A complete overview of the features of Motorola ZINE ZN5

    Good evening, dear Khabrovites!

    I would like to bring to your attention a review of the Motorola ZINE ZN5 mobile phone, released back in 2008. Of course, now this review will seem irrelevant, but under this device and software platform is still being developed by enthusiasts. And, I think, it will be interesting to you!

    In the review, I will try to talk about the software and hardware stuffing of the phone and the entire platform as a whole. I will break my review into three parts:
    1. General technical specifications of the device and the MotoMAGX platform.
    2. Custom Modifications. The most significant application ports.
    3. Normal phone features. A detailed overview of the menu.
    In the review, I will definitely touch upon ordinary telephone functions, describing literally every menu item. I will give examples of photos taken on the camera of this phone. I do not like reviews in which only positive things are said about devices, forgetting to mention the shortcomings and disadvantages. Therefore, in conclusion, I will note all the advantages and disadvantages of the device.


    So let's go!
    Caution! Under the cat you will find many screenshots, photos and text.

    General technical characteristics of the device and the MotoMAGX platform

    Positioning and a bit of history ...

    To begin with, the American company Motorola for a long time boycotted the photographic direction. In the period from 2005 to 2007, not a single phone of this brand was released, which could be considered as a photo flagman. And only at the beginning of 2008, Motorola still dared to unite with Kodak and release the ZINE ZN5, which was positioned precisely as a photographic solution.


    According to the manufacturer, the ZN5 runs on the MotoMAGX 6.3 platform. So what exactly is this MotoMAGX? This is the core of MontaVista Mobilinux 4.1 (2.6.10_dev) with motorola patches, menus and submenus consisting of SVG, XML, JS and CSS, trimmed by QT embedded version 2.3.8 motorola for user dialogs and for all standard programs, plus kvm as a java machine. Is such a bunch fast? - you ask. Frankly, no. Sometimes the interface is so slow that you want to throw the phone out the window. But still, thanks to the enthusiasm, many problems were solved regarding the speed of this device.

    Iron and some software features

    Screen: 320x240 pixels, 2.4 inches, 262144 colors.
    Power: Removable 920 mAh battery, Model BX50.
    Outputs: Micro-USB, TV-Out, 3.5 mm.
    Dimensions: 118x50x12-16 mm.
    Weight: 114 g.
    Camera: 5 MP, Xenon Flash, AutoFocus.
    Others: WLAN: 802.11 b / g / i; Bluetooth (A2DP); ModeShift technology.

    RAMMotorola ZN5 is available in two forms. The first is a model designed for the European market with 64 megabytes of RAM on board. It is this version that was sold in Russia. The second type of phone was intended for the American market and was equipped with 128MB of RAM. According to the owners of T-mobile versions of the phone, their device does not slow down in the menu and they do not need to enable SWAP for demanding applications.

    CPUIn both versions there is a Freescale ARM11 processor (SCMA-11), based on i.MX31. Frequency - 532 MHz. cat / proc / cpuinfo displays the following information: Some Random V6 Processor rev 1 (v6l), 354.70 BogoMIPS. Initially, on the stock firmware, the phone operates at a frequency of 266-399 MHz, switching to 532 MHz only in demanding applications. User firmware has a special program that fixes the processor frequency at 532s when the backlight is on, and at 133s when it is off. This makes the phone incredibly fast, but affects the duration of the work.

    SWAP and Compcache.If desired, you can enable these functions in custom firmware to achieve faster operation of the device or launch demanding applications. SWAP is created on the third section of the memory card, but for this, of course, you must first partition the flash card into sections. If there is no desire to carry out these manipulations, SWAP can be created as a separate file in the phone’s memory or on a USB flash drive. However, with the latter approach, the phone will turn on longer. In my opinion, it is more convenient for the Linux kernel to work with a partition formatted in the native file system than with some obscure file.

    Phone memory Memory card.Standard in the European version of the phone, the user has approximately 490 MB of memory available, and in the American version - 270 MB. Both versions work with micro-SD / SDHC cards up to 32 GB. There is no hot swap, because you have to remove the back cover and battery to remove the card.


    1. Motorola ZN5
    2. Motorola ZN5 T-Mobile
    image image
    When the phone is in hands, its weight is felt, a pleasant metal cold is felt. There are additional keys on the keyboard panel that light up depending on which application you are in. For example, in the photo gallery, the buttons for deleting a photo, sharing and quickly switching to the camera will be highlighted. This is the proprietary ModeShift technology. The keyboard backlight is white, the additional keys are purple. A standard (3.5 mm.) Headphone jack and Micro-USB connector are located on the left side of the device. Headphones sit in the nest quite tight, even after several years of use. The plug of the Micro-USB connector, which at first glance may seem flimsy, has also served me faithfully for several years. On the right side of the device there are volume control keys, Keypad lock slider and purple camera key. The back cover is metal, holds tightly to several latches. The battery in its place sits quite tight, although some have problems with its fixation, which can cause the phone to reboot during sudden movements. Under the cover is a slot for a SIM card and memory card, which can be inserted or removed only by first removing the battery.
    Of the shortcomings, you can’t talk for a long time in the cold, but this is probably the trouble of any mobile phones with metal front panels. Also, for the year of use, the center of the navigation key is erased, however, if you do not look too closely, imperceptibly.


    The full set of the European version includes:
    1. TV cable.
    2. Flash Card Micro-SD 1 GB.
    3. CD with Motorola Phone Tools 5.0 and Kodak EasyShare.
    4. Instructions, documents.
    5. Battery, Li-lon 920 mAh, (BX50).
    6. A simple headset with a microphone.
    7. The charger is 100-240 V.
    8. USB <-> microUSB cable.
    What is included in the kit of the American version, unfortunately I do not know, maybe the same thing.

    Custom Modifications. The most significant application ports.


    Custom firmware (in a different way mod, monster, monster pack) - this is the official firmware, much changed by enthusiasts and laid out for free access. In the review, I will talk about such a fashion as Symbiosis X.1, compiled by ldenl.
    After bypassing the RSA signature by one developer (known on the Internet as nickname yakk), it became possible to freely change any parts of the firmware, upgrade them, run the firmware on unsigned kernels etc.
    At the same time, and maybe a little earlier, kuznet (I think this nickname is familiar to many Linux OS users) acquires Motorola Z6 and collects the first toolchain and SDK for the MotoMAGX platform. After which the developers began to slowly write and build native software, first for Z6, and then for ZN5. lDENl collected all relevant programs into its firmware, made its work quick and put it into public testing. In addition to the Symbiosis X.1 mod, there are many interesting custom firmwares, their screens you can see below.

    1. Z-mod. 2. Zine Evolution. 3. Outlaw1313 Mod

    The most interesting software.

    I present to your attention the most popular and interesting applications.

    RockBox is one of the most powerful players. Support for many formats, including flac, ape, cue. Dynamic rewind. Many sound settings, pre-installed equalizers and plug-ins. For example, among the plugins there is even a Doom game, which you can play while listening to your favorite track.
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    MPlayer is a popular video player that supports many different codecs and formats.

    GMenu2X is a shell that replaces the standard menu of game consoles. In our case, it can be used as an alternative to MgxBox.
    The menu consists of bookmarks that you can add and edit. Bookmarks, in turn, contain links to games, programs, emulators that you add there. This shell uses SDL libraries to display images on the screen. Many skins are supported.

    PicoDrive - Sega MegaDrive / Gensis emulator. It supports saving, the ability to run Sega CD / Mega CD. You can reassign keys.

    gpSP is a GameBoy Advanced emulator. The emulator uses anti-aliasing. Supports * .bin, * .zip and * .gba

    NesX / SnesX formats- Dendy and Super Nintendo emulators. There is sound in both, if you wish, you can connect the ZN5 to a TV and play on it using the phone itself as a joystick. The length of the cord is enough. In extreme cases, you can buy an extension cord. The jump / fire buttons are duplicated by volume keys, it’s convenient to play. An additional option “RAM Editor” allows you to edit memory directly during the game, you can add your life in particularly difficult situations. Quick Save / Load is supported.

    Fheroes2 - Port of the free version of the Heroes of Might and Magic II engine .

    Gemrb- Free port of the Infinity Engine game engine. The following games are supported: Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2: SoA or ToB, Baldur's Gate 2: ToB (obsolete), IceWind Dale, IceWind Dale: HoW or ToTL, IceWind Dale 2, Planescape Torment. Arrows are used to control the cursor. There is also an increase that allows you to view a dialogue or any other event on the screen.

    OpenRedAlert and Stratagus - Port of popular free engines for Command & Conquer Red Alert and Warcraft II.

    ScummVM - a collection of game engines. A total of more than a hundred games are supported, including classic SCUMM quests from publishers LucasArts Entertainment and Humongous Entertainment, early quests based on AGI Sierra Entertainment, quests from various other developers.

    Python 2.5 + pyGame 0.9.1 - Porting this programming language and cross-platform library for writing games entailed several interesting applications.

    Quake II - a full-fledged port of the second quake engine, network play via Wi-Fi, image output to a TV are supported. By the way, it is very interesting to pass Quake II four in cooperative mode on phones. The server can be started directly on the device itself.

    And this is not a complete list of ported programs, games and emulators. Their total number is approximately the same as that of the DINGOO A320 or GP2X WIZ.
    The package managers we have is either MpkgBox (for * .mgx packages) or PEM Manager. (for * .pep)

    Normal phone features. A detailed overview of the menu.


    You can use various options, for example, add an HSA panel or add a widget, etc.
    1. Standard desktop.
    2. Standard desktop with special HSA panel.
    3. MotoDesk. The program is an independent desktop replacement.
    4. RokrDesk. Plugins for the desktop.

    Main menu

    It can be represented as a traditional grid of 3x4 icons, as well as a spinner and a list. The menu is based on SVG animation, you can add your own items to it, create catalogs. The spinner can be either horizontal or vertical. If the user wants and knowledge of the basics of SVG graphics, the menu can be greatly modernized, namely: 1. Add or change all menu items (icons, cursor, items, menu / submenu, soft keys, font, etc.) 2. Add new display styles (for example, in addition to the three standard ones, you can display a carousel-type menu, etc.) 3. Add icons for battery status and signal level to the menu and submenu. 4. Add more complex animations, and much, much more! In general, a fairly flexible menu is implemented, which can be customized.

    1. The grid.
    2. Spinner.
    3. The list.
    4. A circular spinner.


    The directory on this phone is quite powerful. For each subscriber, you can create an entire dossier with an individual photo and a ringtone. A huge list of fields for entering information, starting from the name and ending with the presence of a spouse (a) and children. The contact can be sent via Bluetooth, E-mail or just in an SMS message, there is also contact filtering, export / import to a SIM card / phone. The book starts in about 2 seconds, which is rather slow, but after the first start and exit it starts instantly.


    It contains the following items:

    1. Alarm clock. Standard alarm, unremarkable. Among the shortcomings: it is impossible to put a vibration signal, only sound files. Only three alarms that can be configured in different ways, there is also the ability to change the volume of the signal and snooze. It works even when the phone is off.

    2. File manager.A fairly functional application, with its help you can run scripts (* .lin and * .sh), executable files of applications (* .elf). It has several types of display, for example, there is a list and a viewing area. Including allows you to view the root system of the device. There is the possibility of operations (copy / paste / move) over groups of files. The file or files can be transferred by any means available to you (Bluetooth, E-mail, MMS, etc.). For example, a picture through a file manager can be immediately sent to a USB or Bluetooth printer. Also pleased with the ability to rename the file along with its extension.

    3. The calculator. The most common, support for trigonometric functions, unfortunately, is not. But it also combines a currency converter.

    four.Recent calls. Divided into several tabs, there is a tab “Frequent calls” - these are the numbers that you or you called most often. Including here you can see the status of various counters, for example, the cost of calls or the time and amount of data transfer via GPRS / EDGE channel.

    5. Calendar. A fairly standard calendar, has several viewing modes - day / week / month and many flexible settings.

    6. Sync. Synchronize contacts / calendar events and other information via Bluetooth, USB or Mobile Sync. Local synchronization requires Motorola Phonetools or iSync installed on your computer.

    7. Download manager.Allows you to monitor downloaded and uploaded files, as well as manage them: stop or resume downloads, view files, etc.

    8. World Clock. I think everything is clear from the name, time tracking in various parts of the world. Allows you to choose the three most important cities for you, there is a small map for viewing.

    9. Call services. It contains only one item - “Fixed dialing”. If this function is enabled, only dialing the phone numbers included in the fixed dialing list will be possible. If the number is not included in this list, then it will not be possible to dial it. To enable this function, you need to enter the PIN2 code.

    10. The list of tasks.An application for planning your future. You can add and delete tasks, prioritize them, mark completed tasks. Pretty flexible and functional editor, intuitive interface. It is possible to send the task via Bluetooth.

    11. Notes. A small note manager, an analogue of the task list.

    12. Sim-Menu. List of additional services depending on your mobile operator.


    When you start the gallery, the phone screen will expand in a horizontal orientation. In this application, you can view your photos and videos. Five megapixel pictures are scrolled and drawn almost instantly. You can zoom in or out with the side volume keys. You can apply various special effects to photos, the gallery has a built-in, quite convenient, graphic editor. The proprietary Kodak Perfect Touch function will help to transform an unsuccessful picture, for example, darkened or overexposed, into a fairly suitable form. Using a special TV cable, you can connect your phone to a TV and enjoy the slide show of your photos or videos. When entering the gallery, the backlight of the digital keys goes out and the backlight of the additional keys for working with images lights up: deleting the image, a photo sharing button via the Kodak Internet gallery, an MMS message, email or Bluetooth, and a return button to the gallery menu. In order for a normal picture to also be displayed in the gallery, it is enough for her to add the ZN5 tag to EXIF


    In a Java phone, the machine is kvm . There is access from java applications or games to the camera and to bluetooth. The java-code execution speed is sufficient for comfortable work both with non-resource-intensive 3D games and with Internet browsers, for example, Opera mobile, etc. A Java application can be delivered either from a memory card or phone memory, or downloaded via the Internet. After installation * .jad and * .jar files are deleted. Supported work in the background. Links to java applications can be added to any submenu or main menu.


    The type of message is changed automatically, that is, if you typed only text, the message will be in SMS format. If you added a picture or any other file, the format will change to MMS. It is also possible to force format changes. The editor is quite convenient to use, the typed messages can be sent to e-mail, saved in folders, use the predefined message templates. Mailing to several recipients at once is supported. In this menu item, among other things, there is a voice mail setting.

    the Internet

    The standard native browser Symphony 1.1.0, based on QT, allows you to view full-fledged websites. It supports scaling and displaying a web page in full screen. To watch streaming video, a standard player is used.


    Basically, the settings are standard. I will only say a few. I was pleased with the item “Voice control”, its principle of operation is that with a long press of the green handset an application will start that will recognize voice commands. For example, you say “check the time” and the phone tells you. You can turn on the voice of menu items in a pleasant female voice. The phone can also read SMS messages by voice.

    Topics. For the MotoMAGX platform, there are a large variety of themes and skins created by skin makers, several examples:

    Wi-Fi. At this point, you can turn on / off the power of the module, view available networks, connect to them, in general, everything is standard.

    Connections. The following items for connecting to a computer via USB are supported:
    • Kodak EasyShare. The phone is detected by the computer as a camera.
    • Sync Media The phone is defined by the computer as a multimedia player.
    • Memory card. Two drives are connected: the card itself and the available phone memory.
    • Modem. Normal GPRS / EDGE USB modem.
    • Printing via USB. Connect to a printer.
    • Service and Modem and Service. Work with telnet, ftp, samba and web-server.
    Also in this submenu are the Internet, Tv-Out and Bluetooth settings.


    1. FM Radio. To listen, you need a headset or any standard headphones. Up to 27 stations can be stored in memory. The radio volume is sufficient, I would even say excessive. It catches perfectly even 100 km from the city. Supported work in the background.

    2. Search for media. A universal program for searching and playing any media file on a memory card or in the phone’s memory. It is also a player of music files, videos of various formats and even a program for viewing pictures.

    A music player is standard. It produces a fairly high-quality sound. There are several predefined equalizer settings and branded buns from the motorola in the form of Bass Boost (bass boost) and Spatial Audio (Spatial sound). Rewinding, unfortunately, is static, so it’s best to listen to long tracks or recordings from radio stations in RockBox.
    Picture Viewer supports all popular formats. It is possible to zoom and pan the image.
    The standard video player supports formats 3gp, mp4, rm, rmvb, wmv, asf and many others. Can transfer picture to TV.

    3. The camera.The strongest side of the phone. The photos are just gorgeous. When you open the shutter that covers the lens, the camera starts. There are not too many settings, all that is needed is highlighted: white balance, flash setting, mark, autofocus. The xenon flash is strong and it happens that the photos are overexposed. You can set the mode of insufficient lighting, or put marks on pictures, take panoramic photos. Multishot is present and makes it possible to choose the most successful frame of the four. Using the special key, you can send the picture just taken to Kodak Gallery.

    Sample photos: Download examples , 100 Mb. 65 photos. 4. The camcorder.

    The weakest side of the phone. It shoots terribly, the maximum shooting resolution is 176x144. The problem is partially solved by replacing the camcorder libraries with new ones. Then the device will shoot video in a resolution of 352x288 with more or less tolerant quality. An example of a video captured on YouTube

    5. Voice recorder. Writes voice notes, it is possible to record a telephone conversation. Duration of recording is not limited, writes to amr format.

    6. Kodak Gallery Link - Link to Kodak's online photo sharing service.


    Here are collected utilities for fine-tuning the phone. You can select the processor operating mode, enable SWAP, start network services, split the flash card into several sections, make BackUp of some important system files, set the heap size for Java applications and change the camera libraries.


    This submenu is filled with some useful utilities, for example, it is an office file viewer and a convenient text editor.


    In conclusion, I promised to list all the advantages and disadvantages of this device. Let's start with the shortcomings:
    1. Short battery life with a standard battery. On average 1.5 - 2 days. The problem is solved by replacing the BX50 battery with a more capacious model.
    2. Slow interface. It is what it is. I will not hide. The problem is partially solved by installing custom firmware.
    3. Quality software. Many programs are assembled on the knee and their performance is poor.
    4. Terrible video quality. And this is for a photo flag ... The problem is partially solved by installing patched camera libraries.
    5. Design. Personally, I don’t really like the protrusion of the camera module.
    6. The volume of the external speaker. The sound is quite quiet, on a noisy street you can miss a call. It is solved by installing a third-party program to enhance the sound.
    1. The quality of the materials. The steel case is strong and reliable. Chemically toughened glass is very difficult to scratch.
    2. Ergonomics. The phone sits in the hand perfectly both in horizontal and vertical position. Typing is quite convenient.
    3. Camera. The quality of the pictures is just excellent, it was this point that was for me the most important criterion in choosing a phone.
    4. Display. Does not fade in the sun. The matrix is ​​bright enough, it's nice to watch both movies and photos.
    5. Great sound in headphones. ZN5 can be used instead of an mp3 player.
    6. Good call quality. The proprietary Crystal Talk technology has shown itself quite well in noisy places.
    Well, that's basically it. Thanks to the one who read to the end! I would like to express my deep gratitude to the enthusiasts and developers from the MotoFan.Ru project. To all those who have long and hard developed something for this platform. Special thanks to rock88 and Ant-ON. And of course, many thanks to such an excellent resource as habrahabr.ru!

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