By Jennifer LeClaire / Mobile Tech Today. Updated October 14, 2008.
A day after Research in Motion launched its first BlackBerry flip phone, Motorola is countering with an interactive flip touch phone.
Dubbed the Motorola Krave ZN4, the company's latest device offers two layers of touch. One layer is the interactive clear flip outside. The other is the full touchscreen inside.
Motorola inked a deal with Verizon Wireless to launch the phone, which made its way to market on Tuesday. Verizon is the exclusive carrier for the Krave.
Motorola is billing the Krave as a device that puts fun at your fingertips with the latest entertainment and phone features from Verizon. Krave supports Verizon's most popular multimedia services, including V Cast Mobile TV, V Cast Video, V Cast Music with Rhapsody, and VZ Navigator. Many of the phone's features are accessible with one touch -- even when the flip phone is closed.
"Motorola Krave is uncompromising. It delivers high-quality multimedia experiences while remaining true to the way consumers expect a phone to work and feel," said Ken Hallman, vice president, Motorola Mobile Devices. "The clear, touch-enabled flip over the large, high-resolution touchscreen is nothing like you've seen and yet it's totally intuitive."
Reducing Touchscreen Wear and Tear
Motorola hopes its combo offering will turn heads this holiday season. The Krave combines the familiarity of a flip design with a touch and haptic-feedback interface.
Users don't even have to open the phone to tap its functions. The clear flip offers one-touch access to the phone's features and services, including watching V CAST Mobile TV, accessing photos, playing music, and viewing incoming messages. Motorola also says the flip makes it easy to place clear and reliable phone calls without putting wear and tear on the touchscreen. A slide lock prevents accidental usage.
"The flip phone is very popular in the U.S., much more so than in other parts of the wold," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president of mobile strategy for Jupitermedia. While RIM came out with its flip phone, which is targeting users that may have bought the Razr, analysts said Motorola may be trying to ward off brand attrition by offering its customers some iPhone-like features in a flip style.
Like the new BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, the Krave is available for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a new two-year customer agreement. That puts the two phones in direct competition with one another. But Motorola Krave customers can tap into a broader offering of multimedia services than Pearl Flip users.
Verizon's packages for V CAST Mobile TV, V CAST Video, and V CAST Music with Rhapsody range from $13.00 to $15.00 per month. Verizon also offers Visual Voice Mail for $2.99 monthly, and VZ Navigator is $9.99 monthly.
A Photo Finish
The Krave has a dedicated camera key for quick access to a 2.0-megapixel camera. An accelerometer detects movement when the phone rotates and changes the display, making it possible to catch landscape and portrait shots, as well as capture and view video.
Customers can watch clips from popular video-sharing sites directly from the phone's HTML browser. They can also watch videos and pictures directly from MMS messages without having to download them to the phone first. The phone also offers a virtual landscape QWERTY keyboard with haptic feedback for texting and e-mailing.