The Motorola RAZR is a super-slim, powerful smartphone with a sturdy design and striking screen aimed at stealing some thunder from the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2.
With a 4.3-inch high definition screen boasting a pin sharp resolution of 540x960, the RAZR is great for watching YouTube videos and browsing the web, while the Kevlar coated case and glass screen make the RAZR tough as well as slim.
Look and Feel
Immediately striking about the Motorola RAZR is the design; at just 7.1mm it is considerably thinner than the iPhone 4S at 9.3mm. However, the RAZR does have a bump at the top housing the camera, flash and speaker.
While increasing the thickness to iPhone 4S levels, the small bump does make the RAZR easy to hold and adds a little quirk to the design. After a week of use we found that the RAZR stood up incredibly well to every day wear and tear; we'd go far as to say that a few drops and knocks wouldn't cause the RAZR much harm, unlike some other smartphones we know.
At the top of the phone there is an HDMI port alongside a micro USB connection; these are joined by a standard 3.5mm headphone jack for the included headphones. On the right there is the power button and volume rocker and on the lower-left there's a plastic flip covering micro SIM and SD card slots.
Above the screen is a VGA quality front facing camera and a proximity sensor which turns off the screen when the phone is held to your face.
Aside from the power button, the RAZR is an all-touch affair, with four illuminated touch-sensitive buttons at the foot of the screen, each producing a small vibration when pressed.
Tipping the scales at 127g the RAZR is incredibly light for a smartphone of this size and performance and noticeably lighter than the 140g iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
At the International Business Times UK we found the RAZR so be a very good size; it felt comfortable and secure in one hand, and the screen size is a good compromise between the 4.7-inch Galaxy Nexus and the 3.5-inch iPhone.
The display itself is very sharp and bright. While not quite matching the iPhone 4S for pixel density, the RAZR does an excellent job, giving vivid colour to images and an even backlighting. the screen is also very responsive to touch, although we were a little disappointed by the slight delay when pinching to zoom in and out of photographs.
Overall, the RAZR feels like a quality smartphone; durable, while still being slim and attractive, the Motorola certainly looks like it deserves its £455 price tag.
With running Android 2.3.5 - better known as Gingerbread - the RAZR unfortunately lags behind the newer and substantially improved 2.4 Ice cream Sandwich. Android 2.4 might become available for the RAZR eventually, but it could be some time as the current build of Gingerbread is heavily customised. We can't imagine Motorola will be in any rush to modify the relatively new Ice Cream Sandwich.
The RAZR has a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM which work together to make running Android a smooth and pleasant experience. With multiple applications and games open at once, we found that the RAZR quickly switched between apps with a minimum of fuss.
As is common across most Android handsets, the RAZR offers five screens to organise shortcuts to applications and widgets. A decent range of widgets come pre-loaded on the RAZR, providing the usual range of weather forecasts, social network updates and toggle switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the like. Of course, many more widgets can be downloaded.
During our first week with the RAZR we found the phone rebooting occasionally. These seemingly random reboots happened while the phone was idle and locked - similar to reboot problems we had with the Motorola Defy+ in late 2011.
However, software update was pushed to our RAZR in mid-January and the phone has yet to spontaneously reboot since; we hope the update has fixed this problem.
The Motorola RAZR packs an 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash and capable of high definition 1080p video recording. We found the camers to take decent photos but, as can be seen below, the camera struggled to balance exposure in sunlight, and the photos generally appeared quite cold. the camera app does have a good range of settings, with effects including black and white, negative, sepia and a range of coloured tints; there's also a macro mode for close-up shots and a panarama function.
A complaint of the camera would be that the on-screen shutter button is difficult to press while holding the phone in one hand.
We were impressed with the RAZR's battery and felt that - unlike some smartphones - the Motorola could last two full days on a single charge and with most battery-hogging features like W-Fi and GPS turned on. Of course, your mileage may vary, but we felt that it performed better than the iPhone 4S.
Controversially, the battery cannot be replaced - we blame this on the super-slim design not lending itself to incorporating a removable battery and cover - so if your RAZR dies during the day you cannot insert a fresh battery.
The Motorola RAZR is less of a throwback to the original flip-phone from which it gets its name, but a cutting edge smartphone with great design and build quality and offering a refreshing change to the barrage of HTC and Samsung devices dominating the market. It's lightness and thinness makes the RAZR stand out from the crowd and, while it is lacking Ice Cream Sandwich, the phone's performance matches the good looks.
- Very sturdy build quality and excellent design
- Thin and light
- Screen size is just right for a smartphone
- Powerful enough for nearly everyone's needs
- Good battery life
- Not going to get Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future
- Non-removable battery
- Random reboots (may have been fixed by software update)
- Zoom on images a little unresponsive
- Camera could be better, images came out a little cold