Motorola Z8: Clever, bendy slider phone

Is your phone too straight? Motorola has put a bend in one of its slider phones -- but this isn't as mad as it sounds, as the design feels quite comfortable in use...

While Crave was wading through the masses of mobile gadgetry down at 3GSM in Barcelona, we stumbled across this peculiar handset made by Motorola called the Z8 (pictured).

At first it looks like a standard slider phone, but on closer inspection it's got a few tricks hidden up its rather bendy sleeve. That's right, this phone actually bends, and it has been dubbed a kick slider phone.

When you slide it out the back bends towards you so that the Z8 leans more comfortably against your ear. It's a clever idea and it also looks rather cool. It's also a bonus to discover that the Z8 is a smart phone.

The Z8 uses a Symbian-based user interface and features high-speed mobile broadband (HSDPA), a bright screen that displays 16 million colours, a 2-megapixel camera, and an expandable microSD slot that will support up to 4GB. It will also play video at up to 30 frames per second.

Motorola has done a deal with BSkyB that will allow Z8 users to access Sky's mobile content services on the phone. You'll be able to watch a variety of on-demand content, such as news, sports and entertainment, as well as being able to program your Sky+ box remotely.

Update: A Motorola Rizr Z8 review  is now on the site

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When the Z8 is shut it looks like a regular slider phone. As you can see on the top right, there's a VGA camera for video calls, and underneath it is the 35mm wide by 50mm tall colour screen that displays up to 16 million colours.

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As you slide the Z8 open, you immediately notice that it curves towards you. The keypad is curved because of the phone's kick-slide mechanism, and feels different to anything we have tested out before. We're not sure how good it will be to use, but we look forward to spending more time with it.

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There's a camera on the back, but it's only 2 megapixels, which is a little disappointing. We do like the fact that it's in the middle of the phone so you can't cover it up so easily with your fingers when you hold it sideways.

The Motorola Z8 will be available from April this year. Expect a full review soon. -AL

 

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