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Motorola KRZR K1
It’s upto you how you pronounce it—'crazer', 'K-RAZR' or 'kerzer'—but Motorola’s KRZR K1 doesn’t jump out at you like the RAZR did once upon a time. Perhaps it’s because slim and shiny phones are no longer a novelty. Or perhaps it’s because the KRZR is just not different enough from the RAZR to warrant it’s own series.
Most simply, the KRZR is a narrow and thick version of the RAZR. My first experience (which still holds true) was that the RAZR was a little too wide. That has been solved with the KRZR, but while the phone is narrow, it’s also a bit longer. This combination of narrowness and length made me—and a lot of other people in the office—cringe the first time we looked at it. But after having used it for more than a week, I’ve begun to like it. A lot.
The KRZR has a shiny, glossy, mirror-finish on the top, unlike the brushed metal finish on the RAZR. The rear of the phone feels velvety or at least rubber-coated. On the inside, the keypad is also in the same indigo-purple color that the rest of the phone is in, and it has the same spiral design that the RAZR had, only its finer. The keys offer the same kind of tactile feedback as the RAZR. The KRZR doesn’t have the middle soft key like the V3i does—the center click of the navigation pad doubles up for it’s absence, but also causes a few problems (see UI section).
Even the display on the KRZR is a 176x220 resolution, 256k color TFT, which is the same as the RAZR. But since the phone is smaller, the display looks a little better, higher resolution, since the pixels are smaller and closer together. The secondary display is also 96x80, which shines out from under the mirror finish of the top.
The UI on the KRZR is the standard Motorola UI that’s found on any of their phones, with almost no tweaks. One problem I had was with the SMS composition screen (other than some of the iTap eccentricities): after you finish typing, the center key of the navigation pad doesn’t send the message —it brings up the Insert menu, with which you can add pictures or phone numbers etc. to the message. The right soft key is the Send key, which I thought was a little unintuitive. Other than that, the UI is mostly the same.
One thing I really do like about the UI is that its really, really fast. It’s as fast as the V3i.
Like the RAZR, the KRZR is also a quad-band GSM/GPRS phone, but there’s also EDGE support now. Bluetooth has been upgraded with stereo A2DP support, although it’s still v1.2.
The phone also has a standard miniUSB slot, and it also recharges from it like the V3i does. But the KRZR also shows up as a standard Mass Storage Device in Windows, so you can simply drag and drop music, movies, photos etc to and from the phone like any other drive. No iTunes required!
The phone comes with 20MB memory – double that of the RAZR. The microSD/TransFlash slot has been maintained. The card is placed on the rear under the battery cover, like the V3i. Even the E61 had a similar place for the memory card, and while it can be inconvenient in that phone, users of the KRZR or RAZR are less likely to switch memory cards as often.
Nothing much has changed here. You have your MP3/AAC player and you can use any MP3 as your ringtone. My current ringtone is Tigerskin’s 'Neontrance' from John Digweed’s 'Transitions' mix set. The MP3 player supports creation of playlists, but there’s no sort option. Also, viewing file details stops the playback. As mentioned before, there’s A2DP in this phone so you can listen to the tracks in stereo via Bluetooth.
There’s still no FM radio in this phone. The RAZR has been out for three years and Motorola knows that the whole of India still wishes it had FM. We were glad to see it in the budget FLIP W220, but why would they exclude it from the more expensive KRZR? Even the more multimedia-oriented KRZR K1m (with media playback keys on the outside) doesn’t have FM.
The upgraded 2-megapixel digital camera on the KRZR is good enough for a phone cam. There is no flash available, but the color reproduction is decent, black levels are good and there’s no unnecessary graininess.
There’s no auto-focus in the camera, so sharpness is a little missed.
Around the similar price range, the Samsung Ultra Edition 9.9 (SGH-D830) has a better 2-megapixel digital camera.
This phone has great battery life. On standard use with a fair amount of music playback and the necessary photography, we averaged more than three days. This comes after having a slightly lower powered battery than the RAZR (700mAh vs. 710mAh). Add to this standard USB recharging, and you’ll never worry about battery problems again!
I like the Motorola KRZR K1. Yeah, it isn’t a whole lot different from the RAZR, but this is where everyone goes wrong. It isn’t supposed to be. It isn’t really an upgrade to the RAZR—it’s a different series of phones, which is why it isn’t called a RAZR. I like it because it looks good and different, has a standard miniUSB slot by which I can drag and drop music, a microSD expansion slot, stereo Bluetooth A2DP support and great battery life. I like the Motorola KRZR K1. I would have liked an FM radio tuner, which would have put this phone in my upcoming 'All-in-one Phones Under Rs. 20,000' feature, but alas...
The phone costs Rs. 16,000, which seems a little high, but that’s necessary to differentiate it and make it 'premium' from the RAZR. I think its a fair price to pay.