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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Not even macro

As you could observe, nearly all functions and elements in Motorola KRZR detailed in the first half of our review look or work as in the older RAZR models. One of the few improvements here is the higher resolution of KRZR’s camera. The original VGA was raised to one megapixel in Motorola V3i; in Motorola KRZR there are already 2 megapixels. By writing this I do not mean that Motorola KRZR’s camera is better than the cameras of the forerunners. Just on the contrary - the pictures it takes are miserable compared to the competitors’. Convince yourself by having a look at the following samples in full resolution.

Motorola KRZR K1
Camera lens is located beneath a glass; it has no LED

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Sample photos in full resolution

To take a picture you need to hold the phone in a vertical position. The pictures above are presented in their original. The center of the main navigation key serves as a shutter release button. The basic camera-control interface is designed smartly: its transparency allows the shot image to appear in a full-screen mode (not valid for the video application, whose menu is 100% non-transparent)

  
Camera interface • basic setup provided with the main control key is easy

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Zoom consists of 8 steps; it creates crops only

Motorola KRZR takes well focused pictures as long as shot objects are situated at a mid-distance. Remote objects come out badly; areas of similar colors pour one into another. Exposure compensation and white balancing work well. Camera’s setup options can be seen in the following three pictures – exposure compansetion is set to minimum, automatic and maximum settings.

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Extreme features of the exposure compensation: -2 • 0 • +2

The camera offers several white balance settings such as automatic, sunny, cloudy, indoor (at home), indoor (office), and night. A video record can be shot without a problem too – its 3GP format and a maximum resolution of 352 x 288 pixels are common for most new cameraphones. Resulting videos look well enough in the phone but are virtually useless for work on a PC.

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A demonstration of color filters available in the camera menu

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Text came out bad

Motorola doesn’t get it

As we already mentioned, Motorola KRZR has no connector for wire earphones. It is not only the connector though. Its MP3 player deserves critical remarks too. The latter is fully illogical. As usual, it can be opened from the folder „Games and applications“; has new design and is generally good (it orders files by artists or albums). On the other hand, it does not play when minimized. So we kept on searching throughout the phone until we found out that MP3 files could also be played straight from a folder called „Sounds“. And here, out of a sudden, they did play even if minimized...


The Java player cannot be minimized


Song details • setup options

In this folder you can also create tabs, among which you switch by pressing the asterisk and the hash keys. Of course, individual files can be grouped into playlists, which then can be sorted by genres into the above mentioned tabs. The player menu features Repeat, but lacks Shuffle.


Player runs seamlessly when minimized but continues to manage files with difficulties

When the player is running in background, the stand-by display shows the name of the running song instead of the usual data. The horizontal ways of the navigation key are used for fast forwarding and rewinding of the tracks. Volume levels are controlled via keys on the side of the handset. Naturally, the music player runs when the phone is closed too. In such case, song names appear on the tiny external display. To switch between songs with the phone closed use the corresponding side key.


Sound player minimized

Time organizer, Internet and other extras

An alarm clock appears on the first position in the Tools menu. You can set several alarms at different times. Text notes are also available, due to which the alarm clock could be used as a „reminder“ too. The best reminder, however, is the calendar. Here you can insert events with assigned duration time, alarm, and repetition. The calendar has a monthly, weekly and a daily view.

 
A list of alarm clocks • settings

  
Monthly • weekly • and daily view in the calendar


Creating a new event

Another interesting extra is the calculator with an integrated unit converter. Motorola KRZR lacks timer functions. The phone supports Java in 2.0 version. It has an Internet browser originally designed to open WAP pages and it does so seamlessly. The display shows information on 8 lines en bloc. The browser manages to open web sites, but the font size does not get fully adjusted to the size of the display and simple sites are rarely entirely visualized. Let me mention, however, that we have tested one of the first released models. The firmware of the officially sold phones may turn out to be better.


Calculator

If the phone is used as a modem, data for the Internet browser of your PC is transferred via GPRS and EDGE Class 12. Motorola KRZR connects to PC through Bluetooth or a USB cable. Let us remind you that the phone has a standard miniUSB connector, so you should have no problem to find a cable for a few bucks, provided you have not already obtained one in the retail package of your digital camera.

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Slot for a regular miniUSB cable

Too few improvements...

Motorola KRZR has perfect design. Naturally, users are free to have their own tastes, but one thing is for sure: this phone is going to become popular for its look more than anything else. The materials used in it are very good. Its overall “visage” is miles away from triviality. Motorola KRZR is going to sell well thanks to its face, not its functions. KRZR is a babe, who loves tabloids and luxurious parties.

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Let’s now sum up: Motorola has made a high-quality handset with original design and very good phonebook. Its time organizer is perfect. USB Mass Storage support and the comfortable keypad are strong advantages too. The pity is that Motorola has only improved its aged user interface by few elements from the V3x model leaving plenty of details untouched: the built-in camera is bad, the external display is rather poor, and once again you will find two music players, none of which is really efficient.

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