Phones

Motorola ZN5: Kodak and Moto in tag-team shocker

Entering the ring are two veterans of the phone and camera world, who aim to smackdown their opponents with a 5-megapixel camera-phone combo

The tech business can be a lot like WWE wrestling: when the going gets tough, your best bet is to tag-team the competition and hit them with a chair. Enter Motorola and Kodak, two brands that are losing their once almighty grip in their respective fields because of a smorgasbord of heavyweight opponents.

Today the two former behemoths are joining forces a la Hulk Hogan and Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake, to announce the Motorola ZN5 -- the 'chair' of this stretched metaphor -- a co-branded camera phone that looks like a chunkier version of the Motorola E8. Boasting a 5-megapixel camera with xenon flash, the ZN5 aims to take a chunk out of Sony Ericsson's Cyber-shot range and other camera phones, such as the Nokia N82.

At the heart of the ZN5's user experience is Kodak's years of camera technology, which purportedly take it above the camera-phone norm. Images can be taken quickly and apparently come out looking vivid even in low light. You can share pics over Wi-Fi, but there's no mention of 3G, which is disappointing.

We spoke to Kodak and Motorola this morning and they both told us this is the best camera phone they've ever used, which they would of course, but hopefully it makes up for the lack of 3G. According to both companies, Kodak has been a part of the ZN5 right from the start and built its technology in, including making sure the 5-megapixel sensor worked as well as possible with the relatively small lens.

Since we haven't had a hands-on yet we have no idea how good the pictures will come out, but we're pretty sure they'll be better than any Motorola phone before it. What we're not so sure of is whether this will be Motorola's winning combo -- or if both Kodak and Motorola are going to get a humiliating ring-out from the fat guy with the backside-based special move. It's due out in the UK in July and pricing has yet to be announced, but we assume it will be free on a monthly contract. -Andrew Lim