It seems like a very long time ago now, but didn't Motorola used to make attractive phones?

The RAZR may have been underspecced but there's no denying it was a style icon.

Since flogging that skinny design to death with a host of near-copies they seem to have run out of steam on the design front - which may explain the drab appearance of the Motorola MOTOZINE ZN5.

Even if it hasn't got the looks, though, the ZN5 does have something eye-catching going for it - the promise of some serious photographic talent thanks to a tie-up with the imaging gurus at Kodak.

Cramped keypad

It's not a pretty handset. Blocky and heavy set in the manner of the ROKR E8 it looks distinctly old school, but not in a charmingly retro way, with its metallic grey and rubberised plastic.

The keypad is in the flush ROKR style, with little raised dots to help your thumb find the backlit buttons.

It's not the easiest to use though, since the buttons are hidden behind the fascia, and require precision presses, especially with the closely clustered keys around the circular D-pad, which confusingly gives the impression that it might be touch sensitive since it spins around. It isn't though.

The screen is much better. Bright and sharp with 262,000 colours, the large 2.4-inch display does a good job of showing off what this handset can do with photographs, which of course is what it's all about, as a glance at the back reveals.

Kodak camera

There's a bulge at one end for the 5-megapixel camera's lens, which is hidden behind a manually operated shutter emblazoned with the Kodak logo. Next to it is a full-on xenon flash – still a rare (but welcome) sight on a cameraphone.

The camera is quick to get into at less than three seconds from fire-up, and despite the presence of autofocus snaps are near-instantaneous when you press the shutter button. The D-pad offers short cuts to settings, which makes it much easier to scroll through than by using the fiddly soft keys next to it.

Camera mode also illuminates some additional keys on the already cramped keypad for gallery, discard and share. And if you choose to share, you can do this easily with a dedicated link to the online Kodak Image Gallery or to your blog via ShoZu.

The flash is impressive, certainly compared to the underwhelming performance of most cameraphone LEDs. It gave us decently (if perhaps rather stridently) lit pics at five metres – great, considering most LED flashes peter out after a metre or so. It also includes an anti-red eye option but tends to heat up the handset if you use it a lot.

Picture settings

There isn't much in the way of post-pic editing, though it does include Kodak PerfectTouch for optimising your picture settings.

Extras include a multishot option will give you four shots in quick succession, though there's no option to vary the amount of shots or the speed at which they're snapped. The panorama mode takes three shots automatically as you pan the lens around to fit into the boxes onscreen.

Video isn't a disappointment either, revealing less grain than in many comparable cameraphones,and a minimum of screen lag with movement. There's 350MB of memory on board but ours came with a 1GB microSD memory card included. You can add up to 4GB cards, which should squeeze on around 3,000 pics.

No 3G

The music player is hidden in the menus but isn't bad at all, plus there's the option to upgrade the supplied headphones via the 3.5mm jack plug. Incidentally, you can also use this with the supplied composite AV lead to connect the phone to TV or hi-fi for showing off pics or tunes.

Oddly for a high-spec cameraphone, there's no 3G connection but there is Wi-Fi, which helps if you're uploading multiple photos to the internet with a suitable connection. You can also pass pics and tunes to friends as well as print your pics via Bluetooth.

Battery-wise the Motorola MOTOZINE ZN5 held up pretty well over two days though extended use of flash, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi tended to hammer it.

We might have something better from Motorola's venture with Kodak. It's a flawed but promising first collaboration. We'd expect the next one to look better, be easier to use, and include a few more picture editing options. We certainly hope so.

Network availability: O2

Looks: 3/5
Ease of use: 3.5/5
Features: 3/5
Call quality: 4.5/5
Value: 3/5