As we mentioned last Friday, Skatter Tech was able to get a hold of the brand new Motorola KRZR K1m for Verizon Wireless. The KRZR’s features include a 1.3MP camera, MicroSD, speaker phone, external iPod-like touch-sensitive controls, Bluetooth, and V Cast Music/Video. We had high expectations and hoped that the phone would be as good as it looked, unfortunately we ended up being quite disappointed.
Motorola KRZR K1m Specs:
- Provider: Verizon Wireless (CDMA)
- Form Factor: Clamshell Flip Phone
- Dimensions: 4.05H x 1.73W x 0.67D (inches)
- Weight / Battery Life: 3.6oz / 4hrs30mins
- Digital Camera: 1.3 megapixels
- Storage Space: MicroSD expansion (2GB max)
- Communications: Bluetooth + USB
- Others: Speaker Phone and Music Controls
- Price: $199 with new 2 year contract
KRZR Body – 5/5 stars
The shape of the KRZR is much more comfortable and natural to hold compared the RAZR. The phone is way skinnier than the RAZR, but is slightly thicker and taller. At first glance the phone looks expensive, sleek, slim, and glossy, however just as a PSP or an iPod the, KRZR’s coat is prone to fingerprints from even the slightest touch. Motorola has improvised the keypad dividing them with more natural grooves which helps finding keys, without looking, much easier.
Digital Camera – 2/5 stars
The KRZR’s 1.3 megapixel camera is pretty much the same as the one in the RAZR v3m. Other KRZR models have a 2 megapixel camera, however Verizon’s K1m has been cut down to keep prices low. Motorola has also failed to add a flash to the phone, which although not too powerful often will be handy when taking close up shots in the dark.
Display – 4/5 stars
The internal display is much crisper and brighter than that of the Motorola v3m. However it is extremely delicate and placing even the slightest amount of pressure causes the “ripple effect” in the LCD which may damage the display. The external display is a bit dull and with the fingerprints all over, it may be hard to see in sunlight.
Music Playback – 4/5 stars
Unlike the RAZR, the KRZR supports Mp3 playback as well as WMA and V Cast Music. Verizon’s Media Player is well developed and makes browsing through music easy. Users can view songs by artists, albums, genres, or search just as iPods do. The media player also offers the use of playlists, library shuffle, and even display’s album art. The #1 problem is that users must navigate through many menus before they can get their music started. (Can be annoying for people who plan to listen to music a lot.)
External Controls – 3/5 stars
The addition of external touch-sensitive music controls, which the RAZR lacks, was a good concept, but is flawed. There is no way for a user to start music playback from the external controls, the phone must be opened to do so. The controls are also sometimes too sensitive and the current song may be skipped or paused when the phone is picked up.
Speakers – 4/5 stars
The speaker phone quality is quite clear and has minimal or no static. It sounds more clear and is louder than that of the RAZR, however it is still poorly position on the back of the phone. Both music playback and speakerphone will sound muffled if the phone is in your hand.
MicroSD – 3/5 stars
The KRZR now supports use of up to 2GB MicroSD cards. The space can be used for image, video, and music storage. The card slot is unfortunately placed underneath the battery pack lid making it a hassle to get to. If you don’t have a USB cable and the drivers to sync music back and forth, it will be a pain to remove the card every time to transfer files.
Bluetooth – 5/5
Because Verizon has finally “un-crippled” the Bluetooth, the KRZR can now send phonebook entries, pictures, and other data between devices. When testing the handsfree feature with the Lexus IS250, we found that he KRZR now sends the phone’s signal strength, battery level, and other data to the car’s display, unlike the RAZR.
Overall the KRZR is a decent upgrade from the RAZR v3m. There is however a major lack of innovation. Even so, the KRZR will probably be replacing the current RAZR’s place in the market. If all you need is a phone with basic features that can make calls and looks good, this maybe for you. If you are picky and like customizable feature packed phones, there’s not much that the KRZR can offer. The phone is a bit pricy, currently about $199 with a new 2 year contract or $99 for existing customers eligible for upgrade.
Update: Verizon currently charges about $30 for a USB cable and some drivers, but if you already have the cable and are just looking for the drivers you can get it from the link below. Once installed, your phone will be detected as a portable audio device and you will now be able to sync the music in your Windows Media Player Library with your KRZR. After installing you may need to restart your machine. But once complete you will be able to use your computer to charge your KRZR and sync music. To start, go to Get It Now -> Music -> Sync.
Download: Moto_KRZR_Driver.zip (Note: driver found on developer.motorola.com)
Update: If the driver above doesn’t work, try installing the patch from Verizon’s site.
Download: Sync_Music_Fix.exe [Thanks for the info Elizabeth]