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Aug 4, 2006, 2:02 PM   by Eric Lin

Hands-on reports from Motorola events in Cape Town and NYC. Hands-on with the new KRZR, RIZR, FONE, i880, xx, maxx, and W375.

Part 1

Hello Moto 

We traveled a long way - literally half way around the world - to bring you a hands on with Mototola's newest phone designs. The American manufacturer held the global launch for its new designer phones in Cape Town, South Africa.

Motorola's chief designer, Jim Wicks unveiled the phones formerly code named Canary and Capri. Though filings with the FCC called them the K1 and Z3, they are now officially called the KRZR and RIZR. Although not much has changed since we got our hands on the RIZR a month ago, there were a few interesting surprises.

Both phones run the same software except for a minor change in the camera viewfinder - as we showed you, the RIZR runs a full-screen viewfinder in landscape mode, while the KRZR has a near full screen viewfinder, with all the same features, but in portrait mode. We will refrain from discussing the software much since we covered that pretty thoroughly earlier.

However it is worth noting that Motorola has switched its navigation system to match almost all other manufacturers'. Enter/Forward type functions are now on the left soft key while No/Back operations are done by the right. Not only does this match what other manufacturers do, but it now matches the send/end buttons, where green is on the left and red is on the right. This will be a small hassle for long time Motorola users, but it will be a big improvement for users new to the brand.

This change had not been implemented on the RIZR prototype we previewed before. It has been fully implemented everywhere in the OS except in the music player, where we suspect it was missed since that is a Java add-on and not part of the core OS.


The KRZR (yes, pronounced "crazer") will initially come in three varieties: a quad-band GSM model, an American CDMA model and an Asian CDMA model for Korea and China. The difference between the three is not merely radios. The GSM model has a 176 x 220 screen and a 2 Megapixel camera. The American CDMA model has a 176 x 220 screen and a 1.3 Megapixel camera. The Asian CDMA model has a QVGA screen and 2 Megapixel camera. Both CDMA models also feature external media playback controls that are resistive sensors hidden beneath the face (like on the Chocolate).

Although the KRZR certainly has its roots in Motorola's iconic RAZR, the two phones look and feel very different, even though they share the same underlying technology that was breakthrough in the RAZR. Motorola has made an effort to make the KRZR feel more like it was designed for humans than robots and it shows. It was also designed to look less like a piece of technology and more like a piece of jewelry or art.

Although the KRZR has a nice unified look, each face of the phone is a different material which serves a different purpose. The back is the soft touch finish of the PEBL or V300, which makes it comfortable to hold and easy to grip. The front is a single piece of glass with a vacuum metalized finish which gives it the jewel-like appearance and allows the external display (and media controls on the CDMA models). The keypad is also new. It is still flat like on the RAZR, but a new technology called electroforatic deposition makes it feel soft to the touch, almost rubberized. This keypad is so touchable, it's difficult to stop playing with it.

The KRZR is narrower than the RAZR or even the RIZR and this narrow profile makes the phone much easier to hold - you can really wrap your hand around it. In fact, with the new narrow shape, and the soft touch back and all the other improvements that make the KRZR more of a human friendly phone, it's difficult not to keep touching or playing with it. Even if you're just inspecting the details of the construction and finishes, you find the phone is always is your hand.

The KRZR is definitely the looker of the two phones and will be sold as the higher end model of the two. The CDMA model is expected in the US around the end of Q3, while the GSM model is not expected here until the end of the year or early next year. It should be available outside the US in early fall, around the same time as the CDMA model.

The Asian model is the most lust-worthy of them all. It's not that is has more shiny surfaces than the other KRZRs with its glossy sides. The Asian KRZR features the best of all models. It share the 2 Megapixel camera with the GSM model, the external media controls with the US CDMA model and adds a crisp QVGA screen. It's hard not to be jealous of the feature packed phone our Asian friends are getting.

Motorola is making efforts to protect the KRZR from being copied as prevalently as the RAZR. They have patented a larger number of technologies used to create the unique finishes of the phone. They have also been much more protective of these phones during development.


The RIZR was only announced in a GSM model. Like the GSM KRZR, it is quad-band with EDGE and a 2 Megapixel camera.

The RIZR we used earlier was close enough to the final that most of what we said still holds true, but there have been a few physical changes. First, the spring action of the slide has been fine tuned. It no longer takes much effort to open the phone, yet it opens solidly. It is equally easy to close it.

There was also a surprise on the back of the slide. When you slide the RIZR open, a pattern is revealed. Currently there is only one pattern, no matter what the color or network of the RIZR. However Motorola is calling these patterns tattoos and seems to be pushing for a broader variety on future RIZRs. They will be making two additional patterns available on the matching H800 Bluetooth headset (which also features a spring-loaded slide). Like previous Motorola design phones, the RIZR and the matching headset will come in a variety of colors.

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The RIZR's keypad is wider than that of the KRZR, making it slightly easier to dial and text. However the RIZR's does not have the same soft rubber feel as the KRZR. The rest of the RIZR is covered in the soft touch finish made popular by the PEBL. The RIZR does have quite the same tactilely addictive addictive qualities but it fits in the hand very nicely and was very comfortable to use.

Because it doesn't have all the new finishes found on the KRZR, the RIZR looks much more plain, and will be sold as the lower end of the two phones. It too is not expected on American networks until late this year or early next.


Both models don't just share software, but many hardware features as well. They each have a Transflash slot behind the battery door, which unlike our prototype, is capable of reading a full 2 GB card. (It is possible this has not been enabled on the American CDMA version, but we could not get official confirmation either way).

Both models have Bluetooth including the A2DP stereo profile. Motorola just released the O ROKR headset / sunglasses for sale during the Cape Town event and additional models that have been announced like the HS805 DJ-style headset are due out soon.

The two models are not just similar in function, but also in form. Although the KRZR is slightly narrower, the two are the same height and the same thickness.

Motorola announced two traditional Bluetooth headsets to match the new phones. The H601 matches the KRZR with shiny colors and a small profile. The H800 is larger and matches the RIZR's colors as well as offers similar "tattoo" patterns. Both headsets and new phones feature new easy pair software that will reduce the number of steps required to get them working together.

More to come

South Africa was an interesting choice for the launch of high-end phones and Bluetooth headsets. There is a growing design-conscious community there, but it is vastly outnumbered by people who literally forgo buying new clothing or other comforts in order to buy a phone. Journalists from around the world - with a strong emphasis on emerging markets - were on hand as were we supposed to be shown the next big thing for the "next billion" phone users - a term mentioned quite often in Motorola's presentation. This would have been a good fit for such a venue, although it's not clear how these high-end phones fit with that theme.

Part 2


by Rich Brome
August 4, 2006

Even though it's strictly an entry-level phone, the MOTOFONE is ground-breaking in a number of ways.

The FONE is our first glimpse of Motorola's new SCPL (scalpel) platform. For the most part, that means more to Motorola engineers than to consumers. Hardware platforms like SCPL are generally more about the way chips are wired than specific features. While the FONE is very entry-level in terms of features, future SCPL phones will reach the very top end.

There are a couple of nice SCPL traits that are apparent in the FONE, however. One is the extremely thin profile. SCPL is designed to push Motorola's emphasis on thin phones even further. At only 9mm, the FONE is Motorola's thinnest phone yet.

The other neat SCPL feature is the dual antennas. On most phones with internal antennas, if you place your hand over the hidden antenna part, your reception degrades - sometimes dramatically. But the FONE has an antenna at each end, so even if you cover the top antenna with your hand, the lower antenna has you covered.

Another neat FONE feature is the new, unique type of display (which is not necessarily something we'll see in most other SCPL phones.) Motorola calls it "ClearVision", and the technology behind it is called Electrophoretic Display (EPD), or more commonly, "e-paper".

E-paper displays have a number of unique properties. First, it is very thin. Instead of being set behind a window, this display is practically part of the surface of the phone. It's also highly reflective. When part of the display is white, it's really white - almost like paper - making it white and bright enough that it doesn't need a backlight to be seen in all but complete darkness.

The display also has the unique ability to completely invert from black-on-white to white-on-black - all the way to the very edge. Motorola has adopted this as an easy to tell when the FONE is in standby mode. Yet another unique trait is that the display does not need to be rectangular (since it does not need a sheet of glass like LCDs) and Motorola has used that ability to wrap the signal and battery meter parts of the display around the speaker.

The UI (user interface) on the FONE is very unique. Because the display isn't the usual matrix type with pixels, the "menu" is a set of fixed icons across the bottom. There are two lines of alphanumeric characters in the center, but it's only six letters wide, and the way some letters are formed can be hard to read.

The new UI is designed to be as easy as possible for first-time phone users. In doing that, Motorola has created a UI completely and totally different from any other phone on the market. It's so different that most existing cell phone users will probably find it confusing. I tried my darnedest to navigate the menus, but just couldn't figure it out. I didn't have much time with it, though, and also it was too noisy for me to hear the voice prompts that are supposed to explain things along the way.

Our buddy Michael at MobileBurn seemed to have better luck figuring out how to use it. Check out some more shots of the UI in action here.

None of this is necessarily a bad thing, because this phone is aimed mostly at first-time phone users in developing markets. Motorola claims their testing has shown that the new UI makes perfect sense to such users.

The FONE will be available in two versions: the FONE F3 for GSM networks, and the FONE F3c for CDMA networks.


Motorola has been showing off glimpses of a few forthcoming iDEN phones recently. The most exciting is the i880, which will set a new standard as the most feature-packed iDEN phone yet.

Features of this baby include a 2 megapixel camera with video capture, microSD memory card slot, MP3 player with external controls, stereo speakers, and Bluetooth.

The overall feel of the device is excellent, including a thin profile and great keys. I do wish the 4-way keys were joined into a true d-pad; the four separated direction keys aren't the best, although I've seen worse.

MVNO Boost Mobile will get its own version: the i885:

Usually the Boost version of an iDEN phone has a more "wild" design, but in this case it might be the opposite. To me, the i880 has a more crazy, over-the-top design, and the i885 design seems slightly more conservative. They're both unique, though, and both a bit "sci-fi" looking.

Look for the i880 to hit shelves around the end of October, and the i885 soon after.


Last week, Motorola announced a pair of new 3G phones: the MOTORAZR V3xx and MOTORAZR V3maxx:

Officially, these are only announced for Europe as HSDPA phones, although various comments from Motorola executives have hinted at one or both of these designs eventually coming to the U.S. in some way.

When we first saw the V3xx, we assumed it was the same exact size as the original RAZR V3 and V3i. In reality, the V3xx is slightly longer, to accommodate the extra HSDPA circuitry. It's still just as thin, though.

The V3xx and V3maxx are roughly similar in size. The V3maxx is the one with the new (and quite striking) design. The white vertical strips on the front light up blue, although in the final version they will disappear into the black face when not lit. The maxx also has touch-sensitive media keys on the front, just like the new KRZR K1m.


The W375 is a new, entry-level clamshell GSM phone:

Instead of a full external display, the W375 has a column of fixed indicator lights on the outside in the shape of icons. A little envelope lights up to show when you have a new message, etc. (Unfortunately, the lights weren't activated yet on the early prototype we tried.)

What's really interesting about the W375 is the clear RAZR / KRZR influence on the design. In many ways, the W375 is an entry-level version of the KRZR K1. The overall shape, curves, hinge design, keypad design... is all just like the KRZR, but simplified and made much more affordable.

A W370 is also in the works, which will be the same exact phone, just without a camera. The W370 is expected to come to the U.S. in early 2007.

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Jul 24, 2006, 10:50 PM

Moto copying LG?!?! Who would have thought....

I guess Moto is trying to trump LG at its own game by using touch sensitive buttons on the KRZR. While this phone looks pretty nice...I'd still rather have a Chocolate.
im sure the KRZR will be a lot cheaper than the Chocolate though... im looking at the KRZR phone or the SLVR L7c
Dude. Simply LG copied Moto's original but unprotected idea (well, it's not need to be patent because it's like PDLC or Touchpad within materials) while Moto is struggling to execute their own idea (Read all news archives how bad Moto delivered their ...

Aug 4, 2006, 9:25 PM

For those in the wireless industry...

Your opinions from selling phones and seeing them returned/exhanged.
Scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 the best:

Build quality-

Build quality-

Heres mine.

8.5 (maybe 9)

6 (maybe 6.5)
7 (mayyyybe Cool

Let it begin!

Motorola: v325, v325i, KRZR
Reliability- 8
Build quality- 8
Reception- 9.5

Dec 4, 2006, 3:45 PM

Availability of H601 Bluetooth headset in US

Anyone know more specifically when the H601 will be available in the US? And is this the same as the H670 in UK? Thanks in advance.

Aug 5, 2006, 8:54 AM


Sorry Nokia Nokia but Nokia phones just arene't very attractive. You speek as though Motorola's are ugly, yet Nokia (excluding their 3rd Q portfolio) has manufactured some of the ugliest phone over the last 2 years. Motorola is arguably the most groundbreaking cell phone company when it comes to the design. I'll never say that Nokia's don't get excellent reception, but they are ugly.
Ditto that! Good reply Djanifer9512

Jul 25, 2006, 12:40 AM

This phone is garbage!!!

All Motorola phones are garbage. They should come with garbage can, so you can throw the phone away once you get it. Cause thats where its gonna end up anyways. Theyre phones break too easily. I mean seriously, does Motorola have any other designs? They keep coming out with the same type of design....and their phones dont even have an operating system.
Gee NokiaNokia, I wonder why you bash Motorola. What brand could you possibly like.
hahah this post is unreal.
I have a RAZR, nonstop glitches and horrible battery (Thanks Verizon UI). But the design is still better than anything Nokia has out... What did it take them, a full year for the 8800 to get to market and it still is $500... Nokia sux.
hey well i want you to hear something really really cool and actually enlightening.... ready.... ready.... nokia sucks for technology!!! lol who would put an FM radio in a phone??? lol why dont we just make it a cd player too.... lol get to know compa...
Man, motorolas and nokias suck equally as bad. They are the two worst brands for cell phones. There's no point in arguing which one is better. They're both trash.
Speaking of garbage. This post is verbatim what you said of the first Moto 2006 aticle. STFU already.
Not garbage! Sales of Razr over 50 million surpassing that of the ipod!

Sales numbers don't lie! If it were garbage as you claim; no one would buy it!

It is the hottest cellphone in the world! Period.
Atavist Arise

Jul 27, 2006, 9:17 PM

oh, motorola

you bore me.

Every phone you have released lately has that wonderful RAZR (shoon to bwe shortened to RR, when they release the KRZYRAZR V3XivM^3) look and feel to it.

This, I am not a fan of.

what if every car produced by Chevy looked entirely the same... not very fun is it?

in a business where people shoot for looks, it's either innovate or die.
Motorola is not innovative....they'll use the same design over and over and now they're copying LG with the touch sensitive controls and Samsung withe the sliders.

Give it up Motorola! there are only sooo many idiots in the world. The rest of us...
Very interesting subject. While I understand the comment that everything has the same wonderful RAZR look and feel to it, I think they are very far from everything looking entirely the same. I agree that it would not be very fun if every car produce...
Atavist Arise said:
what if every car produced by Chevy looked entirely the same... not very fun is it?

Thats true... probably why I'll never buy a Chevy. =)

I agree its a little boring for all the designs to be ...
I love the look of the Razr and plan on buying the V3xx when it comes out!

Hope it is in black, blue and lime; not the ugly gunmetal Grey that is so ugly! Even my gunsmith hate the color and he works on guns for a living and love the color of bl...

Jul 27, 2006, 2:04 AM

cdma version have verizon ui??

will the verizon cdma version of the phone have the moto ui? or will it have the verizon one?

in my opinion, i really hate the verizon ui. so much that if this phone has it, i probably wouldn't get it.
all non-smartphones on verizon have their UI. they way i understand it, there is no choice in the matter. either it gets verizon's ui or it's not sold on their network.

Aug 7, 2006, 9:55 AM


I had a customer come into my store with a a1200.

How much does the maxx resemble the a12?
Say what? Confused

Not at all. This is the MOTORAZR V3maxx (on the right): ... »

...and this is the A1200: »

The A1200 is ...

Jul 26, 2006, 10:55 PM


I thought the endless hordes of slack-jawed yokels parading to my store to see one of "dem Razr fones" was finally coming to an end, and now all this happens!
lol Laughing

Aug 4, 2006, 6:53 PM

OMG Finally!!!

finally!! Motorola makes a truely high-end iDen phone!

But why does the i885 not have the external music controls like the i880?
Gertie Knock-Off

Aug 4, 2006, 4:14 PM

Peace Corps FONE / Working Assets (Sprint MVNO)

Just a thought.

The FONE series might end up being one less thing to give people culture shock.

Aug 4, 2006, 10:25 AM

Which Networks will carry these phones?

I'm a Cingular subscriber, and I'll be eligible for a new phone in January of 07...

It looks like these will be out then, but will Cingular have them? I'm assuming yes, since it's a GSM phone...

Anyone know the scoop on this?

Jul 24, 2006, 7:56 PM


I wonder, will the GSM KRZR come with HSDPA or something? I assume that when it comes out late this year or early next year, It will be through Cingular Wireless, which has made a strong push on their 3G network. Soo, you'd think it would support HSDPA or something no?..

Either way though, im very excited for the KRZR to arrive.

Hmm, I bet it'll cost like $300+ when it does.

Rolling Eyes Sho, I'd pay that much.
No. The GSM KRZR is strictly 2G (for now).

The new HSDPA phones are the RAZR XX and RARZ MAXX. The versions announced today are only for Europe, Asia, etc, but in theory one of those could get a US version.

I doubt it would be both, so I hope it...
Sam K

Jul 25, 2006, 10:02 AM

With the KRZR you forgot to mention...

...the A2DP bluetooth profile. The GSM version gets it but neither CDMA versions will get it. That stinks. The only way I would have considered getting this phone is if the US CDMA version had the 2 megapixel camera, QVGA screen and A2DP bluetooth profile.
Are you sure that the cdma version doesn't have a2dp? In the article it says that both the KRZR and RIZR will have a2dp but doesn't mention anymore than that.

Jul 28, 2006, 11:32 AM

Will this phone work on Sprint's U.S. Network?

Wondering if KRZR will work on Sprint's U.S. Network? Anyone know?
sure it will "work" as it is CDMA but i could promise you they won't pick it up, they'll just clone it.

Jul 30, 2006, 5:47 PM

When is the Rizr coming out

Mad what the ****!!!all this info and no freaking release date!!!!**** you!!!!does anyone when it comes out?

Jul 24, 2006, 11:09 PM


What airline did you all use to get to Capetown?

South African Airways?

I was in Cape Town SA last dec-jan. I am going back for my wedding reception becuase my fiance is from Jo-Berg. I flew SA Airways and she went Royal...something... I can't remember. But SA Airways is the only way to go.... she said her plane was so o...
Rich, Eric?

Jul 24, 2006, 11:23 PM


Will the GSM version only be available in blue or will it be available in both blue and grey? likewise for the CDMA...
Oh come on... this is Motorola we're talking about! Rolling Eyes

There will be one color, followed closely by another. A few months later, there will be a third color.

...and then, exactly 7.2 months later, 17 more colors.

...just like all of thei...
... ... »

check out the moto link for the krzr. it has the colors for the planned 1st and 2nd launches plus the GSM and CDMA colors. hope this helps.

Jul 26, 2006, 10:08 AM


Has anyone seen the actual dimensions for the KRZR or the RIZR?
although these are not official dimensions, i'm told that the rizr measures

106mm x 46mm x 16mm

the KRZR is about 3 or 4 mm narrower.

Jul 24, 2006, 7:27 PM


Great Article! Will the Motorola Slider phone be released for verizon>?? If so anytime soon?
No word on a CDMA RIZR yet.

They just announced a CDMA SLVR. At least they are doing a CDMA KRZR.
on the moto web site the date on the display KRZR phone says 11/30/06. maybe a hint of a possible release date?
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