Most current 4G smartphones sold in Australia are high end handsets, like the HTC One XL, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III 4G and the Windows-based HTC Titan 4G. That is set to change in the near future with the launch of the Motorola RAZR M, a mid-range 4G smartphone that will exclusively sell in Australia through Telstra.
The key feature for Australian consumers is obviously the RAZR M's 4G connectivity, specifically the fact that it is compatible with the 1800MHz 4G network used here by both Telstra and Optus. The RAZR M will be sold as a Telstra exclusive and will be one of only two Motorola 4G phones (the other being the RAZR HD) to retail in Australia. This is a significant milestone for Motorola, as the company's products have hardly been sighted on the shelves in 2012.
The Motorola RAZR M is a mid-range handset, so it doesn't really break any new ground. The best feature appears to be a 4.3in super AMOLED screen with a qHD resolution of 540x960. More important than the screen, though, is the physical design of this handset. Motorola says it pushed the RAZR M's display as close as possible to the edge of the phone in order to maximise the screen size without compromising on physical size. The result is a phone with a strikingly thin bezel.
The design touches don't end there. Motorola has retained many of the features that made the previous RAZR smartphone appealing. The RAZR M's screen is coated in gorilla glass, the back has a Kevlar fibre backing and there's a splash-guard coating that makes the surface water repellant. The internal components of the phone have been coated with this splash-guard material, too, so the RAZR M should hold up well if it accidentally gets splashed with water.
The Motorola RAZR M is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and comes with a microSD card slot for memory expansion. There's an 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a full HD video recorder and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls.
Motorola has equipped the RAZR M with a fairly large 2000mAh battery, which it describes as "long-lasting". It will certainly need to be just that given that 4G is a noted battery hog.
The RAZR M will initially ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software, but Motorola says an update to the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean version will arrive before the end of the year.
Neither Motorola or Telstra have announced specific local availability or pricing details, but the RAZR M is expected to be released in Q3, exclusively through Telstra. Telstra has set up a page on its Web site for users wishing to register their interest.
Motorola's promotional video for the RAZR M can be seen below.