Motorola KRZR K1 review: It's all about the looks

Michal Sedlák, 11 Nov 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Motorola has launched a new leader. The popular RAZR is being substituted by the new KRZR, whose glossy materials look luxurious. On the other hand, the innovations made since the forerunner are very few. Is this wrong? Not at all, provided all you need is a new pretty toy.

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Motorola KRZR in official pictures

Key features:

  • extraordinary design plus high-quality materials
  • excellent construction
  • slim design similar to the original RAZR
  • good legibility of the main display
  • exceptional keypad
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • some elements are copied from the rich equipment of Motorola V3x
  • slot for a microSD memory card
  • USB Mass Storage
  • charging via USB
  • Bluetooth

Main disadvantages:

  • few innovations as to the original RAZR
  • the top half of the clamshell catches fingerprints extremely easy
  • two music players of average quality instead of a good single one
  • camera takes images of very poor quality
  • main display has low resolution
  • poor legibility of the external display

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Motorola KRZR

For more than two years now Motorola has been successfully selling its original slim model Motorola RAZR. It was the first manufacturer to use an etched keypad mounted into a clamshell of the unbelievable thickness of 15 mm. Nowadays, the market offers a variety of phones of similar features, see Motorola’s direct competitor the Ultra Edition by Samsung, so the time for a new fighter has apparently come. Have a look at Motorola KRZR!

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All side-view

Magnesium taste

The entire name of Motorola’s new model is Motorola KRZR K1. I personally find it as unattractive and soundless as the names HTC has recently been using (STRTrk, MTeoR etc.).

Since numerous users expressed dissatisfaction with RAZR’s width (they found the phone too wide), Motorola has narrowed its new KRZR by more than 1 cm. The result is that the new clamshell is far more comfortable to hold in hand. On the other side, KRZR is 5 mm longer and 2 mm thicker than its forerunner – a difference you might not even notice if both models are not placed side by side. The exact size of Motorola KRZR is: 103 x 42 x 16 mm and it weighs 102 grams.

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The phone held in hand • size comparison to a credit card

I must confess that I was really happy to be able to take pictures of Motorola KRZR. It has plenty to show: its top half is all covered with mineral glass said to protect from scratches for a longer time than usual (not tested though). The surface is glossy; dark blue, with violet nuances under particular light conditions; it suits it really well. After having made an inquiry among its clients Motorola proclaimed that „blue is the new black“- a highly true statement in the case of KRZR. In fact, the phone looks even more attractive in reality than in pictures due to its feature to reflect surrounding objects.

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Front cover reflects surrounding objects • dark blue suits KRZR really well

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Motorola KRZR looks quite loaded/equipped

Yet, beauty comes at the expense of the legibility of the external display, even if miracles could hardly be expected from a display that is not only passive but also hidden behind a „mirror“. The external display is 19 mm wide and 16 mm high and supports 65K colors (some Motorola sources say 262K). Direct sunlight makes it fully illegible leaving the user without a single detail about the state of the phone. Visualization in the dark looks better, but even here white seems rather grey and color saturation is low. The last con to mention regards fingerprints – Motorola KRZR requires frequent cleaning. According to the information we obtained at the press conference held after the phone had been launched, the retail package contains a cleaning cloth. However, we cannot confirm this information as we received only the device itself. On the left, above the external display you will see an icon indicating charging; on the right there is a Bluetooth indicator. When the phone is not active, both indicators remain invisible.

Motorola KRZR K1
Glossy surface makes the external display behind it difficult to read


External display: selecting a profile • standard visualization • shooting with closed phone

Motorola KRZR K1
External display in the dark

Feels like velvet

A few seconds after the phone has been closed wallpaper identical to the one on the main display also appears on the external display. This includes a digital clock plus details about signal strength and battery state. As soon as the display switches to an energy-save mode (after approximately 1/2 minute of inactivity), a monochrome digital clock is the only indicator that remains visible.

Let’s now get back to the phone construction, which is quite interesting. The entire body of the phone is braced up with a light, solid magnesium-made rim. The entire rear panel is made of soft-touch material, which feels like a combination of velvet and rubber. I find it hard to explain, so you’d better call by a mobile phone shop and try it yourself; it is a material that does not slip out of your palm or catches fingerprints. At the same time the panel above the battery is all made of aluminum; it is extremely thin and sticks well to the back of the phone.

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Rear cover is pleasant to touch and does not attract dirt almost at all • the battery cover is made of aluminum

Under the back panel you will find a Lithium-Ion battery with capacity of 700 mAh. The officially presented battery life is as follows: 300 hours of stand-by or 360 minutes of call time. Unfortunately, we had the KRZR for too short time to be able to verify the above mentioned times.

Motorola KRZR K1
With a removed rear cover

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