Feeds
85%

Motorola Z8 'kick slider' media phone

Does this 'multimedia monster' shape up?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.