informa
/
2 MIN READ
Commentary

Motorola Rolls Out The Krave, A Touch-Based Phone

Motorola and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to offer the Krave, a mass-market minded handset that uses touch technology. At first blush, there's a lot to like about the Krave. Is Motorola's attempt at a touch phone a worthy competitor to the myriad of touch devices already in the market?
Motorola and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to offer the Krave, a mass-market minded handset that uses touch technology. At first blush, there's a lot to like about the Krave. Is Motorola's attempt at a touch phone a worthy competitor to the myriad of touch devices already in the market?Motorola needs this phone. It may not be perfect, but it is a solid entry in the touch-based phone segment and bests some of the competition for several reasons. First, a rundown of the specs.

The Krave offers plenty of radios. It contains EV-DO for 3G wireless data, GPS, Bluetooth v2.0 with stereo, but lacks Wi-Fi. It has a 2-megapixel camera, but no auto-focus and no flash. The camera software is pretty simple. Motorola and Verizon have chosen to ditch the standard camera software that is on most current Verizon phones and offer a very simple interface for controlling the camera -- perhaps too simple. You have no way to alter the resolution, set the white balance, set different picture modes, or anything fun. All you can do is zoom in and out.

Of course, it has a media player, a photo gallery, access to Verizon's V CAST Mobile TV service, and V CAST Music store and all the Verizon services you'd expect. It has a 3.5-mm headset jack, meaning you can use standard stereo headphones with it, and it supports microSD cards up to 8 GB in size. In all, not bad.

What's innovative about the ZN4 is that it has a clear lid covering the touch screen. Even with the lid closed, however, you can still interact with the touch screen. In fact, with the lid closed, there is a different menu that gives you quick access to your music, videos, pictures, and navigation. If you open the Krave, this top-level menu changes to more communication-focused tasks, such as the dial pad, your contacts, and messages.

The Krave uses touch-capacitive technology for the screen, which is more responsive than touch- resistive screens. This means interacting with the screen itself is better than on devices such as the LG Dare or the Samsung Glyde. It offers haptic feedback, so you know when you've pressed its screen.

For messaging, it has a QWERTY keyboard, but also gives you the option of using a standard T9-style keypad.

One thing to keep in mind. The Krave is no iPhone, nor a G1. Sure, it will provide access to Verizon's services and applications, but it doesn't have an Apps Store of its own, and won't be as customizable as either the iPhone or the G1.

Still, it is a solid phone on its own accord, and I am sure it will sell well for Motorola and Verizon Wireless.