After making huge profits on the market with the RAZR model, Motorola decided to continue the series with a technologically updated handset � Motorola KRZR K1. Even if the new clamshell features few innovations, we can easily tell that Motorola created another masterpiece. Unfortunately, it only applies in terms of design, but that didn't hurt the success of the handset which became the rightful disciple of Motorola RAZR. The phone has been a success even before being available, because of the huge mass of potential buyers. Those that will buy the phone most probably owned or would like to own a RAZR-like phone, preferably from Motorola's lineup.
Announced in July 2006, the phone has been made available on the market in September same year, in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Codenamed "Canary", Motorola KRZR K1 can be acquired for no more than 300 USD.
Motorola's words were: "The exquisite sleek design perfectly balances craftsmanship and functionality to offer a seamless experience to every user." But does it really manage to do that?
Born right in the middle of the "race for slimness", when all brands were trying to overcome the 15 mm thickness, KRZR K1 has been one of the first clamshells to feature 16 mm thickness. Unlike its predecessor, K1 is narrower, but a little bit longer. Its exact measures are 103 (174) x 42 x 16 mm and it weighs 102 grams (including battery), that's 5 mm longer but also 11 mm narrower than the RAZR model.
The glossy surface of the phone, recommends it for fashionistas or trendsetters that are looking for sparkling accessories. One of the reasons for Motorola to launch a limited edition that features a Champagne Gold color, but could be bought for the same price as the Blue color version, 300 bucks.
The big 4-way control (pushing the middle of the button gives you access to the main menu) key helps users navigate the menu together with the 2 contextual keys, which are marked by two dots. Besides the green/red accept/end call keys there is also another key that gives users direct access to the Internet (through the integrated browser). The phone features the usual backlighting system if you wanna dial in the dark. Unfortunately the phone's sales package is somewhat poor, and only contains a charger, 128 MB microSD card and microSD adapter, a black pouch for protection and the user guide. There are no headphones, headsets, data cable or any software included, you'll have to buy those separately.
Display and Camera
Motorola KRZR K1 features a graphical TFT main display which supports 65k colors and 176 x 220 pixels resolution. The brightness of the screen can be set to whatever intensity you want, but beware that the more bright it will be the bigger the energy consumption. A medium brightness will also offer you the possibility to see the main display when you're outdoors in those sunny days. Even if the KRZR's display supports less than RAZR's 256k colors, Motorola still embedded a competitive TFT display. Although a little bit bigger would've been much better, especially when displaying Internet pages.
If you want to record clips you can opt for a small resolution (128 x 96 pixels) or for a medium resolution (176 x 144 pixels). Depending on what resolution and quality you choose, the phone will be able to record 25 minutes at max. Clips captured in small resolutions are in 3GPP format while those in medium resolutions are in MPEG4 format. Overall the camera performs much better than other new introduced features like EDGE or Bluetooth 2.0.
Menu and Software
The Tools category contains the network operator services, a simple calculator (which also includes a currency converter), a datebook (some sort of organizer), a rudimentary alarm clock, dialing services, activation list, voice record (no more than 1 minute) and Web shortcuts. Games & Apps category only includes Java software that you want to install after you buy the phone, except for a Digital Audio Player included which is used for playing music. The WebAccess category, just like it says, gives users access to the Internet through different access points which can be set in advance or installed by the network operator. You can choose which access point to be used by default when you want to connect to the Internet through the Web Session option.
The last of the 9 main categories, Settings is the largest and you can do most of the important stuff from here. There are 12 subcategories: Personalise (customize main menu, display and voice dial), Ring Styles, Call Divert, In-Call Setup (Call Waiting, Fax, Caller ID, Answer Options), Initial Setup (Time and Date setting, Speed Dial, Auto Redial, Backlight, Language, Text Marquee, Scroll, Display Timeout, Brightness, DTMF, Master Reset and Master Clear), Phone Status, Headset, Car Settings, Airplane Mode, Network, Security and Java Settings.
Motorola KRZR K1 doesn't feature an operating system but includes Java MIDP 2.0 CLDC 1.1, with 900 KB free memory. That will enable users to install third party Java applications in that small memory limit (900 KB). As Motorola doesn't include in the package any software you can use P2k file manager when you synchronize your phone through an USB connection. And if you want more you can "hack" your phone with the help of a Seem bit editor. I strongly recommend that you don't touch your phone's software unless you read some documentation and then ... more documentation. How can you do that? Hmmm ... Google it:) Screenshots were taken using MSnap after synchronizing the phone with the PC.
I have used the browsing feature with the GPRS connectivity but the integrated browser didn't display all the pages, so I installed Opera mini which worked like a charm. But don't expect too much from it, as the small display will drive you crazy. The GPRS connection was the only one tested and you can see from the results in the screenshots that is working in parameters.
The quad band (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) network compatible handset has a good signal reception, but unfortunately the sound is too "low" and you'll surely have troubles hearing the other caller when in noisy areas.
Processor and Memory
KRZR K1 features a "weak" ARM7 family processor which runs at 67 Mhz speed. The phone also embeds 20 MB internal memory and a microSD slot card for memory expansion, which is located right above the SIM. Also bear in mind that because of the low Java memory accessible (900 KB) you won't be able to run any Java compatible applications while USB connection is active. You'll also experience big time lags when navigating through the various commands of the menu, because of the low speed processor.
As we didn't receive any headphones with the phone, because the sales package doesn't include any (doh) we couldn't make any sound tests. Anyway we have used the external speaker of the phone to listen to some music and the sound was pretty low. Low sound means no distortions but just like its predecessor we couldn't hear any bass at all � it's all highs baby. Even if Motorola included two music players, both are mediocre and offer little to "comfort" the music lovers. Technically the phone supports Midi, MP3, AAC, AAC+ formats and the Stereo Bluetooth wireless technology for headsets.
The terminal features a 700 mAh Li-Ion battery which by Motorola's statement should last about 300 hours in standby mode and almost 6 hours in talk time mode. The brightness of the display is a major power consumption so I suggest you keep it at level 2 or 3. If you do that and don't talk more than 10 minutes per day your battery will last about 6-7 days. Even without the SIM the phone didn't last 300 hours (that's more than 12 days). The plain truth is that you can't talk more than 3.5 hours without recharging the battery.