Motorola Z3 Rizr Review- Coming Soon to a Museum Near you

By: Darren Evans

When the RIZR Z3 was launched by Motorola, the first impressions were of a sliding version of the popular RAZR series, but in hindsight it has proven to be a little outdated upon release and not quite as slim-line & compact as it should have been. I've taken a look and see where it went wrong and where it managed to keep up with the competition.

The first feature that does deserve some praise is in the quality-of construction. Though it measures in at 16mm thick (a lot more than the Samsung Ultra-series which it's trying to compete with), the fact that it feels very solid offers a little consolation. The sliding action requires little effort and seems to function perfectly without any necessary cajoling.

Though the handset itself fees relatively firm, the materials used have a kind-of rubbery effect and in my opinion aren't nice to see, as they make the handset feel cheaply made. This sentiment carries on all around the handset and because of this I never felt comfortable when using the Z3.

The keypad (most of which is lifted straight from the RAZR) is itself easy to use and isn't hindered too much by Motorola's confusing and difficult UI (User Interface) though the usability isn't helped by the fact that again, the materials used are of a very poor quality and remind me a little of toy-phones found in the Early Learning Centre, except in there the materials used are slightly better.

Another avoidable drawback is in the UI which is still the same overly-complicated, unattractive mess we're all used to seeing in Motorola phones and is in danger of being offered residency in the Natural History Museum next to the cavemen as it's so outdated. Though they clearly wanted to make the RIZR the sliding equivalent of a RAZR, it would have been nice if they'd focused a little attention on the UI rather than just on the appearance (which I personally feel they got wrong as well.)

To briefly put this review on a positive note, the enclosed 2MP camera is one of Motorola's better offerings in this field and even though the lack of autofocus limits the usability a little, this is an improvement on the below-par offering seen in the KRZR K1. Even if it's no match for better-equipped 2MP cameraphones such as the Sony Ericsson K750i or Nokia 6300, it's an improvement and possibly a future sign of Motorola finally taking the idea of a cameraphones seriously.

Even if the theoretical idea of a sliding RAZR makes a lot of sense considering that handsets enduring popularity, the ideas have to be implemented properly to capture the buying-public's imagination. With the Z3 RIZR, Motorola have come up with an adequate looking device that's let down by the Fisher-Price materials and out of date UI. When you think that this was made to compete with the Samsung Ultra-Series, it's easy to understand why Motorola's Mobile division has faired so poorly in the last year.

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