The keypad is steel-plated, key symbols and the separation grid are etched in. As a result, the keypad is perfectly flat. The lines of the separation grid don't stand out. The only keys made of different material and thus unmistakably recognizable by touch are the 5-key and the four-way navigation D-pad with its confirming center. That means that during typing it is necessary to concentrate on the keypad far more than on the display. As usual, however, it is all a matter of getting used to.
The navigation key is surrounded by two context keys, keys for making and ending calls, a key for video calls, a key starting the WAP browser, and a delete key, which also takes you back one level up in the menu. All these keys are big enough and comfortable to use.
The same holds true for the alpha-numerical part of the keypad. Key response is solid, accompanied by a quiet click marking the activation of the sensor beneath the corresponding key. Yet, we think the Motorola KRZR K3 isn't the keen texter stuff because of its vague touch orientation. Symbols are illuminated in bright bluish-green. Backlighting is even and powerful enough.
Motorola KRZR has two displays. The external one is the same like in Motorola RAZR V6 maxx and by a centimeter longer than the one in the first KRZR. It offers a resolution of 120 x 160 pixels on a surface of 19 x 26 mm and displays 65K colors. Motorola claims the external display uses active TFT technology - a hard to verify fact given how dull the colors appear. Legibility under direct sunlight though is surprisingly good. We can still hope that the external display of the retail version will be tweaked up.
When the phone is in stand-by mode, the external display shows the same wallpaper as the inner one. Additionaly, basic details are shown, including time and date. After the phone's been idle for a certain time, the active wallpaper switches off and a digital clock only is displayed. Icons announcing missed events are not available, unfortunately.
The external display on stand-by selecting a ringing profile
The internal display has improved too. It is a few millimeters bigger and its resolution has increased from 176 x 220 pixels (in KRZR K1) to 240 x 320 pixels. Viewing images on the 262 color TFT display is truly enjoyable. The finest details come out admirably, never mind the small size of the display. Brightness settings are the same for both the external and the internal display.
Let's also mention the tiny video-call camera with VGA resolution situated below the internal display. It can be used for self-portraits too.
The user interface and the functional menu of Motorola KRZR K3 have not moved on significantly from what we've seen in Motorola RAZR V6 maxx, though a few notable improvements stand out. Even so, first-time Motorola users should be patient, as the menu requires a bit of getting used to. Searching for functions and settings every now and then will be inevitable.
Note: The images here are of the Motorola RAZR V6 Maxx display, which features the same user interface and functional menu as Motorola KRZR K3. The differences in user interface between both phones are negligible.
Standard service indicators are placed at the very top of the stand-by display; beneath are the operator logo and date, as well as the active ringing profile. The clock - digital of analogue - can be found above the soft-key shortcuts at the bottom of the display. Of course, any type of image or photo can serve as a wallpaper.
The functions assigned to each direction of the navigation D-pad can also be placed on the stand-by display. Besides, shortcuts can be assigned to any of the approximately 50 functions on the two context keys and the left "soft key" of the phone.
The main menu is accessed through a press on the center of the D-pad. Motorola has been using the same icons for years now and Motorola KRZR K3 is no exception. Liking them or not is a matter of personal taste, but we do think they're pretty obsolete now. Distributing the icons and organizing them in a list is user-configurable, which remains one of the strengths of the Motorola menus. Sub-menus contain mostly text, but occasionally, you may also find icons here. The phone offers three color schemes. And, as usual, certain items of the main menu are hidden in deeper menu levels.
In general terms, the phone responds promptly to user commands. Selected options are confirmed through the center of the D-pad. The "correction" key marked with a C and a reversed arrow takes you a level up in the menu. The right context key does the same.