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Review: Motorola Razr Android Smartphone

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We have just two words to describe the Motorola Razr: Android awesomeness. The whole new version of Motorola’s famed MotoRazr V3 handset which was released, like, ages ago has some of the best things we look forward to in an Android smartphone.

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In the Android smartphone department, we have hardly seen a phone as exciting since the Samsung Galaxy S2. So why does the Motorola Razr pick the cherry off our cake? Well, it has got the legendary looks it took from the MotoRazr, Android functionality that it takes from the Motorola Droid range and a few unique features such as a Motocast app to boast of.


Upfront, the Motorola Razr has a 4.3-inch qHD display encased in an elegant Aluminum unibody.  Its 7.1-mm thickness is quite something to boast about. Besides being thin, the handset is easy to handle and doesn’t feel fragile. Under the hood, it packs in a 1780mAh battery, a 1.2-GHz dual-core processor and Android Gingerbread. Add to that, it has an 8-megapixel snapper at the back and a 1.3-megapixel one at the front for video chatting.  While all of that sounds more than exciting, here the eternal question – is it really worth your moolah? Or even a more pertinent one – how does stack up against available smartphone superheroes such as S2 and Lumia 800? Well, lets see.

Look and feel

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In terms of form factor, though the Razr has inherited its looks from the MotoRazr, Motorola has also improvised a bit when it comes to design. The handset is quite thin. We mean razor-thin. But, it hardly feels so when kept in hand because of its humongous screen size and also because it fattens up at the top to accommodate the camera at the back.

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First up, front view. The Motorola Razr’s front is all about the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, which looks and feels quite attractive. The 540 x 960p resolution, though is as tad disappointing in the times of retina and 720p HD displays courtesy the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. There are physical buttons at the bottom making it easy to touch and feel. Besides the touchscreen what you see are four touch-sensitive buttons at the bottom – menu, search, back and home.

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What put us off a bit were the volume rocker and the screen off/on button at the side. Finding the MicroSIM tray and MicroSD situated on the right side was easy, opening it was not.

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The back is covered with Kevlar coating to make sure that its thin form factor stands the test of time while a corning Gorilla glass protects the touchscreen, both together make the Razr hard as rock. Being encased in a unibody, it does not give you access to the battery. The sides are made of Aluminum and make the phone easy to hold.

Overall, in terms of looks the handset looks and feels good its neither plasticky like the S2 nor heavy as the Lumia.

Features and interface

The Razr has much to offer in terms of feature and interface. It overflows with Android juices but besides that, the UI and the pre-loaded apps are fun too. It accepts only a MicroSIM, which as of now is nothing more than an inconvenience in case you use your SIM on two or more phones.

Apps and Services

The UI is pretty much Android. Being empowered with Gingerbread 2.3.5, the handset is pretty good to use. It has the same Android grid icons, there are a lot of apps and you are totally spoilt for choice. The pre-loaded games such as Bejeweled 2 work like a charm while other Android apps don’t leave us with room to complain.

A special mention here goes to the Motocast app. In case you found the phone’s inbuilt memory and MicroSD memory a bit limiting, then here’s the thing. The Motocast app lets you share everything from your PC over Wi-Fi, whether it is documents, music or videos. Think of it as your PC’s soul in your phone’s body. I mean access any and everything. The only downside to this app is that you can’t be too far from your PC, which needs to be switched on whenever you need to use this app.  Also loaded is a smart actions app, which makes every action faster and prompted like switching on the battery saver in times of need.

A side note here: The Razr is soon expecting an Ice Cream Sandwich OS update but how soon is that, we can’t tell. In case it does, those 4 touch-sensitive buttons at the bottom will become useless, though the user experience will become more exciting.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the net connectivity upon a normal Wi-Fi was average while the call pick drop was good. Internationally, the handset is known to be 4G LTE capable.  Given that 4G are yet to make a mark in India, the handset will work quite good with your usual Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The browser though did hang up a couple of times and we needed to switch off the handset, which was a bit buggy.

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Bluetooth connectivity is pretty good. We have no complaints about the USB too. Also the HDMI feature is pretty cool as you can directly view your images and videos on your LCD via an HDMI cable.

Performance

The music quality is quite decent even though it’s nowhere near Walkman-esque. The headphones work pretty well; the FM Radio doesn’t leave us ranting while listening to music straight from the PC via Motocast was what we did most.

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The camera at the back is amazingly decent. We say so because it does live up to the promise of 8-megapixel HD, but we still feel there is room for improvement. You can access the camera from the lockscreen. But its not the pictures that amaze you. The video was pretty much impressive though it did not fully deliver the promise of 1080p playback.

In terms of the battery, we were in for a slight disappointment as upon regular usage, the battery kind of starts dying. In our two weeks of usage, the phone switched on to battery saver mode more times than we can count on our fingers.

Bundled Accessories

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The Motorola Razr’s box looks more like a box of sweets, which includes a USB cord, a USB charger, headphones and the handset itself.

Price

The handset is available for Rs. 29,990 at Flipkart

Typical price: Rs. 33,390.

Pros:

Suave, sexy and sharp form factor

Android apps

Motorola flagship Smart Actions and Motocast apps

Easy access

Great UI

Cons:

Needs MicroSIM

Slightly weak battery

Verdict:

There is no denying that the new Razr packs in a lot whether it is in terms of looks, features or functionality. Slight changes might make it fare even better though but we really don’t have much room to complain except the battery maybe. The price tag, though is kind of out of a layman’s range as of now.

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