Motorola came to London yesterday - part of a world tour taking in stops in New York and Bangkok - to demo and announce the UK availability of the all-singing, all-dancing Z8 - first seen at the 3GSM show, as we reported in February.
A quite frankly unbelievable list of specs and features include video capture and playback at 30 frames per second, 80MB of free internal user memory and optional expandable memory up to 32GB with high-density MicroSD memory cards. Cards of that capacity are some way off, but even current 4GB MicroSDs can store 12 full-length motion pictures or 70 hours of music, Motorola claimed.
To prove it, and as an added bonus, each Z8 will come with a 512MB memory card pre-loaded with the full-length feature film The Bourne Identity. Bit of a shame it wasn't a decent flick, but never mind.
The Z8 handset measures 10.9 x 5.0 x 1.5cm and weighs in at 112g. It ties into mobile content services from satellite broadcaster BSkyB, including over 30 TV channels and the facility to program Sky+ set-top boxes remotely and to make wagers through SkyBet. It also features 3.6Mbps HSDPA-accelerated 3G downloads; a two-megapixel camera with 8x zoom and flash; a VGA camera for two-way video calling; music playback and support for Bluetooth-connected stereo headsets.
However, aside from that little lot, possibly the feature that will attract your attention first is what Motorola has dubbed the "kick slider": a two-stage slider design that gracefully glides open and thenkicks out for a very comfortable fit-to-face profile. None of your usual no-way-near-your-mouth, holding-a-matchbox-to-your-ear nonsense going on here.
We had a little play around with one of these puppies at the London launch and can honestly admit to being quite impressed. Not only does the "kick slide" work beautifully as an effective handset design concept, but it feels well-built, sturdy and, yes, it looks great. Sadly, a complete test of it's capabilities wasn't possible... but we'll have a full review up very soon.