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Motorola Unveils Phone That Bends 100

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the flexible-communications dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to CNET, who are out at 3GSM in Barcelona, Motorola has unveiled a phone that bends in order to make putting it up to your face more comfortable. The Motorola Z8, as the bendy phone is called, runs on a Symbian based platform and also displays video at up to 30 frames per second."
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Motorola Unveils Phone That Bends

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  • About time (Score:5, Funny)

    by iamacat (583406) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:16PM (#17989070)
    Usually it's users who have to bend over for cell companies.
  • Nice Astroturfing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:16PM (#17989072) Homepage Journal
    Yawn.
    • by rossifer (581396) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:51PM (#17989508) Journal

      Yawn.
      Indeed.

      The only thing that might be newsworthy about a Motorola phone is if they decided to license Nokia's interface. Every time I think back to the last (so far only) Motorola phone I had the misfortune of spending a fortune on, I recall the glee and joy when I smeared that phone between a rapidly dropping 20 pound sledgehammer and a large granite boulder at midnight under the full moon...

      My rage and fury were all about the absolutely horrific user interface. Yes, it was that bad.

      The beer consumed in preparation for the demolition of the hell spawn (Mot 770) was rather tasty, however :)

      Ross
      • by altek (119814)
        Your prayers have been answered. This phone runs Symbian.

        I have owned numerous Moto's and while I dislike their UI, I enjoy the amazing hack-ability of them, with a large hacking community supporting it.

        Anyway, this is total astroturfing, it's not that revolutionary, and it doesn't really "bend" at all, it just kicks out at the end of it's slide so it is more like a 160 degree angle instead of a straight line.
        • by steveo777 (183629)
          I've always been a fan of Motorola phones, but I've never known how 'hackable' they were. I might even go back to Verizon if I could unlock my phone so I could use the Bluetooth for data transfer. Can you give me some links?
          • by altek (119814)
            If you're a VZW customer you're pretty limited in what you can do. Most flexibility comes from the GSM phones. Finding out more is left as an exercise in Google to you.
      • by orielbean (936271)
        Sounds like somebody should try a test drive before you slap down the cashish next time...
      • by MatB (845512)
        This'd be a distinct case of YMMV. My first phone was a Motorola, my current is, and every time I've tried a Nokia, my reaction has been similar to yours, I can't stand their interface nor their UI.

        Ah well.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        I just want to say that I feel precisely the opposite way. I love motorola's interface and the icon+name list view. I absolutely despise nokia's interface and the big-icons interface. I can never find anything on a nokia. The settings options have bizarre names. Etc etc. I think we just have to accept that various people have different preferences... But I won't even consider a Nokia phone, and it's specifically because of the interface.
  • Better pictures (Score:5, Informative)

    by yknott (463514) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:18PM (#17989094) Homepage Journal
    There are some better pictures at engaget:

      http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/12/motorolas-motor izr-z8-a-symbian-kick-slider-with-hsdpa [engadget.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by r_jensen11 (598210)
      From those pictures, it's impossible to tell if the phone bends or if it just slides on a curved track. From http://direct.motorola.com/hellomoto/motorizrz8/ [motorola.com], it looks like part of the back end of the phone can pivot once the phone is slid open. I hardly call that bending.
      • Re:Better pictures (Score:4, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995) on Monday February 12, 2007 @07:47PM (#17990210)
        Do you pivot your elbow? Or maybe you articulate it?
        • With the phrase "phone that bends," I believed that the message was conveying that the phone was somewhat like the Gumby character. Also, it's not really as if the phone bends because you have to unslide the thing for it to "bend." The phrase "phone that bends" would apply more logically to a candybar-styled phone.
          • by mgblst (80109)
            Well, you have to use logic when thinking about it. It is not a Gumby character, it is a phone. Just because your dreams about having a plasticine phone have been shattered, no need to start blaming people.
            • by airos4 (82561) *
              Well, if it isn't "Gumby" which is what I anticipated too, then it's no more a bendy phone than my current flip phone. By your logic, that's amazing too because it actually "bends" about 175 degrees to create a smaller form factor when not in use.
              • by jsight (8987)
                Exactly. And the flip phone even end up in a "bended" state rather than flat. This making slashdot is just plain silly.
  • by ArcherB (796902) * on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:18PM (#17989096) Journal
    Can you make phone calls with it?

    (Yo dog! Where you at?!!?)

    • by Mythrix (779875)
      For what other reason would you want to put the phone up to your face?

      On second thought, don't answer that.
  • And the point is? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:19PM (#17989108)
    The phone is a slider. All I see here is a slider made to emulate the bend of your everyday flip phone. If you notice, it has about the same bend that a RAZR does when open.

    Seriously though, what exactly is the point? It's not as if getting the microphone 1 centimeter closer to your face will make much of a difference, and for people with oily skin it just makes more of the phone get dirty. I see absolutely no functional value whatsoever in making a slide-phone bendy.
    • Re:And the point is? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jim Hall (2985) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:45PM (#17989432) Homepage

      And interestingly, the Z8 doesn't magically bend as the subject implies, but it has a hinge. Slide the face up (neat) and you give the hinge room to move. It's not bendy, it's hinged.

      • by DogDude (805747)
        Any idea how that makes it different from the billions of cell phones on the planet that also have hinges that "bend" to fit your face? I think that this is a solution in search of a problem. I wasn't aware that there are people who have trouble with telephones fitting their face.
    • by LihTox (754597) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:53PM (#17989538)
      Seriously though, what exactly is the point? It's not as if getting the microphone 1 centimeter closer to your face will make much of a difference

      Psychologically speaking, putting the microphone closer to the mouth might convince some people that they don't have to shout into the phone.
      • by LilGuy (150110)
        Thanks Dr. Phil. Let's do lunch babe.
      • by blubadger (988507)
        Psychologically speaking, this is indeed a bit of a conundrum. Motorola first made clamshell ergonomics a selling point years ago (remember the ads with the guy's mouth revolving round his face?

        But the reality is that a bent phone improves the user experience for only one person - the person receiving the call. Motorola clearly has an optimistic view of human nature if it thinks this can sell phones.
      • by cmorgan47 (720310)
        i think sending a bit of the signal from the mic to the ear piece, like they did on regular phones, would do this better.....and god i wish they would
    • by Adambomb (118938) *
      That is because you don't think like an evil marketing director. If you want to add artificial obsolescence to your devices, why not add moving parts. Stress points? Why yes, the more the merrier, thankfully cabling and such will snap sooner.

      Whats that? You're on a 36 month contract and do not want to pay for your service with no device to use the service? Well you're in luck, You can buy another! No cash on hand? Thats ok, just sign on the dotted line.

      I mean, having a difficulty caused by a contract is def
    • by drawfour (791912)

      All I see here is a slider made to emulate the bend of your everyday flip phone.
      That's exactly the point. The bend of your every day flip phone is something that a lot of people really like. I like the feel of a flip phone and do not like the feel of a standard PDA-style or straight-style phone.
      • There's a solution for those peuple. It's called a flip phone. Oooooo... Ahhhhh...
        • by drawfour (791912)
          This is a slider phone, useful as a PDA and texting device. A flip phone is annoying to have to flip it out to use it as a PDA. So with this, you get the best of both worlds -- a regular PDA and texting phone, _and_ the comfortable bend that many people like.

          Oooooo... Ahhhhh...
  • by President_Camacho (1063384) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:20PM (#17989136) Homepage

    Motorola has unveiled a phone that bends in order to make putting it up to your face more comfortable.
    I can already accomplish "kick & slide" functionality with my treo 650. Which is usually what I want to do when it crashes.
  • by Radon360 (951529) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:21PM (#17989142)
    Now if they can only make it bend the RF signal over that damned hill in front of the cell tower...
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lithdren (605362) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:22PM (#17989164)
    if this thing has an option to vibrate, instead of ring, they got a winner on their hands! What? Why are you looking at me like that..
  • First I wanted the RIZR Z3...but it wasn't available through US carriers, though you could order an unlocked phone for just under $300.

    Then I heard the RIZR Z6 was coming out - Linux OS, shinier casing, Windows Media Player and associated DRM. Still no 3G.

    Now the RIZR Z8, this bendable phone, is launching either with or in place of the Z6. It runs Symbian, has 3G data speeds, and some odd colors. It will probably cost $900 or $34 with a 2 year contract.
    • by CCFreak2K (930973)
      Then I heard the RIZR Z6 was coming out - Linux OS, shinier casing, Windows Media Player and associated DRM. Still no 3G.

      Err...did I miss something? Since when was Windows Media Player ported to Linux?
      • by lymond01 (314120)
        Surprised me too, but that's what the specs on the phone as well as the reviews tell everyone.

        No surprise...there was a time when parts of the Microsoft web site ran on Linux too. :-)
  • life just doesn't make sense anymore...that's wild...really

    seriously WTF?
    • I can see the add campaign now:

      The new Sony Razor - now with Bend-O-Tech technology,

      The phone that conforms to your face!

      Yea, that'll work...all they need now is a good "jingle".

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Feanturi (99866)
        The phone that conforms to your face! ...with 4 microphones like the others have, plus a 5th mic for those hard-to-hear conversations.
  • I dont need a phone to bend around my face. However, thats not to say that the principle isnt good. I mean, surely it holds something over Samsungs "Worlds Slimmest" handset, that will, predictably, be subject to many breakages after being inserted into a pocket. http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/02/12/samsung_de buts_ultra_edition_deux/ [reghardware.co.uk]
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:27PM (#17989222)
    Taking a lesson from Sony, Motorola has declared this phone the winner in the bendy-slider phone format. In addition, remarked a Motorola talking-head, "we were going to call it the 'Eclectic Slide', but were afraid we'd get sued by Richard Silver [slashdot.org]".
  • Last week's wierd story [10tv.com].
  • ... battery!
  • If Motorola could make a phone that doesn't drop every other call or have the OS not lag behind keystrokes or crash I'd be impressed. I've stuck with Motorola for the past ten years based on their performance back in the "good old days" of analog cell phones. I've been continually disappointed. I'm using my last Motorola phone. Thanks for producing shiny garbage, Motorola, you're not getting any more money out of me.
    • Thanks for producing shiny garbage, Motorola, you're not getting any more money out of me.

      Well I just changed from Sony Ericsson for most of the same reasons, and I am pretty happy with my Motorola C139. Phones seem to be converging on the same crap standard so I don't think you are going to be impressed.

    • by clonmult (586283)
      I've been using a variety of Motos for years, and haven't had any issues.

      My T720 always felt like it would break, but its lasted as good as any other phone. The UI was basic, but never lagged.
      The V525 kept on going no matter what, and its had one heckuva beating, the UI was slightly nicer than the T720, never had any issues with menu lag.
      Finally got a V3, overall worked exactly the same as the V525.

      I've heard of plenty of issues with Motos lagging on the menus, but that seems to be as much down to operator
  • This phone should be available* in the US just in time for the 2011 holiday shopping season!

    *Only available from Verizon when coupled with a new 2-year contract. Not all features may be available. Additional Bent Phone Fee of $3.99 a month applies. The Bending Feature of this phone may only be used according to the terms and conditions set forth in the Customer Agreement.
  • by KodaK (5477) <sakodak&gmail,com> on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:53PM (#17989546) Homepage
    I wonder how much Verizon will charge to enable the "bend" feature.
  • This phone [nokia888.com] bends better. Okay so it may not exist (yet), but that's no reason not to watch the cool video.
  • Motorola's doing Symbian again? They where part of the Symbian group with Nokia and Sony when I first started writing software for the phone platform. However allmost right away they and Sony pulled out, taking with them a lot of technology from Symbian for their own phone software.

    If you've not tried it before, Symbian is a realy kick ass platform for phones. Multi tasking, protected memory, TCP/IP the whole nine yards.
    • by milas (988484)
      I agree! I'm posting this from my Symbian phone right OUT OF MEMORY
    • by einarw (887199)

      > If you've not tried it before, Symbian is a realy kick ass
      > platform for phones.
      Oh I've tried the Nokia N91 all right. Kick ass platform maybe, but the user interface is nothing to write home about. Iphone here I come.
    • by Richy_T (111409)
      the whole nine yards.

      It failed because that's too big to slip into your pocket.

      Rich
  • Flip phones (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ksattic (803397)
    Flip phones already "bend" in the middle to fit your face, just as this phone "bends".
  • by straponego (521991) on Monday February 12, 2007 @07:33PM (#17990048)
    Man, I want a bender phone. One you can bend to any angle: 30 degrees, 32 degrees, you name it. 31...
  • Any phone will bend. Once.

    M-
  • All those fancy features and only Cingular and Verizon to play with. It'll probably have the reliability and performance of Rusty the narcoleptic dog.
  • I can't wait to get my hands on this one [engadget.com]. (just a concept, but one can wish!)
  • And broken, I've had 4 different Motorolla 3G phones (A920, A925 and A1000) and a Nokia 3G phone (Nokia E61), all with the Symbian OS.

    I think Motorolla and Nokia need to get over their fascination with the Symbian OS. In my experience (total of 13 handsets based on SymbianOS) Symbian is a very unstable platform, my phones will randomly restart themselves or turn themselves off, my email and text messages will stop coming in if I don't reboot the phone every 48 hours. I had a bug on my Nokia and my A1000 tha
  • I used to have one of these when I was a little kid (~30yrs ago). It was called a banana.

    Now there's a thought, and Apple Banana phone!

  • What's the point in this?
    It's a stupid Gimick to get your sister to buy a new phone and that's it.
    The only feature that would get me to buy it would be if it is running
    Linux underneath, and it's not. This is just another Consumer Phone.

    I'm waiting for OpenMoko and the Neo1973.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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