At an event in New York City today, Motorola took the wraps off its new collection of mobile devices, including a new version of its highly successful RAZR phone, a new version of its ROKR music phone, an updated version of its Windows Mobile-based Q smartphone, and a new self-proclaimed "media monster," the Moto Z8 phone.
"This focused new product portfolio further advances Motorola’s goal of bringing the ultimate mobile experience to customers around the globe," said Ed Zander, Motorola’s chairman and CEO. "Built on a cutting-edge technology platform, these devices feature powerful multimedia, messaging and innovative business capabilities. With this exciting product line-up, Motorola is once again redefining the cell phone for the world’s evolving mobile community."
First up, the Moto Z8, the "media monster" phone Zander teased in comments last week. Motorola is billing the Z8 as the world’s first "kick-slider" phone, which slides open and then "kicks" or tilts to offer a face-hugging profile. The Z8 is all about mobile entertainment, offering video and music capabilities and a 512 MB memory card in the box preloaded with feature film The Bourne Identity. "Today’s media hungry consumers have a hectic, time-pressured, mobile life and they want to be able to access their content whenever and wherever they are," said Jeremy Dale, VP of Motorola’s Mobile Devices Global Marketing, Motorola. "We believe the Z8 is the best multimedia platform on a phone today that allows consumers to listen to music, download video, create blogs, and store memories simply and seamlessly."
The Z8 sports OMAP2420 and ARM 11 processors which offer a multitasking environment; using the phone’s 3.6Mbps HSDPS connectivity, a user can listen to music and surf the Internet at the same time. The device features dedicated music keys, offers about 80 MB of free internal memory (expandable via microSD cards), and support for QVGA video at 30 frames per second in either portrait or landscape mode. The Z8 also offers Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a video-capable camera with 8× zoom, and an integrated UI for one-click picture and video sharing, or uploading content to online services like Flickr, YouTube, and MySpace. Also on board: applications from BSkyB enabling users to tap into over 30 television channels and use their phones to program their Sky set-top boxes. Support for podcast.com also means users can download audio and video podcasts directly to their handsets. Motorola is also beefing up its relationship with Electronic Arts to offer improved gaming for the Z8.
Sound intriguing? North American customers will just have to wait: the Z8 will ship in Europe and Asia in June, and Motorola hasn’t announced any pricing, or any details on when (or if) the Z8 will hit North American carriers.
Next up, Motorola’s RAZR2 updates Motorola’s highly successful thinline clamshell phone. The new RAZR shaves 2mm off the thickness of the original RAZR, offers a 2-inch external LCD display and a 2.2-inch internal screen with twice the resolution of the original RAZR. Motorola’s also beefed up the unit with a stainless steel frame, chemically-hardened glass, and a stress-tested hinge. Motorola is rolling out 3G HSDPA, ECDO/CDMA, and GSM versions of the RAZR2, including some versions which run Linux/Java. The phones will offer Bluetooth connectivity, up to 2 GB of internal memory, compatibility with Windows Media Player 11, a full HTML browser, and a 2 megapixel camera. The RAZR2 will launch in July, although the company has already opened up pre-ordering; pricing will vary by region, but Motorola wants to make the RAZR2 available everywhere.
Motorola has also updated its ROKR line of music phones with the ROKR Z6/ The Z6 ditches the line’s past connection with Apple’s iTunes service and instead hooks up with Napster, offering ROKR Z6 owners one month of free unlimited access to Napster as the first of several cross-promotional efforts, with the companies also promising to explore enabling users to load tracks from Napster to their handsets directly. The ROKR Z6 acts as a plug and play music device with Windows Media Player 10 and 11 with fast syncing via USB 2.0 connectivity; the phone offers microSD storage and promises up to 10 hours of music listening time per battery charge. The ROKR pauses your music when calls come through, and supports album art and playlists from Windows Media Player, and enables users to search by genre, artist, and other criteria. But, again, North American consumers get to wait a little bit: the Z6 will hit Asian markets in May (and will hook in with Motorola’s music store in China) with Latin America, Europe, and North America getting the phone in June. No pricing information has been released—although Motorola is touting its new S9 Bluetooth wrap-around headset for music fans.
Finally, Motorola also announced an update to its QWERTY-keyboard equipped, Windows Mobile-based Moto Q 9 smartphone. The new Q9 boasts Windows Mobile 6 and HSDPA/UMTS mobile broadband, enabling users to manage their communications and their media wherever they go. The Q can handle up to eight mailboxes (including AOL mail, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, and other services), along with instant messaging, MMS and SMS messaging. The unit ships with 96 MB of RAM, 256 MB of Flash memory, microSD storage expansion, and the built-in Windows Mobile applications enable users to view and edit common business documents on the go. (Plus, you know, calendaring, contacts, Web-browsing, and multimedia playback capability.) The Q also boasts a video-capable 2 megapixel camera with 8× digital zoom, Bluetooth wireless technology, and can tie into enterprise messaging and communication systems. The Motorola Q9 ships in Italy this week—where that HSDPA mobile broadband practically grows on trees; a GSM-savvy Q8 is expected to ship in additional markets over next few months, although no pricing information has been given.