Motorola RAZR: The Review
By GTi Blue
If my memory serves me right, the last popular Motorola in the Middle East was the Moto Razr V3 with which sold over 50 million units by the end of 2006 (a measly number in comparison to the sales figures of the phones of today really) Everyone clamoured to get their hands on the hot colours it came out with. More so, the sleek profile and its sturdy aluminium body made sure it was the ‘THE’ phone to be seen with.
The introduction of the Apple iPhone with its sleek touch screen and body construction paved the way for the premature death of phones that could just make and receive calls. Subsequently with the introduction of ‘smartphones’ by various companies, we began to see a shift in consumer perspective on how phones moved from being optional to an essential accessory.
This article is not about those phones, but about the introduction of the latest in the Smartphone segment, the Motorola Razr. Can Motorola win back the roost it proudly ruled earlier? Is it going to be a game changer in the hotly competitive android Smartphone segment? Read on to find out…
The Motorola Razr is the thinnest Smartphone in the market today standing at only 7.1 mm thick. It runs on a 1.2 GHz dual core processor with 1GB of RAM. The rear facing 8MP camera can record in 1080p HD and a 1.3MP front facing camera capable of recording in 720p. The battery is non-removable and boasts 8 hours of talk time on normal usage. It runs the latest version of Android Gingerbread 2.3.5. Good news is that the Motorola Razr will be upgraded to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich OS by January 2012.
For a phone that is only 7.1mm thick, you’d expect it to be frail and flimsy, but is far from that. Stainless steel with a Kevlar backing (yes, Kevlar! Military grade material used on bulletproof vests) and Gorilla glass at the front (shatterproof and virtually scratchproof). No home button on the front, instead we have the usual 4 touch sensitive button layout you would see on an HTC. The only physical buttons are the power and the volume rocker buttons on the right side. The top section of the phone has a slight bump at 11.1mm thick where the power socket, 3.5 mm jack and the mini-USB jack are located. There is a light sensor on the front and an LED notification light. The left side of the phone houses ports for your microSIM and microSD card, expandable upto 32 GB.
The Razr has a 4.3” qHD Super AMOLED with pixel display at 256ppi. This means that the colours are vivid, sharp and saturated. This display might seem a bit less in comparison to the iPhone 4S which runs at 326ppi. But let me tell you, the high-contrast ratio, wide viewing angles and the deep black colour make up for it. In short, the display is stunning and at certain times a bit 3D. The size of the screen and the casing might be a problem for folks with nimble hands who like to use their phones with one hand. But hey, even folks with blackberry’s need to use both their hands!
The Motorola Razr has 5 home screens (which cannot be removed or added to) and plenty of space for apps in your app drawer. Though the system is android based, it runs the MOTOBLUR layout different from the Samsung Touch wiz and the HTC Sense. I must add that I didn’t warm up to the layout initially. But now I find it quite handy, especially the option of re-sizeable widgets on the home screen and the fancy 3D effects.
I might have to disappoint some of the Razr fans here when I say that the camera is not spec-ed up to its competitors in the segment, the Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S. Shutter speed is quite fast but the focus on the object might seem slightly blurry. The images shot on the Motorola Razr can seem slightly colourless in comparison, but nonetheless, the pixel quality is amazing. Low-light shooting can seem a little grainy, but negligible. Video quality in 1080p is good. The lens again, might have trouble adjusting to the subject, which might lead to low-quality videos.
All said and done, there are plenty of apps in the Android Market for the budding ‘phone photographer’! And in my opinion, if you like shooting quality pictures get yourself an SLR!
Now this is the part where I fell in love with the phone. There are some cool unique features Motorola have included over and above the standard android features. The integration of your social networking accounts are deeply integrated with every action you have on the Razr. From viewing photos to viewing profiles of your facebook/twitter friends, everything is fairly impressive. Now coming to the two most important software enhancements, MotoCast and Smart Actions.
MotoCast enables you to stream content over the air, content which is locally stored on your PC! Which is insanely cool, when you have pictures you wish to show a friend or to show him/her the latest movie you downloaded on your PC. It is so easy to upload / download content from your PC at home. It is a cloud based system that enhances your access to content otherwise deemed inaccessible!
Smart Actions reminds you how ‘smart’ your phone really is. This built in digital assistant tells your phone what to do when I reaches a particular destination or connects to a certain Wi-Fi connection. For example, the work smart action activates when you are in a particular location (GPS coordinates), connects to the set Wi-Fi connection, lowers your ringer volume, switches off Bluetooth and even sends a message to a set number informing them you’ve safely arrived! Similarly there are Smart Actions for every activity (Car, Running, Sleep, Data saver, Battery life saver) which keeps you in control of the phone at all times. It is based on a trigger system that activates all the said actions once the trigger requirements are met. Smartphone it truly is!
The Motorola Razr is blazingly quick and multitasking is quite a breeze. Browsing speeds are pretty good and page loading on our Etisalat / Du networks is pretty quick. The phone is 4G equipped, so expect quicker speeds when they are activated in the UAE. Download speeds are quick on the Android Market and managing applications have never been easier. You have options of shutting down applications when the phone display goes off. Quite a good feature when you need to save battery life. Talking about battery life, the Smart Actions can ensure you squeeze every ounce of power from your battery. My heavy usage of 3G browsing, youtubing, camera shooting and social networking has yielded me 6-7 hours of battery life. An average user can get the phone going till the end of the day and will need to be plugged in to a socket before you go to sleep.
Like its predecessor, the Motorola Razr has carved out a niche in a highly competitive Smartphone segment. A phone that simply works when you WANT it to and exceed expectations at the same time can only be good. Processor speed and functionality is on par with its competitors. But, where I think it trumps its competition is its form and design. The scratchproof front screen and the sexy interleaved Kevlar at the back make for an attractive proposition. Don’t be surprised if you keep your phone on the table and your friends pick it up going, “Wow! That’s a cool looking phone! Which one is it?” To their surprise, it’s a Motorola. Something they haven’t heard in a LONG time. To conclude, let me say, “You will never regret getting this phone”. And your life will never be the sameImage Source Video Source