The Good The Motorola Z9 has a sharp design, a generous feature set, and satisfying music and video quality. But most of all, its call quality is outstanding.
The Bad The Z9's 3G performance was variable. Also, its photo quality wasn't as sharp as it could be.
The Bottom Line The Z9 may not offer anything new but it's a fine cell phone in all regards. It offers an attractive design, a great feature set, and superb call quality.
Motorola Z9 (AT&T)
For the past two years, Moto has been under enormous pressure from many camps (us included) to come up with something completely new. So when we first held the new Motorola Z9 for AT&T, we were a bit disappointed that it doesn't stray very far from the company's Razr-heavy past. Indeed, it has a familiar look in many ways. It has the same shiny mahogany color as the Razr2 V9, it shares similar dimensions, and the bright 262,000-color display is almost identical. So while it's all very pretty, it's also very Motorola.
Yet, the Z9 is a phone that warrants a closer look. During the few days it was sitting around the CNET offices, it won praise from quite a few people--even from one of the most serious gadget enthusiasts we know. It also has a solid and comfortable feel when held in the hand, and the slider mechanism is sturdy without being stiff. Inside is a generous feature set including 3G support, AT&T Navigator GPS service, a digital music player, stereo Bluetooth, an Opera Web browser, a 2-megapixel camera, and Moto's nifty CrystalTalk technology. It's somewhat expensive if you pay full price ($399) but you can get it for a very reasonable $149 with service and applicable rebates.
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