available in blue and red variants. The MOTORIZR responds well to a bit of harsh treatment, as the surface conceals scratches and fingerprints very well.

Although this is Motorola's first slider phone, they have done an admirable job. The sliding mechanism on the MOTORIZR is responsive, feels well built and is easily opened with a quick flick of the thumb thanks to a spring mechanism. The display is solid without being outstanding. The 1.9in, 262K colour screen is bright and clear, but not as crisp as some other displays on the market.

Once again, the keypad design is very similar to RAZR line of handsets. Although the keys are flat and do require a firm press to activate, tactility is fair and the layout of the keypad has been improved as each key is clearly separated. The standard controls are much the same, with a five-way navigational pad, two selections buttons, answer/end call keys and dedicated buttons for Internet and clear. The MOTORIZR also includes dedicated camera and voice dialling buttons on the right side of the handset, plus volume controls and a programmable shortcut key on the left.

Battery life is slightly above average according to Motorola figures of up to six hours of talk time and up to 270 hours standby. We found ourselves charging the handset every two to three days, although these figures will lesson with the use of features like Bluetooth and the camera. The phone charges through a standard mini-USB connection.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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