Motorola’s fondness for using capital letters in its handset naming shows no signs of letting up if the title of the new quad-band, 3G, HSDPA toting MOTORIZR Z8 is anything to go by.
What’s new is the when you open this slider mobile, the phone curves a little. The back of the phone is in two sections and as you slid the screen upwards the keyboard angles forwards. This means that when you hold the Z8 to your ear it fits the shape of your face better than regular handsets do. As a result, the microphone is closer to your mouth and the earpiece closer to your ear, so that you can hear and be heard better. I certainly didn't have any trouble with poor quality during voice calls.
I can’t say the same for the slider mechanism itself. There is a tiny rubber ridge above the navigation button which, I suppose, is meant to provide purchase for your thumb. It didn’t and my thumb gravitated to pushing against the screen instead. Inevitably this left the screen rather greasy, but more importantly perhaps, it felt a little awkward in my small hands.
There is also a bit of an issue with the number pad, which is curved. The bottom row is particularly bowed and feels odd under the fingers. In addition this flat number pad isn’t as responsive as some I’ve seen on Motorola mobiles. My advice is to try before you buy.
When it is opened the Z8 is 140mm tall, when closed it’s 109.7mm. It’s 50.7mm wide, 15.3mm thick and weighs 112g.
Motorola has made the most of the fact that the curving system reveals an inner section of the back part of the phone by making that section lime green in colour. This coordinates with a band around the top section of the handset and around the navigation button.
With the rest of the phone casing styled in black and the keys largely marked in lime green too, the colour scheme is striking. The black and green theme is repeated in one of the two user interface skins, for continuity’s sake.
The screen is something else Motorola is keen to shout about. It measures 2.2 inches corner to corner and displays 240 x 320 pixels and 16 million colours. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking. But it also displays video at 30 frames a second.