Motorola Krave

Michael Kwan
Motorola Krave

While everyone else may be clamoring over some of the other touchscreen phones on the market today, you may want to venture off the beaten path with the Motorola Krave. It may not be receiving as much press or attention as something like the T-Mobile G1, but that doesn't mean that you should cast this wonderful phone off to the side.

Upgrading from the MOTOMING to the Motorola Krave

For those familiar with Motorola cell phones of the past, they may recognize the Motorola Krave ZN4 as an updated version of the MOTOMING smartphone. Although there may not be an official connection between the two phones, the Krave can easily be considered the spiritual successor to Motorola's other touchscreen smartphone.

As with the Ming A1200 that preceded it, the Krave combines the aesthetic of a touchscreen phone with an active flip, making it almost like some of the popular clamshell phones out there. The different is that the flap is transparent, giving you a direct glimpse at the large color display beneath it. With the Motorola Krave, Motorola has introduced something incredibly innovative too.

Touching without Touching

With most touchscreen phones, such as the Android-based T-Mobile G1 or the Apple iPhone, you need to make direct contact with the touchscreen in order for anything to happen. That's not the case with the Krave ZN4.

According to the official product page, this is the "first touch phone to feature an interactive clear flip." While the clear flip is still closed, you can still have one-touch access to many of the phone's functions, including the camera, music player, and turn-by-turn navigation. You touch "through" the clear flip! That transparent cover helps to protect the touchscreen when not in use.

Flipping open the clear cover opens up the full functionality of this handset. It is not a smartphone in the same way as the Symbian-powered Nokia E71, Windows Mobile-powered HTC Touch Pro, or even the old Linux-powered MOTOMING, but most of the core features pre-installed on the Krave will satisfy the majority of non-business users.

Music, Pictures, Live TV, and More

The Motorola Krave ZN4 has many features under its hood. As a multimedia phone, the focus is largely on entertainment. In this way, you get a fully functional media player that can play both music and videos. Connecting through V CAST, you can also access streaming video from a number of popular sources, like news broadcasts and sports highlights.

Some of the other notable features include a picture gallery, live TV, Visual Voicemail, stereo Bluetooth, a virtual landscape QWERTY keyboard, a 2.0 megapixel camera, an HTML web browser, and direct access to your email. There is also haptic feedback, which causes the phone to vibrate when you touch it. This aids in confirming your selection.

In addition to the media applications that make use of an online connection (like V CAST Music with Rhapsody and V CAST Mobile TV), you can also entertain from a locally-stored microSD memory card. On that memory card, you can hold pictures, music, videos, and so on.

Where Can You Buy the Krave by Motorola?

At the time that this article was written, the Motorola Krave was available in the United States exclusively through Verizon Wireless. As a CDMA-based phone (including high-speed EV-DO connectivity), the Krave cannot be used with GSM providers like T-Mobile or AT&T. Due to the nature of CDMA phones and providers, it is unlikely that you would be able to use the phone with Sprint either. The Motorola Krave ZN4 is not yet available in Canada.

In February 2009, Verizon Wireless was selling the Krave ZN4 for $229.99 with a two-year contract, less a $50 online discount. Should you choose to opt out of a service agreement with Verizon, it is possible to buy the ZN4 for $249.99 on a month-to-month basis.

Motorola Krave