Motorola KRZR K3 review: New party star

Jan Horalνk, 25 July 2007. Read the original review at
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Camera: 2 vertical megapixels

The main camera has a 2-megapixel resolution. Pictures are displayed vertically, unfortunately; their maximum size is set at 1200 x 1600 pixels. The camera features no flash or auto focus. Image quality isn't configurable either. Images are often not focused, details tend to be blurred. Given the absence of auto focus, neither close-ups, nor text come out well.

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Camera view-finder • switch to the internal camera • camera menu

The camera is activated by pressing the key on the phone's right side, but it takes too long before it's ready to shoot. The entire display serves as a view-finder. At the bottom of the display you'll find a practical menu for instant access to most of the camera settings. You can adjust exposure compensation and white balance; activate night mode, use color effects or the 8x digital zoom (whch only crops the image). Further, a standard menu opens through the respective context key, where you can also adjust compression quality, resolution, the sound of the lens shutter or activate the self-timer function. From here you can also switch to the internal VGA camera suitable for video calls. Self-portraits can be made with the main camera by using the external display as a viewfinder.

Motorola KRZR K3 sample images

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The digital zoom produces crops only while offering up to 8x magnification
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Exposure compensation

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Night mode: off • on

Sample of color effects:

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Both cameras shoot video in 3GP format. Yet, the maximum available video resolution continues to be limited to 176 x 144 pixels, considered way too low nowadays. Video length is only limited by the available free memory. Given the low resolution, we are not going to publish video samples of this camera.

Pictures can be saved into the phone's internal memory (approximately 50 MB), or onto a microSD memory card. Motorola's newly developed Media Browser has also been implemented in KRZR K3. It stores all multimedia files organized by type, hence searching your videos, music and pictures is very easy. Pictures can be viewed in full screen or filed into albums at user's choice. To make image browsing faster, the phone first preloads a lower quality preview. Fully-fledged images are loaded when you pause browsing for a second - the current image then loads in normal viewing quality. Details on both internal memory and memory card are displayed simultaneously. Direct image print is also available trough the PictBridge standard support.

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Multimedia menu • Media browser is the first ever offered by Motorola • browsing images

An ample phonebook

Telephony functions are very good. The phonebook stores up to 2000 contacts, which is not really something you see too often. Each contact can be assigned various fields like first name, last name, nickname, six phone numbers, three electronic and street addresses, ringtone, picture, note, and a birth date (does not appear in the calendar automatically). However, the option of distinguishing callers by ringtones is flawed by a long-lasting weakness, present in nearly all Motorola phones. The ringtone assigned to a particular contact is played even when a text message from them arrives so when it goes off you would never know if they're calling or texting you.

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Phonebook • contact detail and editing

Contacts are searched by gradual typing of the respective name. All contacts from both the phone memory and the SIM card can be displayed together. They can also be organized into groups, of which each can be assigned an image and a ringtone. Voice dialing and a loud speaker are available too, but the phone lacks a voice recorder and call filters.

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Call register • ringing profiles • selecting a ringtone

Motorola KRZR K3 has a total of 6 ringing profiles, offering a wide range of setup options. Profile names indicate the behavior of the vibration alert (not user-configurable). At least, the phone can ring and vibrate simultaneously, which is definitely good news. Profiles can be changed even with the phone folded. And, of course, any music file of any format stored in the phone, be it MP3, AAC, WMA or MID, can be set as a ringtone.

Motorola KRZR works in 3G networks, which is one of the crucial advantages ofer the original KRZR K1. A VGA camera beneath the main display is meant for video calls. However, the main 2 megapixel camera can also be used for the same purpose. It is also possible to show selected images from the phone memory instead of the live video feed. Besides UMTS, the Motorola KRZR has tri-band GSM support. The type of network currently in service is indicated by a tiny icon on the stand-by display.

Likeable iTap

Motorola KRZR K3 communicates over SMS, MMS and email. Sending voice messages as MMS is enabled. SMS and MMS have the same editor. The iTap editor enhances texting experience. Motorola claim the iTap can learn new words, even if it's not activated.

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Message menu • selecting message type • reading and typing SMS

The SMS editor has a counter of available characters left. Images, pictures, voice notes, video records or even business cards from the phonebook can be inserted in the text. The entire message then gets sent as an MMS. Yet, there's a catch in messaging: delivery notifications. Since it's impossible to permanently activate the delivery notification feature, you'll have to request notification before sending each individual message. Motorola support the EMS standard for sending icons and mono sounds.

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Creating MMS and emails

All received messages, except for emails, are kept in a single folder. Messages display in 7 lines. We could not establish exactly how many SMS the phone is able to save, but they count hundreds for sure. The exact number depends on the size of each SMS, but the limit is supposed to be about 500. Any sound file in the phone can be set as an SMS alert tone.

The email client works with SMTP, POP3, and IMAP4 protocols. It manages attachments smoothly. The maximum size of attachments for download is user-definable. Mail can be checked manually or automatically in regular intervals.

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