Motorola Razr hands-on review

THE INQUIRER was one of the first to get its hands on the reincarnation of the Motorola Razr smartphone unveiled on Wednesday and we had a quick play on the device to see whether it lives up to the hype.

Naming it the ‘Razr’, a nod to its formerly hugely popular device of the same name, suggests that Motorola has high hopes for this phone.

Two of the main aspects of the smartphone touted by Motorola are the size and weight of the device, with the firm claiming the super slim design makes it the thinnest smartphone on the market.

Whether it is or not, it does feel very light and comfortable to hold, yet it’s far from petite, boasting a high-quality 4.3inch super AMOLED touchscreen.

It still feels sturdy and strong too, no doubt helped by the use of threaded Kevlar on the back of the phone and Gorilla Glass for the screen, making it ideally suited for busy people who don’t want a device that they have to treat as a precious, fragile toy.

Motorola has also added what it calls Splash Guard technology, which makes the phone water-repellent to low level liquid insults such as rain.

It features a top quality, razor sharp display – no pun intended – with images and web pages rendered clearly and crisply, making it an equal to many high-end Samsung devices and the Iphone 4S.

This will help to ensure that photos taken with the 8MP camera won’t let you down, while video is also high-quality, with HD 1080 capability. This is supported by a sizeable 16GB complement of internal storage and a microSD card slot to ramp up storage to a whopping 48GB.

Accessing and interacting with all this data will require a speedy processor and the dual-core 1.2GHz processor is certainly powerful enough, with the phone easily and seamlessly switching between its camera, applications and web pages.

It’s odd in some ways, though, that the device has Android 2.3 Gingerbread as its operating system (OS), and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Perhaps Google purposefully allowed Samsung to be first to market with the latest version of Android to keep it sweet.

Motorola has confirmed that it will be rolling out an OS update to the phone in the first quarter of 2012, though, so those keen to get the update won’t have to wait too long if they plump for the Razr.

One notable hardware inclusion on the device is an HDMI port, a feature lacking from many high-end devices such as the Iphone 4S. This will allow users to stream photos and videos to larger screens through a single cable with no loss of image quality, ideal for sharing photos.

Overall then, Motorola has produced a strong piece of kit with its revived Razr smartphone, and one that’s worthy of the name. It could be just the phone the firm needs to turn heads in the UK market, where its Milestone devices failed to excite consumers, unlike in the US.

Whether it’s enough to compete with Apple or Samsung will remain to be seen, and its launch at the same time as Samsung releases a major product and as the Iphone 4S flies off the shelves could hurt its immediate prospects.

It is, however, a very strong offering and could well be the springboard to even bigger and brighter things as Google is starting to provide its not inconsiderable support and assistance. ยต

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