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Motorola Rolls Out Four Mobile Phones At CES

The high-end phones feature music, video, and multimedia capabilities, while the less-costly ones aren't packed with as many features.

Motorola made a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday by introducing four new phones, two of which are enhanced versions of the phone maker's existing models.

All eyes are on Motorola's phones this week and not on the recent departure of its chief executive, Ed Zander, or the company's drop to the No. 3 spot from being the world's second-largest mobile phone supplier. Motorola wants the world to know that it's keeping up with consumer demands for multimedia-hungry phones and high-speed data access.

Motorola has tagged the new Moto Z10, unveiled at CES, as a "pocket-sized mobile film studio." It allows users to play and capture high-quality video, marry audio and video, and create storyboards with soundtracks directly on the phone. Film enthusiasts can then take their video and upload it on various social networking Web sites.

The Motorola Moto Z10 allows users to play and capture high-quality video, marry audio and video, and create storyboards with soundtracks on their phones.
(click for image gallery)

The Z10 uses UIQ, a software platform based on the Symbian operating system, which enables high-definition video, advanced messaging, blogging, and photo sharing, among other capabilities, on the phone. A powerful high-speed data network is essential to allow these capabilities to work the way they were intended to, so it's good news that the Z10 supports 3G cellular technology called HSDPA. It also works on GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks.

Motorola said the Z10 is the next phone in its multimedia series, but it looks and feels a lot like the Z8, which became available last year.

The Rokr E8 is a new addition to Motorola's Rokr family of music-centric phones. The E8's most notable feature is ModeShift, which transforms the phone into a music player. It's the first Motorola device to use the technology, the company said.

"With our unique ModeShift technology, we’re dispelling the myth that mobile phones with music features are inferior to standalone audio devices," said Stu Reed, president of Motorola's mobile devices group, in a statement.

Additionally, the E8 comes with a FastScroll navigation wheel for scrolling through different content on the phones with the slide of a thumb, CrystalTalk software that automatically adjusts the phone's volume in noisy environments, and support for Windows Media Player 11 (which allows users to transfer songs from a PC to the phone).

The E8 comes with 2 Gbytes of internal memory, which can hold up to 1,500 songs, and the external memory can be expanded to 4 Gbytes with a microSD card.

Motorola didn't provide pricing information for the Z10 or the E8. But as a comparison, phones in its Rokr product line sold by carriers in the United States start at $220, which is a high price tag for many mobile users.

In addition to multimedia lovers, Motorola is trying to capture users who want lower-end phones with the introduction of the W230 in a candy-bar form factor and the W270 in a clamshell form factor. Both phones come with music capabilities, expandable memory, and clear audio quality through CrystalTalk technology.

The Motorola W270 is a low-end phone with music capabilities, expandable memory, and clear audio in a clamshell form factor.
(click for image gallery)

Motorola hasn't disclosed pricing information for the W230 or the W270 either, but said they will be affordable.

All four phones will become available in the first quarter of this year.

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