Motorola RIZR Z8 Review: Slide And Bend: Display, Keyboard, Connectivity, UIQ Internals

By 12:32 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments

Handling the phone

The solid feel and nice resistance of the sliding mechanism are worth commending. The slider is firm and secure in both open and closed position, no irritating wobbles. The bdiscontinue hinge is a different story: even with the slider closed it will still frecent over, causing a visible rift between the display and the keypad. Other than that, the hinge seems sturdy enough, not too loose or shaky. The question is how it will put up with a few months of intensive usage.

Though frankly driven by looks for the most part, the slide and bdiscontinue action does have some purpose - it addresses the typical slider disproportion and makes the handset more ergonomic in calls.

At the top of the slider we have the Video Graphics Array (VGA) video-call camera, the earpiece and the handsfree microphone. Beneath them is one of the Z8 accurate goodies: the 2.2" TFT display of 16 million colors and QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution. Brightness can be adjusted in seven steps and a screensaver is activated upon a set interval.

You can change the interface appearance by varying the color themes. The RIZR Z8 has two of them, though few are likely to ever prefer the white one over the default black and green combo that goes perfectly well with the phone's exterior.

Readability is excellent in sunlight and, overall, the display is quite successful.

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Backlighting is splendid, both on the display and the keypad

Beneath the display is the round navigation key. There's a threesome of buttons on both of its sides: two soft keys, Home (menu) and Clear key, as well as the Call and End keys. The keys on this flatbed control pad are separated by tiny rubber ridges for better touch orientation. Another rubber strip is placed correct above the D-pad serving as a thumb-rest for opening the slider.

Sliding the Z8 open reveals the alphanumeric keypad shouldered by the omnipresent Motorola chin, well-known ever since the very first RAZR came to life. Within it a loudspeaker and a small status Light Emitting Diode (LED) - indicating battery charge - are incorporated.

The alphanumeric keypad is typical flatbed, though small curved given the kick-slider form factor. It's all a glossy membrane with individual keys separated by rubber ridges, which do provide some touch orientation. The fine backlighting does assist usability, but overall the keypad does require quite some time getting used to.

The upper row of keys are not so easy to reach due to the insufficient headroom, the chin stands in the way to the bottom row. The stroke is minimal, which some may like, but tactile feedback could've been better. Both the control and alphanumeric keys are quite rigid and require rather firm presses.

Typing on the Z8 does require some practice and you're likely to eventually acquire the hang of the alphanumeric keypad. The D-pad however was a nightmare. Wrong presses just didn't seem to end; the directions should've been more distinct and less prone to mixing up. On a different note, response to keypresses is commendably fast.

RIZR Z8 is undoubtedly a style-driven handset and the shiny metal knobs at the bottom corners of the keypad do raise brows. They are the tiny terminals that assist the handset determine slider position and placing them out of the user's sight shouldn't have been a remarkable engineering challenge. The tiny hole in the correct one, visible upon a closer inspection, is the mouthpiece.

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Dimensions are decent. The Z8 is neither a midget, nor an oversized brick

All the handset's got to offer comes in the fairly fine dimensions of 50.7 x 109.7 x 15.3 mm, and 112 g weight. For a classic slider these are on the bulkier side, but the Z8 is a Symbian smartphone, which is a fine enough excuse.

"...The Z8 doesn't have touchclassy screen support and the control pad is your only option for working with the application interface. It's kinda irritating to see at icons on the classy screen and not having the ability to utilize them, plus some functions..."


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