Motorola RAZR Android phone

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

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  • User Reviews (11)
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Motorola Australia RAZR
  • Motorola Australia RAZR
  • Motorola Australia RAZR
  • Motorola Australia 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.

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It's the thinnest smartphone in the world and is constructed from premium materials like diamond cut aluminium and Kevlar fibre. In a nutshell, that's Motorola's sale pitch for the RAZR, the company's latest flagship Android phone. The RAZR is an excellent smartphone with outstanding build quality, but it's quite a large phone that can be uncomfortable to hold if you have small hands.

Hands-on with the new Motorola RAZR
Best upcoming smartphones in 2011

Motorola RAZR: Design and display

If you're wondering why the name RAZR sounds familiar, that's because it is. The Motorola RAZR was originally a flip phone that sold over 130 million units worldwide in a five year period from 2004-2008. The RAZR lost its sharpness as the world moved to smartphones, but Motorola has decided to bring the brand back in a bid to boost sales. The return of the RAZR name seems like a good decision, as it's a brand many consumers can easily identify with.

Previous RAZR phones were known for their industrial design and the new RAZR is a great example of that. The phone is just 7.1mm thick at its thinnest point — over 2mm thinner than the iPhone 4S and thin enough to claim the title of the thinnest smartphone in the world. To be fair, the RAZR isn't 7.1mm thin all the way along: at the top of the phone is a bump that sticks out at the back and houses the camera lens, LED flash and speaker, as well as the HDMI-out port, micro-USB and headphone ports on top. This bump makes the RAZR a little top heavy, so it feels a bit awkward to hold.

The awkward feeling you get when handling the Motorola RAZR also stems from the fact it’s a very large phone. It's slightly longer and wider than the Samsung Galaxy S II despite the two phones sharing the same sized screen. The RAZR has a fair bit of wasted space surrounding the screen due to its wide bezel, so users with small hands may find its size a little too big. Its particularly tough to move your thumb to the edge of the screen if you are holding the phone with one hand. Adding to the RAZR's awkward feel is its industrial looking design: the RAZR has squarish, sharp edges that can dig into your hands.

The RAZR may be a little large but its fit and finish is amongst the best we've seen on any smartphone to date. Motorola says the phone combines a diamond cut aluminium frame and a case that's made from Kevlar fibre. The Kevlar backing is soft to touch and really gives the RAZR a distinct look and feel. We much prefer it to the etched plastic backing of the Galaxy S II, which does feel a little cheap. A downside to the RAZR's thinness is that it has a non-removable battery. It also uses a micro-SIM card rather than a full sized SIM card. The SIM slot is housed on the left side of the phone, next to a microSD card slot and behind a plastic flap.

The Motorola RAZR has a splash-guard coating that makes the phone water-repellent. Motorola says both the phone itself and many of its internal components have been coated with the splash-guard material, so it is expected to hold up well to the elements. Unfortunately, our review unit was not coated in the splash-guard treatment, so we couldn't test it. We did, however, see it in action at Motorola's media launch and can confirm it definitely works as advertised and is genuinely impressive. The water beads then slides off the surface of the RAZR very easily. It looks very similar to water beads rolling off a car when it's just been polished and waxed. Keep in mind the coating makes the phone water-repellent, not water-proof, so don't expect to take the RAZR swimming with you.

The Motorola RAZR has a 4.3in Super AMOLED display with a qHD resolution of 540x960. The screen is excellent: it's just as bright and vibrant as the Galaxy S II, but its higher resolution makes text crisper and details finer. The screen is responsive to touch and has excellent outdoor visibility: it's very bright even directly in the hot Aussie sun.

Next page: Software and performance, battery life and availability

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Recommended

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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