Motorola RAZR Review


Motorola have been around for a long time now making phones, everyone will remember the iconic RAZR phone which went through a few different phases including the V3i, V3xx and the Maxx which the later ones were 3G versions back in the days of 3G first launching here in the UK

With Android being a popular OS for manufacturers to chose from and being paired with the Motorola hardware surely an Android RAZR would be a big hit?.

This handset was kindly provided by Clove Technology who sent the RAZR to us to be able to cover in a review on the site.  With this phone only just going on sale recently this is very kind of them and which we at CoolSmartPhone thank them very much.

The RAZR  has some very impressive specifications the key ones are:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 8 Megapixel Camera with 1080p Video
  • HSDPA 14.4mb/s
  • HSUPA 5.76mb/s
  • Bluetooth, WiFi & GPS
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB Storage
  • 1780mAh Battery

RAZR from Daniel Carter on Vimeo.

At time of writing this review the Motorola RAZR is on sale from £440 Sim Free here in the UK via Clove and that money gets you a LOT of phone from the massive touch screen, Dual Core processor, large built in memory, 8 megapixel camera, Full HD video and HDMI out etc….

Add to that the physical design of the RAZR, at dimensions of 130mm x 69mm x 7mm, the RAZR has to be the thinnest phone we have hand hands on and weighing 127g it is not exactly on the heavy side either

Running a 1.2Ghz Dual Core processor and 1GB of RAM, the RAZR is a very powerful phone with a lot of potential giving the fact Motorola are hardly new to the mobile market when it comes to making top end phones.

 



Looking at the front of the RAZR you cant help but notice the massive 4.3 inch screen which does feel really big.  In fact when compared to the Galaxy Nexus there did not seem to be much in the size difference of 0.35 inches.  Something also to remember that the RAZR screen is made from Gorilla Glass so is very strong and helps precent scratches so a case will be the last thing on your mind.

Above the screen is the large MOTOROLA logo and the speaker grill.  Below that is a light sensor which adjusts the backlight depending on your conditions and helps extend the battery life which itself seemed quite poor but will be talked about later in the review.

You also have a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera which is used for your video calls or for taking self portrait photos.  Considering the higher quality outer camera the only really main use for the front camera is with apps like Skype, Tango and GTalk to be able to video call.

Below the screen are 4 touch sensitive buttons which are for MENU, HOME, BACK and SEARCH of course, if you have used android before you will be used to these standard buttons by now.  They are also backlit which when this kicks in does help use them, but I found quite a lot of the time the lights never came on and with the screen being really dark you cannot make out which button is which unless you look really hard or have the buttons light working.  Also in a strange move, the microphone used when in calls has been moved from the bottom of the RAZR to being stuck in a strange position between these touch buttons.  It’s not in the centre its off centre and slightly raised.


The back of the RAZR has the 8 megapixel camera which is quite good depending on your conditions.  Something I did find which was quite a suprise was that the RAZR out performed the Lumia 800 in low light conditions but the RAZR did suffer from a delay in taking the picture which if you were to move can end in a very poor photo.

Next to the camera is the single LED flash and the speakerphone which was quite good at blasting out music downloaded from Spotify but did not compare with the good set of headphones.

Now for the interesting bit, the main part of the back cover is made from Kevlar!. The reason for having this?.  Well not only does it make the phone stronger on the back, the RAZR is so thin maybe people were worried about snapping it?.  But also it sounds really cool and is a very unique feature to have whilst adding to the overall design the RAZR has.



 

Video is recorded in FULL HD – that’s 1080p which is the best quality you can get at the moment on a phone, there are still phones with 720p video so this makes the RAZR even better.  The overall quality was quite impressive even though it did suffer when you move around in a 360 spin slowly the light change really played up with the quality if the video and at times you could not make out what was being filmed it was all black.





At the bottom there is nothing, not even a speaker hole as this has been moved to the front of the phone where the touch screen buttons are found.



At the top is where you will find the main ports you will need.  These include a 3.5mm headset jack so you can use either the supplied headset or your own if you like.  I tried a paid of the Apple In-Ear Headset which cost £66 from the Apple Store and they very VERY good at music playback.  You also have a MicroUSB port for plugging in the charger and cable into a computer so you can transfer data.  You also have a HDMI port which is great for plugging into your nice big HD TV and sharing your content with friends and family.




The left hand side of the RAZR is pretty plain considering the large space it had available.  At the bottom there is a small cover with 2 slots these are for a MicroSD card for expandable storage and the other is for a MicroSim which is a first for Motorola and obviously needed to help get the size down to be so thin.

 

The right hand side of the RAZR has the on/off button which also puts the phone into standby and wakes it up again.  There is also the volume up/down buttons for volume in calls and changing the profile.

Unfortunately as with many phones now there is no dedicated camera button instead you have to press the screen icon to focus and take a picture.  With the 8 megapixel camera and 1080p video it was looking like multimedia was a key focus so a shame not to have a dedicated button.

Final Thoughts

So after getting some good hands on time with the Motorola RAZR what are my overall thoughts?

First of all, the positive points.  The build quality is really top notch and considering the screen is gorilla glass so you dont have to worry about scratching, the back plate is made from kevlar so you have a strong core enclosing all the other parts but in a really thin case which is quite something to look at.

With 16GB of built in storage and expandable for another 32GB, this is a great handset for a music lover or someone who wants to put a lot of movies on their phone for on the move.  32GB cards still sell for a lot of money but even 16GB will double the built in storage and give you more than enough space to play with.


The screen is large and bright which is great for both indoor and outdoor use.  The resolution at 540 x 960 is also there to give a crisp clear video playback as well as when viewing photos you have taken on the camera.

Now onto the negative points found and the first has to be the battery.  Even with a massive 1780mAh battery with normal use the RAZR hardly lasted a day, I often found myself needing to top-up the battery at work to make sure I can listen to music on the way home or to make phone calls after 6pm.

Then there is the horrible Motorola customized interface like MotoBlur which is just horrible.. The only key feature it seems to bring is a list of settings for accounts such as Linked In, Google and Picasa but these can be used via 3rd party applications from the market anyway.  What Motorola also do is change nearly every part of Android to make is stand out, which it does but will soon see you rushing to the Market to download a 3rd party launcher like Launcher Pro.

If I had to score the Motorola RAZR out of 10, I’d personally score it a  7.  The key selling points are the large touch screen, thin design and HDMI use with the key let downs being the poor battery life, shutter lag on the camera and overall Motorola customization of the UI.

Massive thanks again to Clove for the loan of the handset for review.

Link: Clove Technology

  • spez

    Dodge a bullet there then, when i opted for an SGS II rather than this.

  • Leica

    I am soo tempted to get the maxx when it comes out in UK, when you say it is good at blasting out music, does that mean it has a good volume that will wake up a deep sleeper in the morning? is it a vast difference to the volume on the htc sensation xe?