Motorola’s latest release is a stylish, high-end smartphone aimed at taking on the likes of Samsung and HTC in the processing power stakes. Like recent devices coming from the stable of the aforementioned manufacturers, the Motorola Razr features a dual-core CPU under the hood, despite sharing its name with the manufacturer’s comparatively underpowered iconic clamshell device from the mid-2000s. Is this new iteration worthy of the name?
The most noticeable thing about the Razr is how slim it is. Motorola have played around with what has become the standard smartphone shape and crammed the camera into a bulge at the top edge, leaving the rest of the phone’s body only 7.1mm thick. As strange as it sounds, the Razr looks good and it’s an appearance that suits its name, however, if we could raise one criticism, we’d say that its perhaps a little too thin and this leaves the phone feeling a bit fragile.
However, the back of the Razr’s casing is made of Kevlar which means it is sturdy even if it doesn’t feel that way, and the front of the phone is covered in a Gorilla Glass plate. All in all, it’s a tough phone which should withstand any knocks.
That glass plate protects the 4.3-inch, 540×960 pixel touchscreen, a Super AMOLED display which offers fantastic visuals. Colours are crisp and bold and videos look great on the display, as do webpages. Even the smallest online details are clear and there is no problem in clicking links. That said, the display could have perhaps been larger and taken more of an advantage of the expansive facia – there’s a noticeable gap between where the screen ends and the touch-sensitive nav buttons are positioned.
Power and Operating System
The Razr offers some decent processing power which can rival the speeds of the phones it’s going up against. The dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 processor means that multitasking nis no problem, and when coupled with the 1GB, completely dispenses of lag when opening apps, streaming video and playing games.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread is the operating system Motorola has opted for, and whilst it’s a more than capable platform, its inclusion on such a new device is slightly baffling especially since, Ice Cream Sandwich has recently made its debut, meaning that the Razr is outmoded from the off. However, whilst the device will ship with Gingerbread at launch, it is envisaged that an update to version 4.0 will follow shortly.
Gingerbread is still a more than reasonable OS though, and all the regular Android features such as customizable homescreens, full Google suite of apps and social networking integration make an appearance and combine to make the user experience a pleasurable one. Motorola have also tweaked the software to give the Razr its own identity via their own UI, but it doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal as rival skins such as HTC’s Sense overlay.
As we mentioned, the large, Super AMOLED display makes webpages look great with colour reproduction being particularly impressive. The responsive of the touchscreen makes it easy to zoom in and navigate around a website and the fast processor means that the phone responds well to these commands. When connected to Wi-Fi the Razr is a fast-paced internet tool but over 3G it was noticeably slow and that’s something that could become annoying if you’re trying to look up important information when out and about.
The eight megapixel camera sported by the Razr is a powerful one that also records video at 1080p. The images produced are decent but they don’t break any new ground in terms of phone-based photography and, considering how well the Razr’s screen handles colours, the final images look a little washed-out. Video footage is clear and detailed but it can become a bit jumpy if the phone is moved around too much when filming.
Other Tech Specs
- Document viewer/editor
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Splash resistant
- Standard battery, Li-Ion 1780 mAh
The Razr certainly makes a refreshing change from the standard smartphone form-factor, with its slim design making it stand out, however, the desire to be different is perhaps to the detriment of the user experience as it isn’t that great to hold and can feel like it’s a little too big for your hand. Another problem caused by the ultra-slim design is the uneven weight-distribution that makes it feel off balance. Conversely, using the phone’s functions is easy to the point of effortlessness, although the UI is not the most visually appealing.
The Motorola Razr is powerful and impressive, but so are a lot of other high-end handsets that are out on the market at the moment. It can match rival devices from the likes of HTC and Samsung in terms of processing power and display-quality but it doesn’t stand head and shoulders above them. If what you’re after is a good looking, high-end Android phone that will get noticed then the Razr could be worth considering but, apart from that, there isn’t a great deal to worry Motorola’s rivals.