Motorola MOTOKRZR K1
- Great design, Slim and compact, Build quality, Solid features list, A2DP Bluetooth profile, Bluetooth headset included in sales package
- Not kind to fingerprints, Flat keypad, Slow speeds for messaging and some menus
With a stunning reflective surface and unique slim design, the MOTOKRZR K1 is one of the best looking mobile phones we’ve seen. It’s not all about looks though, as this phone has a generous features list for its asking price.
Price$ 850.00 (AUD)
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Hot on the heels of its successful big brother, the RAZR V3, comes Motorola's latest effort to satisfy a desire for all things thin; the MOTOKRZR K1. Successfully taking the famous RAZR V3 design and putting it on a slimming diet, Motorola has created an excellent handset that features a touch of class thanks to a mirror style, glass coated body.
Measuring 103mm x 42mm x 16mm, the MOTOKRZR is one of the slimmest phones currently available on the market. The original RAZR V3 was thin, but received some criticism for being too wide. In the MOTOKRZR, Motorola has successfully retained the same popular design, but made it smaller, slimmer and sleeker. The result is a handset that looks fantastic, and is comfortable to use.
What makes the MOTOKRZR shine though is its surface. It features a distinctive metallic gloss finish and the same reflective qualities of a mirror. The dark blue glass finish is both attractive and elegant and will ensure you stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately the surface attracts plenty of fingerprints, so much so that Motorola has even included a cleaning cloth in the sales package.
We were very impressed with the build quality of the MOTOKRZR. Everything from the display, right down to the flip mechanism gives the impression of a very solid and well built handset. The metal back plate further contributes to this sense of toughness; although we didn't try it, you shouldn't have too many worries if you accidentally drop this handset. Our only complaint with the design is the large area below the keypad; it is quite chunky and stands out too much for our liking. This was also prevalent on the original RAZR V3, and while it isn't a huge problem, we think the handset would look even better without it.
The outside of the MOTOKRZR includes a 65 thousand colour external screen, which blends nicely into the design of the unit. The screen is capable of displaying background wallpaper as well as time, date, battery life, reception indicator and caller ID information. On the left are external volume controls and a voice recording button, while a voice dialling button is located on the right hand side, alongside the standard mini-USB port for charging and synchronising. The internal screen is a 262 thousand colour display and although it is quite bright and clear, it isn't as good as some of the more recent mobile phone displays we've reviewed.
Flipped open, the MOTOKRZR features the same style metal keypad as the RAZR V3. The keys are well spaced out and although they are fairly flat, they feel quite good to use. If you've used the RAZR V3 before you'll be used to the keypad, but if not, your first experience may feel uncomfortable as they keys require a firm press to activate: messaging with this phone does take some time to get used to. The keypad's design makes for excellent night time viewing; the blue backlight is bright without being overwhelming and clearly marks each key. In addition to the keypad, the MOTOKRZR includes the same controls as the RAZR V3; a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer and end call keys as well as dedicated internet and clear buttons.
Although the MOTOKRZR has been designed for those who love fashion and design, Motorola hasn't compromised on features. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 2.0 and USB and Motorola even includes a Bluetooth headset and USB cable in the sales package. The MOTOKRZR 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, with playlist support and repeat play modes available. It supports a number of file formats including MP3, AAC and AAC+ files but you'll have to use the included headphones unless you go bluetooth; Motorola hasn't added a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. You can store your tunes using the 20MB of internal phone memory, or the unit's microSD card slot, located underneath the rear battery cover. There is no included microSD card in the sales package, so you'll have to factor the cost of this into your purchase if you plan to use the MOTOKRZR as an MP3 player.
The MOTOKRZR includes a 2 megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom, but there is no flash or light for night time photography. The camera's performance was average - more than good enough for the occasional photograph with friends, but not adequate for any serious photography. The camera is bare on options as well; only a five and 10 second timer is included and there are no effects or advanced settings. The MOTOKRZR can also record video clips, but the quality is below average.
The menu system is much the same as previous Motorola phones, with simple icons in the main menu and a list format for most submenus. The MOTOKRZR is quite easy to use but do note the graphics of the menu aren't as crisp or clear as some competitor's interfaces. Furthermore, some will be disappointed by the speed of the interface in certain menus; scrolling through long lists is a little sluggish and can become somewhat frustrating.
The MOTOKRZR also comes standard with WAP 2.0, SMS, MMS and email messaging, a hands-free speakerphone, voice activated dialling and a number of PIM features such as alarm clock, calculator and currency converter. 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 popular T9 method. Messaging speeds were not as fast as we would have liked; there is a notable delay when trying to message quickly, as the key presses take longer than usual to register on the screen.
Battery life is one of the MOTOKRZR's strong points. According to Motorola figures, the handset has a respectable six hours of talk time and up to 300 hours of standby time. On average, you'll have to charge the handset every three to four days with moderate usage, which is an excellent result. Keep in mind though that using Bluetooth, specifically the A2DP music profile, will reduce the battery life considerably.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
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