Motorola Krzr K1 review:

Motorola Krzr K1

The navigation array and keypad buttons will look familiar to Razr fans; they have a similar design and layout. The four-way toggle doubles as a shortcut to four user-defined functions, while the OK button in the toggle's center opens the menu when in standby mode. Surrounding the toggle are two soft keys, a dedicated camera shortcut, a Clear/Back key and the traditional Talk and End/Power controls. Though the navigation array as a whole is smaller than on the Razr (due to the Krzr's smaller size), it's still spacious enough for users with big paws. Keypad buttons are a holdover from the Razr as well, with a flat design and no separation between the individual buttons. They have a bit less texture than on some of the newer Razrs (such as the V3i), so it's harder to dial by feel, and the keys can be slippery and difficult to master. On the other hand, they are brightly backlit.

We admit we've just spent a lot of time taking about the Krzr's design, but look and feel are really what the phone is all about. As we said previously, it doesn't offer anything new in terms of features, so there's a lot less to talk about in that department. There's a 1,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers and two e-mail addresses. You can organize contacts into groups or pair them with a photo or one of 20 (72-chord) polyphonic ring tones for caller ID. Basic features include a vibrate mode, a voice recorder, text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a calculator, a world clock, and a notepad. On the higher end, there's a speakerphone, voice dialing and commands, a mini USB port, e-mail, and PC syncing. Bluetooth is onboard as well, but its options are limited. Though you still can't use it to transfer music files and ring tones, in a welcome move toward customer-friendliness Verizon is now offering photo transfers via that feature. Onboard usable memory is a bit skimpy at 18MB, but the Micro SD card slot gives you even more room.

In a strange move, the K1m's camera is 1.3-megapixel, while the GSM Krzr K1 offers a 2-megapixel shooter. We're scratching our heads at the disparity, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Nonetheless the K1m's camera does the job. You can take pictures in four resolutions (1,280x1,024; 640x80; 320x240; and 160x120) but you don't get a selection of quality settings. Other options include a multishot option, brightness and white-balance controls, a self-timer, three color effects, an 8X zoom, 10 fun frames, and three shutter sounds (plus a silent option).The camcorder shoots clips in 176x144 resolution with sound; editing options are similar to the still camera. Videos meant for multimedia messages are capped at 14 seconds; otherwise you can shoot for as long as the available memory permits. Image quality was decent but not quite what we expected from a megapixel camera. Images were bit blurry, and colors weren't always sharp.

The Krzr K1m had average photo quality for a megapixel camera.

As an EV-DO phone, the Krzr K1m supports the full range of Verizon's 3G services including the V Cast video service and the V Cast music store. The music player's interface is standard for all phones from the carrier that support the music store. You also get access to a variety of Verizon applications including VZ Navigator, Backup Assistance, and Chaperone as well as a host of alternative programs and services such as Fox Sports Mobile Pro, Extra TV, and Weathernews. There isn't much for gamers; you get demo versions of just two titles (Tetris and Pac-Man). Full versions and other games are available for purchase with the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Just remember that Verizon uses BREW instead of Java. You can personalize the Krzr K1m with a variety of wallpaper, screensavers, and sounds. You can always buy more choices if you want them.

We tested the (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO) Motorola Krzr K1m in San Francisco using Verizon's service. Sound quality was unchanged from other Verizon phones like the V3m. Voices were clear, and volume actually was a bit louder than most of the Razrs we've tried. On their end, callers said we sounded fine, and they could hear us plainly in louder environments. At times there was a slight hiss in the background, but it wasn't bothersome. Reception was sharp, and the EV-DO connection was strong even in buildings. Speakerphone calls sounded a bit hollow but with enough volume, and Bluetooth headset calls were satisfactory.

Music audio quality was decent, though the hiss that was audible during phone calls seemed louder here. It didn't make our tunes intolerable by any means, but it did give them a robotic and bass-heavy effect. The music player itself was sluggish at times, and it often paused for a few seconds when navigating though different options. Also, unless you set it as a shortcut through the navigation toggle, it took too many clicks to activate the player. A 2.6MB song took about a minute and 30 seconds to download, which is rather slow. V Cast video also was unimpressive. It took up to a minute to access the application's main menu and navigation through menus was sluggish here as well. What's more, clips showed a fair amount of pixilation. If you're a multimedia nut, Verizon has better, but less-pretty options such as the LG VX8300.

The Motorola Krzr K1m has a rated talk time of 4.2 hours and a promised standby time of 18 days. In our tests, we managed to get a talk time of 4 hours and 16 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests the Krzr K1m has a digital SAR rating of 1.03 watts per kilogram.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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