Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:53:22 PM
Kodak Gallery is a great and easy way of storing all your photos and ordering prints.
The inclusion of Wi-Fi doesn?t make up for the lack of HSDPA or 3G.
With many manufacturers happily showcasing their eight-megapixel devices, we drew a sigh of relief at the arrival of Motorola’s first five-megapixel camera phone, the MOTOZINE ZN5.
It has been a tough 12 months for the American manufacturer. Rumours of in-house discontent have not been helped by the Motorola conveyor belt slowing down to a snail’s pace, something the likes of LG and HTC have been quick to capitalise on. In a bid to turn things around, the manufacturer has teamed up with Kodak to create the ZN5.
But does it hit the mark?
The ZN5 is a candybar phone with substantial girth. It may not be as wide as the likes of the Nokia E71 or BlackBerry Bold, but both those devices sport a full QWERTY keyboard. However, there is no such excuse with the MOTOZINE ZN5. The keypad is flat with each key represented with the slightest of raised glistening studs. Despite the width of the device, the buttons are a little crowded, and we found ourselves occasionally pressing the wrong key.
The circular navigation key, which is pivotal to the keypad, engulfs the fiddly command key. On the right-hand side of the device is a locking switch that works in much the same way as with the iPod. We actually prefer this way of securing your keypad rather than the more traditional combination of key presses. Below the locking system is the camera key; above are the volume keys, which also double up as zooming keys in camera mode.
Motorola has teamed up with photography giant Kodak to give the device some extra clout. The lens needs to be slid open manually to automatically fire up the camera; however, it adds a slight feeling of unevenness, as the end of the phone with the lens protrudes and is heavier.
We were keen to find out Kodak’s impact on the phone’s performance. The view on the screen when in camera mode is both vibrant and clear, although it was a tad juddery. The more observant of you will notice that when using the camera, three additional icons found on the keypad come into play. One of which is a shortcut key to your album. After you have taken a shot, the remaining two icons will illuminate, indicating that they can both be pressed – one to simply discard the photo, the other to share it, either via MMS, email, Bluetooth or by submitting it to the Kodak Gallery.
The gallery allows you to submit and store your photos in one safe place, and also provides an easy way to order prints of your photos. A standard 6x4-inch photo costs 15p, and you can even order a mug with your selected photo printed on it. Alternatively, simply create and share albums with friends and family. It is a great service and is a cinch to sign up to. Simply enter your email address and a password and you are good to go.
We initially found the quality of photos to be excellent, particularly when viewed on Kodak Gallery. However, when we used the zoom (up to 4x) the pictures became increasingly grainy. There is also a lack of camera features. Even mainstay camera features, such as the ability to shoot in black and white, are missing. Having said this, Motorola has found room for a bright Xenon flash that enables some decent night time shots.
Video wise, the MOTOZINE ZN5 is only capable of capturing up to 15 frames per second (fps). To achieve DVD quality, a video camera needs to be able to record a minimum of 30fps, something the Motorola Z10 prided itself on being able to do. With the ZN5 only able to record at half this speed, it seems a case of two steps forward, one step back.
One feature on the ZN5 we were taken with was the TV-out function. Switch this mode on under the settings menu, connect the TV-out cables to your TV and see your handset’s display on the big screen. View you videos, pictures and webpages, or play one of the two on-board games; Tetris and Jamdat Sudoku.
Bizarrely, Motorola has taken the decision to omit not only HSDPA, but also 3G from the ZN5. To compound this odd decision, the ZN5 does boast
Wi-Fi. Logging on via a Wi-Fi connection was simple, and you can save particular connections so that your phone will automatically pair up to that Wi-Fi connection each time you are back in that hotspot.
Unfortunately, If you find yourself outside of one of these zones, you will need to rely on a GPRS connection.
The MOTOZINE ZN5 allows you to open up to five different internet windows at any one time; however, we found that sites with a vast amount of content on display had to be viewed in pages.
The ZN5’s overall camera experience is a plus, with the ease and usability of the Kodak Gallery scoring the phone extra points. However, too many aspects of the ZN5 left us disappointed, from the lack of 3G to the design of the phone. Even the features we did like, such as the TV-out function,
had drawbacks. Come on Motorola, we are routing for you, but you need to up your game.