Motorola RIZR Z3 review: Sliding Moto

GSMArena team, 03 February 2007.

Yes, it's true, Motorola have made slider phone with the RAZR looks. Its name is RIZR. The letter-game name still holds true. This is the first Motorola slider for the European and American markets. The Asians are a different story. Considering its big dimensions and the fact that it is a bit overweight one might think that Motorola RIZR slider won't be the most handy and comfortable phone to touch and use. One might be wrong then, the RIZR is extremely nice to touch as it is metal and rubber all around and leaves the greatest impression. Its weight adds to the feeling that the phone is solid as a rock and more than reliable.

The Z3 RIZR model can be easily compared to the new Ultra series of the Korean Samsung manufacturer. But when we look at the technical and software capabilities of the Samsungs, RIZR just fades away. It's not even as slim as them.

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Motorola RIZR Z3 official photos

Key features:

  • great design
  • solid construction
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • microSD card slot
  • GPRS Class 12 + EDGE

Main disadvantages:

  • outdated Motorola UI, only minor interface updates
  • no Java 3D support
  • no 3G
  • records video in QCIF only

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Motorola RIZR Z3 • Slid out

Motorola RIZR Z3 comes first in this class segment in the Motorola shelves as they have never introduced sliding phones on the European and American markets. The phone features the popular RAZR V3 design with its metallic looks and recognizable keypad. The user interface is somewhat untouched and cannot be hard to get by any previous Moto user.

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Front view and phone's keypad

Rubber stone

The design of Motorola RIZR is typical for their models which come with a lettered name. On the front panel we can see the Motorola M sign just above the 256K TFT display. The thick thumb-rest for assistance of the sliding process is just beneath the display and the only thing that completes the front panel is the set of buttons in the very bottom. There is a four-way key with a confirming center which is well known from the first RAZR V3 model. Surrounding it are two soft keys, a Browser button, a C back button and the green and red "receivers", which in the case of Motorola are round symbols.

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M sign • Soft keys, 4-way control button, red and green keys

The size of this phone is slightly bigger than one might've thought but when held in hand, RIZR Z3 leaves more than nice feelings. It is equally balanced and feels firm and solid in ones hand. Although, Motorola is promoting it as an extra slim phone, this model is 16 mm thick, which makes it a normal phone judging by nowadays trend.

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RIZR held in hand

The back of Motorola RIZR is rather bare. It features the camera lens in its protective glass case, the Motorola M sign in the middle of the battery cover and the blue speaker grill in its bottom. Beneath the battery cover you may find the BC50 Li-Ion 720 mAh battery which, according to the manufacturer should last up to 350 hours of standby time and up to 6 hours and 40 minutes of talk time. We couldn't test the battery of the phone as during our testing, the phone is under heavy overload and the real endurance of the battery remains unknown.

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Back of the RIZR • Camera lens • Speaker grill

When you remove the battery you will find one strange thing. The SIM card bed is located on a plate with the microSD card slot just above it. As far as the memory card is concerned, there is no problem, but the SIM card is really hard to insert and even harder to extract. It must be slid in a very narrow hole and then it is almost impossible to get it out with your bare hands. You will most definitely need some sharp item to push it out. We consider that a very outrageous design and a construction fault.

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Battery cover off • battery removed • SIM card location

The left side of the phone has 3 buttons to offer: the dual-volume keys and the Voice recorder activating button under them. Besides these buttons, there is an incrusted Motorola sign there.

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Left hand side • Dual volume button and Voice recorder button

The right side has more to offer as it hosts the camera release button and the Voice command button on top of the mini USB slot. The mini USB slot is used for charging and data connections. This is where you plug anything in the phone. The same incrusted Motorola sign is here too.

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Right hand side • Camera release button • miniUSB slot • Voice command button

When the phone is slid out, nothing more is revealed, well, the keypad of course, but the back is empty and the only thing you notice is the great construction and mechanisms as it slides out perfectly and without any effort and slides back in with a confirming snap sound which deserves compliments for the nice elaboration. No creak sounds and noises were performed by the phone during the whole testing period. One strange thing, we consider to be a defect fault of our testing sample, was that the left direction of the four-way button gives out a creaky sound.

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Bottom and top of Motorola RIZR Z3

Reader comments

  • ogloc
  • 14 Jul 2010
  • pQ%

hello, what will happen if i put a 4gb micro sd-hc card in the phone? i don't want to buy a new memory card so do you know what will happen?

  • alex
  • 04 Mar 2009
  • LEt

dont worry-- i had almost 3 years my Z3 and its amazing.. it felt in water twice and its still working... part of the keypad i had to glue it LOL.. but thats because the many falls etc... im gonna change it now bcause the battery is really bad now..

  • Anonymous
  • 05 Oct 2008
  • kS9

I got this phone just recently, so I don't know about its longevity, but so far it's pretty nice. Easy mass-storage USB connectivity, decent camera (for a phone naturally), small, clear keys/screen, loud, etc. I do have two issues with the firmw...