Poor old Motorola is still struggling to recapture its RAZR glory days. Not even last year’s multimedia charged, kick-sliding RIZR Z8 smartie could reverse its fortunes. While it was far from a damp squib, the Z8 lacked the headline features required to get it a seat on the smartphone top table.
Luckily, its successor, the Z10, has gone some way to addressing the gaps in its CV. It retains the solid chassis and Symbian UIQ OS, but has hiked the camera to a more respectable 3.2megapixels and added a nifty film studio editing app.
Kick-ass slider action
Spend a little time with the Z10 and you’ll find a few more tweaks. The Z8’s day-glo nu rave stylings have gone in favour of a smarter black and sliver combo.
The buttons on the flat but firm keypad have also been raised to improve thumbing, but it remains stiff as a board and its stickiness severely hampers speed texting. Thankfully, the eye-catching and mug-hugging KiKR sliding action hasn’t been tinkered with and its whip smart mechanism is still well oiled.
With all its rivals racing ahead with five-megapixel camphones, it’s strange to think that the Z10 is Moto’s first ever 3.2MP blower. Still, better late than never, and for a first effort it’s impressive with a whirring pinpoint autofocus, a powerful LED flash and a host of photographic mods to fine tune your snaps. And, although it’s not Cyber-shot sharp, picture quality is print worthy.
Unlike VGA shooters like the Nokia N95 and LG Viewty, the Z10’s video capture stalls at QVGA-quality at 30fps. Footage is still very lucid, if a smidge juddery, but Moto provides a comprehensive Video Editor app to really spice up your movies. It lets you get very intricate and creative so your movies have that Spielberg sheen, ready to upload to YouTube or Flickr via the embedded ShoZu app.
And like its predecessor, the Z10 is something of a movie and TV playing buff, with a Sky Anytime mobile app to let Sky users watch programmes streamed over 3.6Mbps-flavoured HSDPA and remotely programme your Sky+. Image quality, though, is still hit-and-miss.
Moto has also rather generously bundled the complete Bourne trilogy on microSD. Playback via the Mobiclip player is beautifully slick and almost DVD-like, although viewing Matt Damon for long periods on its razor-sharp 16-million colour 2.2-inch screen will send you boggle-eyed.
The Z10 is the handset the Z8 should have been and, while it’s still lagging behind on megapixels, it’s still hard not to be impressed with this smartie’s multimedia and video skills.