ďRemarkably thin, yet heavy on features ... an inspiring creation to rival some of the bestĒ
The screen is vibrant and extremely sharp
When the RAZR was born in 2004 a cutting-edge design and fierce array of features pulled Motorola from a coma - it had fallen behind the times while forward-thinking rivals leapt ahead. Seven years on, the US mobile manufacturer is looking to the RAZRís Android-powered descendent to have a similar impact on the companyís fortunes in an increasingly samey smartphone sector.
Thereís no denying that the current range of top-end smartphones is superb. Standing out on the battlefield are high-spec machines like the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II, but the competition seems far less intense than it was. These days thereís a lot of imitation and similarity as a result.
Whatís interesting about the Motorola Droid RAZR is that it attempts to break the mould - and not just in a physical sense. As well as being remarkably thin, itís incredibly heavy on features with some pioneering additions that make it an inspiring creation to rival some of the best.
|No deals for selection|
Kevlar coating on the back is a nice touch
Donít be fooled by Motorolaís bold advertising slogan. The term ďimpossiblyĒ implies youíll be losing your RAZR down cracks in the pavement - it isnít that thin. Yes, itís among the most slender handsets around, but lauding its skinniness does a major injustice to the awesome selling points within. Weíll arrive at those later, though. For now we need to talk size.
The fact it measures more than 130mm x 69mm more than warrants its middleweight mass of 127g, making it lighter than an iPhone 4S but bulkier than the Galaxy S II. Itís incredible to think that such a meagre chassis holds an eight megapixel camera and a high-definition (HD) camcorder, not to mention the endless variety of apps supported by its Android 2.3.5 software, also known as Gingerbread.
Features aside for a moment, thereís one slight gripe we need to get out of the way. The Motorola Droid RAZR feels very strange in the hand. Its flattened out body is very wide and long, and the fact itís not as lean along the top - where the camera and flash reside - makes it a little top-heavy. This makes one-handed operation a precarious balancing act at times.
While this engenders a constant fear of dropping it, the Droid RAZR is reassuringly packaged in Kevlar - the material used in bulletproof vests - though it didnít seem fair to put an innocent phone through its paces with a pistol. Also contributing to its sturdy composition is its inaccessible battery, which thankfully means not having to fiddle with a flimsy plastic cover.
When selecting hardware for the Droid RAZR, Motorola pulled out all the stops. A dual-core 1.2GHz processor paired with dual-channel RAM means you never wait for anything to load. Even on initial start-up itís without a doubt one of the fastest mobiles around. Plus, with 32GB of memory included - with support for bigger microSD cards - you shouldnít have to worry about storage.
The 4.3in screen makes stunning use of Super AMOLED Advanced technology - for a more responsive, less power-hungry display - and purportedly boasts a wider range of ďhyper-vibrantĒ colours than most LCD HD televisions. Thatís a difficult stat to back up, but streaming movies and playing games can be a breathtaking experience with such an intensely striking palette.
Also worthy of a mention is the Droid RAZRís ďgovernment-gradeĒ encryption, which should ensure that personal data, such as emails and contacts, is securely tucked away at all times. Motorola insists that even the strictest IT security managers will be impressed.
In fact, the only technology that really lets us down is the earpiece. A fairly critical part of a phone, you might argue, but actually very few of us make frequent calls these days - and when we do itís from a crowded bar or train platform, where even the clearest line makes not a jot of difference. However, there seemed to be a raspy rattling sound, particularly at higher pitched frequencies, which could get more annoying - or maybe youíll just stop noticing it - as time goes by.
By far one of the Droid RAZRs finest triumphs is the Smart Actions app. It basically lets you automate pretty much anything your phone is capable of. Tapping through a simple process of creating ďrulesĒ means your phone can be programmed to react when specific parameters are triggered.
For instance, you might instruct your RAZR to automatically adjust its sound profile during your working hours - switching from loud to vibrate while youíre at the office. Perhaps youíd like it to send a ďhi, how are you?Ē message every time youíre passing by a friendís house. Thanks to the GPS capability itís all possible with Smart Actions.
You can even have it wake you up in the event that its night time, the batteryís running down and youíve forgotten to connect a charger. Itís proof that smartphones are getting smarter and there will no doubt be endless imitation of this from rival manufacturers in months to come.
Another standout feature is its impressive camera. The flash is far from the most useful weíve seen, but in half-decent lighting conditions the top-end spec is evident. Photos are crisp, well-focused and, thanks to the built-in image stabilisation, almost never blurred. The super-bright AMOLED screen means colours are always true and vivid.
Equally impressive is the Droid RAZRís camcorder, which allows you to effortlessly shoot HD video in practically any conditions, though decent lighting is strongly advised. Special audio settings mean you can optimise the handset for filming at loud concerts or outdoors on a windy day, for example. The RAZR also incorporates a front-facing HD camera, enabling video calling ŗ la FaceTime on the iPhone.
No doubt about it, the Motorola Droid RAZR is an outstanding handset. Call quality could be better and itís less suited to smaller hands, but in terms of what smartphones are capable of it gives both the Apple iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II a serious run for their money.
|No deals for selection|