Feeds
85%

Motorola Z8 'kick slider' media phone

Does this 'multimedia monster' shape up?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Now, whether anyone wants to watch movies on a 2.2in, 240 x 320 screen is another matter. The long and ignoble history of mobile video suggests this is technology looking for a market. If the screen was a little larger, we could imagine watching 30-minute shows on a train or a plane at a pinch. Fortunately for Moto, the Z8 doesn't stand or fall on the public's appetite for mobile movies.

Making a call from the standby screen
Making a call from the standby screen

The Z8 includes a two-megapixel camera, with eight levels of zoom. This is adequate, but there's no auto-focus. As is the norm with phones these days, it defaults to landscape - you take snaps with the phone aligned horizontally. Confusingly at first, when the Z8's slide is open, it uses the lower-resolution front-mounted 3G video-call camera, rather than the main, rear-mounted camera. Moto bundles the Shozu photo-sharing app with the Z8 - an excellent choice.

The handsets proved rather good for audio playback too. Note that although the retail Z8 is bundled with Moto's own new stereo wireless headset, it doesn't take a standard headphone jack, but instead uses mini USB. With the final retail package unavailable, we tested them with Sony Ericsson's lovely HBH-DS70 stereo headphones, and it worked very well indeed.

A major advantage is the lack of an artificial ceiling on media. The Z8 takes Micro SD cards, but it will be able to handle 32GB cards when they're ready: a welcome bit of future-proofing. And it's good to know there's now another home for the likes of SanDisk's 4GB Micro SDHC card, reviewed here

Unfortunately, there's no TV output. While I can't imagine a mass-market for tiny-screen video, we can envisage video enthusiasts using the phone as a portable cache for content they've acquired - as a kind of sneakernet - particularly since the USB transfers are rapid.

The Z8 uses the standard UIQ applications bundle, which includes a rich messaging client, Tasks, Notes and Calender - here called Agenda. However, as text input is so limited, the Z8 is really a read-only device. And you'll need to install Documents To Go or RoadSync for Office compatibility. The Agenda application demonstrates how good UI design - sensible layout and judicious use of fonts - can make a limited space effective.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.