Motorola RAZR Android phone

Motorola RAZR review: The RAZR is back and it's thinner than ever

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Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola RAZR

Pros

  • Fantastic 4.3in display
  • Excellent performance and slick software
  • Included Motorola apps add value

Cons

  • Large size is uncomfortable to hold
  • Feels top heavy due to "bump" design
  • Non-removable battery

Bottom Line

If you can live with its large size and sometimes awkward feel, the Motorola RAZR is one of the best Android smartphones released this year. It combines a brilliant and vibrant screen in a unique frame, and tops off the package with slick and intuitive software that aids the user experience.

Would you buy this?

Motorola RAZR: Software and performance

The Motorola RAZR runs the 2.3 "Gingerbread" version of Google's Android software and the company has promised an upgrade to the latest 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" version early in 2012. However, the main software focus is on Motorola's UI overlay, previously called MotoBlur. It's been refined and improved on the RAZR and most of the changes are positive.

Motorola's Motoblur service is no longer mandatory. That means when you first turn on the RAZR, you aren't forced to create a Motorola account (this time called a Motocast account) to use the phone. In addition, Motorola has scaled down the amount of customisation it has made to the standard Android interface. It still uses many of its own icons and widgets but they generally look attractive and don't clutter the interface. Some of the best Motorola widgets include a "favourite contacts" that lets you swipe down on it to show up to 20 contacts with an image, and toggles for settings like airplane mode, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi. The Motorola widgets are resizable and handy guide markers appear on the screen when you're moving the widgets around. Unlike some previous Motorola smartphones, the RAZR is fast and responsive straight out of the box: apps load almost instantly, we didn't experience any crashes and everything runs smoothly.

Widgets aside, the Motorola RAZR also has a number of other handy software features. You can swipe to the left on the lock screen to jump immediately into the camera app, and swipe up on a small switch on the same screen to put the phone on silent mode. The camera app is both slick and fast, with minimal time between photos if you are quick on the shutter button. You can also use the external volume keys as zoom buttons, but there is no physical shutter key. Images captured with the camera produce good detail but do suffer from some image noise and can often appear washed out. The camera doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder and the quality is excellent for a phone.

We liked the RAZR's Motocast application, a pre-loaded Motorola app that allows the streaming of multimedia content (music, videos, images and documents) from a PC or Mac. Unlike many other Cloud services, you don't need to move the files you want to access on your computer to the Motocast application: you simply need to select the folders and files you want the service to access.

The Motorola RAZR also includes the Smart Actions app, which incorporates both battery saving features and automated task settings. Though neither of these features is new (many third party apps on the Android Market provide similar features) the app is well implemented and reasonably easy to use. As an example you can set up an action that will automatically play music when you plug in your headphones, automatically set your phone to silent when you nominate a location as a "quiet location" and even turn on Wi-Fi and turn off Bluetooth (or adjust a wealth of other settings) when you get to the office, or arrive home. The app uses a combination of location based and user nominated settings to automate tasks and you can create and activate as many as you like.

The Motorola RAZR is initially exclusive to Optus so naturally comes with plenty of shortcuts to Optus services. There are no less than 14 Optus apps, most of them shortcuts to services like Smart Safe, SocialView and the Optus App Store. You can't uninstall or completely remove the shortcuts, but you can hide them by pressing and holding on an app icon and selecting "hide". It's worth noting that the RAZR is a quad-band 3G device, which means it will work on all Australian networks including Telstra's 850MHz Next G network and the 2100MHz and 900MHz networks used by Optus and Vodafone.

Motorola RAZR: Battery life and availability

The Motorola RAZR has a non-removable 1780mAh battery, which should be enough to last most users a full day. During testing, it didn't die before the end of the day, except if we made a point of watching YouTube videos — one of the biggest battery drainers on an Android phone. Obviously the RAZR's battery life will depend on your usage pattern but the device should last a full day.

The Motorola RAZR is available exclusively through Optus in Australia for $0 upfront on the $59 cap plan over 24 months. The Optus $59 cap includes $750 worth of calls, unlimited SMS messages, 2GB of data and unlimited access within Australia to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, eBay and Foursquare services. Optus also sells the RAZR for $0 on a $79 cap over 24 months with a range of accessories including a HD Multimedia Dock, an extra power supply, a HDMI cable, a Motorola Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, a car cradle and car mount, a 3.5mm cable and an in-car charger.

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Kyle

1

What's the battery life like, in comparison to the iPhone 4S? With a screen similar to that of the Galaxy SII, does that affect the battery life like it does with the Galaxy?

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Miss Liz

4.5

1

Pros
The size and shape i love its uniqueness. Battery is brilliant.
Cons
exiting out of some apps some take forever to get out of cause it wont take you to homescreen.
• • •

I Love it first smart phone i owned was iphone 3. Absolute rubbish had contract cancelled for free by telstra. Then had a htc desire released last year in march 2011, brillian phone. Now i have my motorola razr never had an original flip so this is new to me. Ive seen alot of reveiws complaining about size. i have big hands i cant stand using small phones and my sights shocking but honestly its no bigger then the samsung galaxy s2 i chose this phone cause of its uniqueness its different to all other phones also by shapes and features but functions just as nicely as those ranked as the best. i like the extra thickness at the top it doesnt feel like im going to drop it its smooth and sits nicely hooked onto my hand when holding it.

i love the smart action setting to save battery life you can tell it wen to save battery power and where u want it saved from. also gives me ample warning when it needs to be charged.

Sound is crystal clear and enjoyable my partner could hear me playing angry birds while talking to him on his razr through speaker phone and i had the game sound on quiet.

Accesses applications and internet smoothly and quickly and i like the fact it tells me how much data i use and the graph of how much i use in a week. love the toggle features for wifi bluetooth and aeroplane mode. only thing i can say i didnt like in that area is when exiting some applications it can take forever cause u have to exit each screen at a time to get back to home screen some just take u there though.

Camera: ive taken some brilliant shots you may need to adjust its camera settings to get full quality from it. video camera is the best ive seen on a smart phone. Overal the phone wasso nice i bought one for my partner too it as that good you wont be dissatisfied my phone stops strangers in the street.

P.S id like to make a comment mst reviews ive seen of this phone have got me wondering is it the tester personal preferences clouding their judgement when comparing this phone. If so your letting buyers miss out on a fantastic product. Yes compare phones but on performance and quality not wat u may or may not like!

Chelsea

4.0

2

Pros
everything but battery life
Cons
battery!
• • •

Great phone, by far better than the Iphone 4s. Spectacular display, no problem touch screen, however charge doesn't last a full day with me!

Luci

4.0

3

Pros
Motorola RAZAR
Cons
Motorola's battery unaccesible
• • •

I am really impressed with the new features of this brand new android phone. However the fact of not being able to remove the battery practically means your phone will last till the battery dies! Expensive....how long??? Not being able to replace the battery is not so good.

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