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Motorola is in the doldrums at the moment, and it really needs a stunning handset or two to give it a lift. Which is where the new MOT Z10 comes in. My review sample came from O2 where you can get it from free on contract. Can this handset be the start of a resurrection for Motorola?
Well, let's open with a look backwards. Hands up who remembers my review of Motorola's MOTORIZR Z8. If your hand is in the air take a sweet from the jar, go to the top of the class and put that hand back down.
There were several interesting and novel things about the MOTORIZR Z8 but its main selling point was almost certainly its banana-bendy action. The MOTO Z10 builds on what was achieved with the Z8, and while again there is a lot of novelty here it is the banana stuff that grabs the attention first off.
What's that all about? Well, this is a slider phone, and when you push the screen section away from you in order to reveal the number pad the phone takes on a slightly curved appearance - it's a kick-slider design as Motorola likes to say.
The idea is that the earphone and mouthpiece are closer to your ear and mouth with this slightly curved design than with an ordinary candybar or slider phone, so you get a better call quality. I can't say call quality was exponentially improved, but it is distinctive to look at, and the sliding-bending operation is smooth.
The bend works thanks to the back of the phone's two-part construction. There is a hinge about two thirds of the way up the back, and this enables the back to bend appropriately. It isn't rocket science, but it doesn't need to be.
However, the main problem with the design is the same one I experienced with the Z8 - there isn't a lot to push against when you are activating the slide. As with the Z8 there is a small ledge above the navigation button on the front casing against which, I suppose, you are meant to push and pull. But it simply doesn't work that well for me as the ledge is too shallow to get a purchase against. Which means I ended up using the screen for leverage and inevitably making that greasy.
This is a shame as in general build quality has gone up a notch since the Z8. Significant parts of the casing have a silvery metallic finish that runs to much of the back fascia, the sides, and a bit of trim around the front.