About the same time it (finally) picked up the Motorola Razr, Sprint followed through with its own version of the Motorola Krzr K1m. Similar to the Motorola Krzr K1m for Verizon Wireless, the Sprint Krzr K1m is 10 times prettier than the Razr, while retaining the same thin design that made its predecessor so popular. Sprint's Krzr K1m also offers a comparable feature set with goodies such as Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and 3G EV-DO support. You can get it for $199 with service or $399 if you pay full price.
The Sprint Krzr K1m shares the same dimensions (4.05x1.73x0.67 inches; 3.6 ounces) and the same basic design as its Verizon counterpart. As previously stated, it's much more appealing than the Razr--we especially like that it's narrower when measured across the front face--but the plate of hardened glass continues to attract its share of fingerprints. In a major change, Sprint chose to color its Krzr in black on both the front and rear faces and the chrome strip at the handset's bottom end. We like the black color scheme better but it's all a matter a taste, of course.
The external music controls show the same positives and negatives as on the Verizon handset. We like that they're only usable when the player is on, so you can't start music accidentally, but we found them a bit too sensitive when we were listening to music. The camera lens and external display are unchanged as well, but the spine-mounted controls show a few variations from the Verizon phone. The single control on the right spine now starts the camera, while voice dialing has been moved to the "smart" button just below the volume rocker on the left spine.
Sprint did add a few changes to the interior of its Krzr K1m. Though the internal display's size and 65,000-color resolution is the same as on the Verizon K1m, the menu interface is typical Sprint. Yellow abounds but you can choose from a grid, list, or tab design. The navigation array also is slightly different; instead of a dedicated camera key, the Sprint K1m features a speakerphone shortcut. Yet on the other hand, the five-way navigation toggle, soft keys, Talk and End/Power buttons, and dedicated back control are the same. The keypad buttons are similar as well, except they are black instead of silver.
Unfortunately, Sprint's Razr V3m inherits the Verizon phone's awkward placement of the Micro SD card slot. You have to remove both the battery cover and the battery to pry it out, and even then, you'd better ready your fingernails.
Though Motorola managed to significantly improve the Krzr K1m's design over its predecessor, the company didn't pull any new feature tricks out of its hat. Both the Sprint and Verizon phones have the same set of offerings, albeit with a few slight distinctions. The 1,000-contact phone book on Sprint's Krzr K1m has room in each entry for five phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and notes. You can save callers to groups and pair them with a photo or one of 22 polyphonic ring tones (two more than the Verizon Krzr K1m). Other essentials include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, voice dialing and commands, an alarm clock, a calendar, a calculator, and a world clock. We couldn't find a notepad on our review phone, but you might have one on yours. For more demanding users, Sprint slightly bests Verizon by including an integrated Yahoo e-mail application and the ability to instant message, in addition to the expected Bluetooth, a speakerphone, USB support, and PC syncing.