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Review: Motorola Z9

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

The Z9 has no lack of messaging features. In fact, out of the box, many of the shortcuts are set to help you jump into your messaging applications all the faster. Hit "up" on the D-pad, and the Z9 will automatically create a new text message. "Right" launches the IM application, and "left" launches email. Of course, these shortcuts are user configurable. You can also choose to go to the main menu and select the messaging center from there.

Messaging  

The messaging center provides access to everything in one place. All your in boxes appear here, and it gives you a quick glance at all the messages awaiting your attention. You can create any sort of message from here, and the options menu lets you organize the messaging center so that the types of message you send/receive most often are where you want them to be. Also included is a memory meter, which tells you how much of the Z9's memory is being devoted to messages.

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The Z9 lets you add the typical POP3 email accounts with ease, including Yahoo, Windows Live Mail, and AOL. Simply enter you user name and password, and the Z9 automatically takes care of all the back-end stuff. You're set up to go in no time. Unfortunately, the Z9 cannot be set up to automatically retrieve email. You have to manually sign in and check for email yourself. But given that this Z9 is not primarily an emailing machine, this should not bother too many people. With my Yahoo account, all the folders are spread across the top of the page in tabbed formation. You can scroll through all your folders easily by moving sideways.

Email  

The IM client needs to be saved to the phone before it can be used. So once you sign up with an account, it will download and install the appropriate software. It worked with no complaints.

Hitting "up" on the D-pad from the home screen will bring up a new SMS message. You can also create one from the messaging center. The predictive text is a little out of control if you ask me. It will offer to auto-complete your words for you, but provides suggestions on the presumption that you are a teenager and using SMS-speak. I began typing the word "What" and it automatically assumed I was attempting to type "Whatever". Hitting down in the D-pad lets you jump to other suggestions, but it always seemed to offer the wrong version of the word I wanted, like "prepared" instead of "prepare" or "thinking" instead of "thinks". I found the word predictor input only marginally useful.

You can switch the iTAP to several different languages, and to Tap Extended and Stroke Sequence. You can also turn the word predictive function in iTAP off. This ended up being the best bet for me in the end.

SMS  

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