Review: Motorola krave ZN4
Beneath its touch cover, the Krave is a rather pedantic touchscreen cellphone; in size and feel, it's a bit smaller than both the Samsung Instinct and one of Verizon's other touchscreen models, the LG Dare.
Krave's front face is dominated by an extra long (or, when turned horizontal, extra wide) 240 x 400 pixel 2.8-inch touch screen. Above the screen is a small white backlit Home key on the left and a small red backlit Power key. Both these keys are covered when the touch cover is down.
AD article continues below...
All the Krave's other keys are located around its perimeter. One the left side are its microUSB power jack, the volume up/down toggle and a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack; both the jacks are annoyingly covered with rubber flaps. On the right side are the direct access camera control/shutter release, the microSD card slot, the voice control key, and an MP3 player-like sliding lock switch that disables the touch cover's touch capability. When slid up/off, the touch cover becomes just a protective screen.
The volume toggle increases or lowers the ringtone volume, but for some reason works only with the touch cover flipped up.
Even though Krave's primary earpiece is located at the top end of the touch cover (when its flipped up) just as it is on any flip phone, there's also a speaker in the Krave's chin for speakerphone and music listening. The touch cover earpiece is actually double-sided, enabling it to funnel through music from the chin speaker when the cover is down, and acts as an acoustic port for Motorola's Crystal Talk technology when flipped up.
While the touch cover lets you reach out and touch the touchscreen, it is completely in the way when you use the touch QWERTY keyboard, which only presents itself when the phone is rotated to horizontal. When the touch cover is up, there's no way to situate the phone in your left hand to comfortably tap keys with your left thumb. You can't remove the touch cover, and you can't operate the keyboard when the cover is down because closing it ends whatever application you happen to be in. There is no solution to these annoyingly awkward ergonomics other than tapping out text with one finger on your right hand, which defeats the whole purpose of a thumbpad. In portrait mode, you get a standard alphanumeric dial pad, so you do have the option of using iTAP predictive text input for plain text input. But this is not a positive choice, more like the lesser of two evils. For one thing, iTAP is nearly useless for adding names to your address book input. Since there is a QWERTY keypad, you shouldn't be backed into this less productive alternative.
When holding the phone to your ear during a call, the raised touch cover gives a bit; it feels like if you press it too hard to your face it might actually give way. It won't, but you'll keep your finger up to brace it, adding even more fingerprint smudges to it.
On the Krave's rubberized rear is the 2 MP camera lens, smartly recessed since your palm or finger is bound to rub across it as you handle the phone.
Review: HTC U11
The U11 is HTC's flagship smartphone for 2017. It competes directly with the iPhone 7 Plus, G6, and Galaxy S8+.
New Qualcomm Tech Aims to Bring High-Quality AR and VR Mainstream
Aug 15, 2017
Qualcomm today announced a major expansion of Spectra, its effort to offer manufacturers a drop-in hardware and software solution for easily and affordably adding advanced camera technology to phones and other devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. The expanded Spectra suite includes three new hardware camera modules.
Alcatel 5 Series to Serve As TCL's Budget Flagship Phone
Feb 24, 2018
TCL today announced the Alcatel 5 Series, an Android handset that TCL describes as an "affordable flagship." The phone has a brushed metallic unibody design with a rear-mounted fingerprint reader and face ID for rapid unlocking. Core features include a 5.7-inch display with HD+ (1,440 by 720) resolution and the 18:9 aspect ratio.
Google Intros 'Zero-Touch' Android Enterprise Deployments
Sep 21, 2017
Google today made it easier for businesses to configure and deploy Android handsets to employees with a new tool called zero-touch enrollment. Google says zero-touch lets companies configure purchased devices and ship them directly to employees completely preconfigured with corporate policies and controls all in place.
Qualcomm's New Fingerprint Sensors Work Under Water and Through Metal
Jun 27, 2017
Qualcomm today announced its next-generation fingerprint sensors for displays, metal, and glass. Qualcomm says it created the new sensors for today's demanding mobile designs, which are moving towards bezel-less, glass-and-metal hardware.