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Preview: Motorola Capri

Hardware Software Comments  79  

Jun 22, 2006, 8:22 AM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome

An exclusive hands-on preview of Motorola's unannounced RAZR-style slider phone.

At last July's MOTONOW event, Motorola dropped the first tantalizing hints of a RAZR-style slider phone. Then this February, Motorola launched the "Z," a slider phone with distinct RAZR innfluence. Unfortunately the Z was only for Korea.

Now Phone Scoop is able to bring you an exclusive preview of the real RAZR-style slider - the one for the rest of the world:

We don't know the actual model name yet. It could bear the famous RAZR brand (RAZR Z3, perhaps?) although it could just as easily carry a new name, such as "SLDR". All we know at this point is the code name: "Capri".

The overall feel of the phone is excellent. It's a nice size and weight, and the construction quality is quite good.

Like on the RAZR, the housing is mostly metal. Our unit had a "soft touch" rubberized finish. This finish not only looks and feels great, but also resists fingerprint smudges and makes the phone much easier to grip.

The slide mechanism is spring-assisted, so it "snaps" open and closed. Our prototype unit had a very powerful spring action.

One design element borrowed from the RAZR is the antenna bulge at the bottom. This makes the phone difficult to open compared to most other slide-style phones. Since you can't just push on the bottom edge to slide it open, you have to use the raised ridge directly below the display. Unfortunately doing this usually leaves a nice big thumb-print on the bottom of the display, and takes quite a bit of effort due to the powerful spring that holds it shut. To avoid smudging the display, I found myself pushing against the side of the phone to slide it open. The rubberized finish makes this feasible, although it still required quite a bit of effort.

It should be noted that our unit was pre-production hardware, so the slide action could be improved by the time it reaches store shelves.

Regardless, the good news is that this phone certainly won't open by accident in your pocket, something that can be an issue with other sliders.

Like the RAZR, the keypad looks pretty, but also looks terribly unergonomic. Looks are deceiving though, because - just like the RAZR - the keypad is actually a joy to use. Compared to the RAZR keypad, the closer key spacing and fewer rubber dividers don't seem to hinder ergonomics or usability one bit.

Yet another technology carried over from the RAZR is EL (electro-luminescent) backlighting behind the keys. Unlike standard LED backlights that are notoriously uneven, EL technology provides perfectly even light. While the RAZR keys have a blue glow, this phone switches to a cool white color, which looks even better.

The metal battery cover is released via a small button on the top. Just like on the RAZR, you can easily release the battery cover and pull it away in one motion using a fingernail.

The microSD memory card slot is located under the battery cover. It is hot-swappable, so you can swap cards without turning off the phone.

Like all phones currently on the market, this phone has a flaw that prevents it from fully supporting 2 GB memory cards (like the SanDisk card shown above). Like most current phones, you can use a 2 GB card if you format it in the phone, but then the card only works as a 1 GB card.

If this phone properly adhered to the SD card specification, it would work fine with 2 GB cards, but they made an error in implementing the firmware that limits the memory card to 1 GB. It's hard to blame to Motorola for this, since every other manufacturer has made the exact same mistake. This issue affects all current phones with either a microSD or miniSD memory card slot.

While Nokia is committed to fixing the issue and supporting 2 GB cards in all new phones shipping in Q3, other manufacturers are taking longer to address the problem. Motorola plans to start supporting 2 GB cards in some phones by the end of Q3, but it's not clear if this model will receive that fix before it ships.

The good news is that this phone does have FOTA (firmware over-the-air), so even if it doesn't support 2 GB cards at launch, that could (theoretically) be fixed in a update delivered automatically over the network.

Whenever Motorola and other manufacturers finally start shipping phones that support them, SanDisk is ready to start shipping 2 GB cards immediately. They're ready to go (as you can see) - just waiting for phone support.

The SIM card fits in a slot under the microSD card.

This phone also has a standard mini-USB port. This port supports just about everything you might want to do with USB, including charging, data to a laptop, direct printing (PictBridge), and mass storage mode for direct access to the memory card from a PC.

Above the display are two LED indicator lights. A green one on the left lights up with a battery icon when charging. The right one is blue, with a Bluetooth logo, and shows Bluetooth activity. Both are invisible when not lit.

Measuring 17mm thick, it's 3mm thicker than the RAZR, but that's to be expected given the extra room needed for the slide mechanism that runs most of its length. It's also 14 grams heavier than the RAZR, but I still wouldn't call it heavy, and the extra weight keeps it from feeling cheap. There was a slight amount of wiggle in the slide mechanism when open, but I didn't notice it until I checked for it; in everyday use the mechanism feels very well-constructed.

The phone is quad-band GSM. It seems to have EDGE as well. That's our assumption, at least, based on the little "E" icon that frequently appeared at the top of the screen.

It would have been nice to see a larger, QVGA display on this baby, but the 176 x 220 pixel display it does have is quite good. It is very bright, with great color, and looks great indoors and out, even in direct sunlight. Motorola has also tweaked the fonts to look a bit nicer and use a bit of anti-aliasing for a smoother look. Our only gripe about the display is that it seems to be 65,000 colors instead of 262,000. That's not a big deal in most cases, but there was the occasional photo where you could see some banding.

Motorola recently signed a deal with David Beckham for the soccer star to be a "brand ambassador" for the company. Given the timing of World Cup, we thought it would be appropriate to use a Beckham wallpaper for our photo session. However, as of this writing Team USA is still in the running, which is why we used a flag as a backdrop in the photos above - to show support for the home team. Go USA!



This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.


Jun 24, 2006, 6:59 PM

since the z isn't coming to cdma anyone know if this will?

No one knows til it happens man. This is still apparently way too far into the prototype stages for anyone to really call whether it goes to CDMA. Still if the RAZR itself is any indication it'll get there if the sales are good enough to warrant a p...
I'm not sure why it's not coming to CDMA FIRST!

Since the phone is already out in Korea, it MUST be a CDMA model....

I can't understand why Mot brings phones out in the USA on creaky old GSM first, when 65% of American subscribers use CDMA....

Jul 30, 2006, 5:35 PM

When is it coming out?

Evil or Very Mad This is bullshit! All this info and no release date! What the F**K!!!!Anyone who thinks the same will back me up.

Jul 21, 2006, 2:35 PM

The Z or Capri....

Eh? Where would I be able to find the Z or the Capri if possible. I have been researching these two phones and they look really good. If anyone has any information about where I can locate and purchase these phones for Verizon, please let me know. Thanks

Jun 26, 2006, 2:55 PM

Rich- do your homework, new phonebook has been out for a while

Motorola's new phonebook has been out for a long time on phones like V3x and some other 3G phones. I would certainly expect a mainstream website to know things like that...It's too bad people don't feel like treating their articles professionaly
C'mon, this site is mainly dedicated to US phones. The new UI hasn't made it into US phones yet, so cut Rich some slack.
The article is completely correct. If you read carefully, I compared this phone mostly to the original RAZR, which is the last major Moto phone most people here in the US would be familiar with.

Phones like the V3x have not come to the US. Phone Sc...
this whole thread is funny. Laughing

you guys got him good. Laughing

Jun 22, 2006, 10:56 AM


I know the article posed the question "what will they call it" I have no concrete information, but at Cingular in ourlistings for non-insurable phones, we have a listing for a "Motorola KRZR" I thought this might be for that Canary, but maybe its for the Capri or possibly another phone (seeing as how neither of those phones start with a "K"). Any ideas?
that's the canary ... on CSP they recently posted a "product roadmap" and i noticed a pic of the canary on there listed as KRZR. i have no idea where the K came from either

Jun 22, 2006, 12:58 PM

I don't understand..

...the fascination with sliders.

One of the main reasons I but a flip phone is to protect the main screen inside the phone. Sliders don't do anything to protect it.

I would also think that with trying to get the key pad out, it could cause the phone to fall out of my hands easier.
Its scratch resistant, and thats why you buy a holster or case for it. The slider is quite convienent too, espcially since you only have to slide out the keypad to actually use it. You can answer the phone while it is closed. Either way, motorolla suc...
because its just swiit. especially if its spring loaded.. how freakin suave is that.. whip out the phone and (a button would be best) and spring it open... mad chicks.. mad chicks.
ever heard of preference? i don't like eating snails but some people call that a delicacy...

Jun 23, 2006, 3:24 PM

2GB Card problems

Does the Motorola Q have the same problem with 2GB cards as this does?

I would imagine. I'm not aware of any current Motorola phones that support 2 GB cards.

There are a few Nokias shipping in other countries that support 2 GB cards - like the N80, E70, 6265, 6125, 6131, and 6270. Those - and I think the Sidekick 3 - ...

Jun 22, 2006, 1:53 PM

i've seen and felt the phone first hand

ive seen and felt the phone and its nothing special. even the guy who showed it to me said it was a waste of time
thanks for wasting 5 seconds of my life.
Isnt every Motorola a waste of time? Eh?

Jun 22, 2006, 1:34 PM

Carrier for the Capri

Did anyone notice they tried to cover up the area where the carrier branding would be, the battery area, but yet failed to notice the T-Mobile brand on the screen? LOL
this could just be the sim card they used
Please give me some credit. Rolling Eyes Jeez. Wink

The tape was not covering up a carrier logo.

Like most GSM phones, it displays the name of the current network on the home screen. It says "T-Mobile" only because I inserted a T-Mobile SIM card, s...

Jun 22, 2006, 10:35 AM

Great News about the UI improvements!

Nice review Rich. I'm glad they UI has finally been improved. I wonder if the transition to their Linux OS is going to take longer to become standard, thus the investment in refining the Synergy OS.
the e895 and a910 seemed to have disappeared from motorola's radar and none of the new phones that were supposed to ship with the linux os are doing so. it's too bad because what i've seen of that os really impresses me.

Jun 23, 2006, 7:46 AM


why could they not make a 3g version it would cut out a lot of time and have more things in it Smile
eric Lin

Jun 22, 2006, 11:05 AM


rich's support the US soccer team was all for naught. only a few hours after this article went live, the US lost to ghana and lost their chance to advance to the next round of the world cup tournament.
Thanks for ruining that for me I had a few customers and paused the game on our dvr. I was only 10 minutes into the second half
dayvan cowboy

Jun 22, 2006, 10:34 AM

come on!! what is under the tape!!

cingular or t-mo!?!?!
It mostly just states that this is a prototype unit.
It's not a carrier logo. It's really nothing interesting, but we were asked to cover it by the person who provided the phone.
It said T-mobile on the display with the guy. If that means anything.
It says "Prototype Unit Motorola Confidential", then something on the third line that I cannot read. It is "unmasked" on review.

Jun 22, 2006, 11:31 AM

hot-swappable card

that you have to remove the battery to get to? That makes a lot of sense....

Rolling Eyes
No, not the battery, the battery cover. Wink

Jun 22, 2006, 1:18 PM

Is the screen 176x220 or QVGA???

So, is it 176x220 or QVGA resolution??
it is 176x220
Like it says in the article:

It would have been nice to see a larger, QVGA display on this baby, but the 176 x 220 pixel display it does have is quite good. ...

Jun 22, 2006, 1:30 PM

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder where all this is going to lead..?

Jun 22, 2006, 11:55 AM

Comparable to T809/D807?

Does the build quality feel better than the Samsung duo?

For overall User interface, does the Moto trump the Samsungs?

And last but not least, in your personal opinions, do you expect this to sell more than the two Samsungs becasue it is a razr phone?
tuolumne said:
Does the build quality feel better than the Samsung duo?

I think all three are pretty decent in terms of build quality, but depending on the final revisions to the Capri hardware before release, it does...

Jun 22, 2006, 11:23 AM

RAZR.. no big deal... however

this phone actually looks sWiiT! micro sd, fully functional BT (did i see that it has stereo headset capability?) thin slider... im pretty sure this is my next phone. Goodbye bulky s710a!
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