Motorola reckons this is a strong selling point and bundles the phone with a copy of a movie on a microSD card. The Bourne Identity is a great film, but I can’t really see anyone wanting to watch its entirety on the tiny screen of the Z8. The 512MB card could be useful, though.
A pre-installed copy of Sky Anytime might appeal to those who are Sky subscribers and want they need to programme their Sky+ box from their mobile.
By far the best bundled item is the S9 Bluetooth headset, which has remote controls for voice calling and music located by the earbuds. It has an internal rechargeable battery that uses the same mini USB power charger as the phone itself. You get a wired headset too – it uses the mini USB connector on the handset.
The Z8 will play MP3 and AAC format music files, but it won’t play MP3s that are encoded at more than 128Kbps, which is astonishingly poor. There goes my entire music collection, then. You have to put music files in a specific folder on the device or a memory card or the phone won’t find them. And no, you can’t have music in subfolders. My old gripe about not being able to drag and drop music folders resurfaces here. This really matters to me as I listen to a lot of classical music, and having ten files all called ‘adagio’ by the same composer in one folder isn’t exactly friendly.
On the other hand music playback quality was fine when I made some 128K MP3s to test and battery life is pretty good. I got a shade less than seven hours of continuous music from a full charge, with playback through the handset speaker. You’ll get less using the Bluetooth headset, of course. Oh – and music volume through the speaker isn’t all that loud, which will be a small mercy for those sitting near the selfish idiots who like to play tunes out loud on the train.
As well as a front facing camera for video calling there is a 2-megapixel camera on the back of the casing. This also captures video at 30 frames a second and I think Motorola has missed a trick by not providing video out capability.
Where stills are concerned the camera is OK but not wonderful. It lacks autofocus and takes a while to save an image after you’ve pressed the shutter button. Capturing a succession of quick shots is not really on the cards.