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Motorola Shows Off New Camera Phone That Looks Like A Nokia

Motorola recently published a Web site that provides details of an unannounced new phone. The ZN300 is a slider with a 3-megapixel camera and looks like it was designed in Espoo, not Schaumburg.
Motorola recently published a Web site that provides details of an unannounced new phone. The ZN300 is a slider with a 3-megapixel camera and looks like it was designed in Espoo, not Schaumburg.Motorola recently unveiled a new phone on its Web site. The ZN300 slider has decent feature set for a midrange phone. It has a 3.1-megapixel, fixed-focus camera with flash that also captures video at 20 frames per second. It has Bluetooth, speakerphone, dedicated media keys, and supports microSD cards that range up to 32 GB. The ZN300 will come preloaded with social networking applications, such as Facebook and MySpace.

What interests me most about this phone is not its so-so feature list, but what it looks like (link to picture here). I am not sure what Motorola's designers were aiming for, but the ZN300 looks eerily similar to the Nokia N81, which was first announced about 18 months ago. There are some obvious differences, such as the design of the keypad, but when closed, it closely resembles the N81.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Not that the N81 is the most stylish phone ever produced by Nokia, but Motorola needs to shake up its design language. It's used the same, tired ideas (a.k.a., Razr clones) for far too long. The ZN300 may not be setting any new benchmarks, but it is a step in the right direction for Motorola, which badly needs to get some good-looking phones into the U.S. market.

The ZN300 is bound for Asian markets, which means it was designed to appeal to users in those regions. Motorola's U.S. design team should take a cue from what its foreign-market brothers are doing and capitalize on some of those fresher designs.