Mobile Phones Guide

Motorola RAZR review

Motorola RAZR - Thin as a Blade

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Overall rating 8/10
Sturdy and classy design
Thin 7.1mm profile
Useful software additions and accessories
Substantial battery life
Finicky auto-focusing issues and poor low light performance
Confusing and clunky UI
Sluggish user experience with UI navigation
No Android 4.0 OS yet


RAZR or Not to RAZR?

Off the bat, the Motorola RAZR seems pretty impressive - you get a smartphone that looks pretty, sturdy, functional and yet gloriously slim. Throw in words like Splash Guard, Gorilla Glass and Kelvar fiber back... yes, you get the idea. Not only that, the device comes with pretty high-end hardware specs like a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a brilliant 4.3-inch AMOLED Advanced touchscreen and 1GB of RAM. Useful software additions like Smart Actions and MotoCast round up an otherwise decent device. The RAZR is also compatible with a couple of interesting accessories - just like its Atrix cousin, you can convert the smartphone experience into a netbook one simply with either the new Lapdock 100 or 500. Prices of the docks are not out in Singapore at the time of publication but representatives have confirmed that they will be retailing them here.

So what's not to like? Well, we say it's a fair trade off for the things that we didn't like in the RAZR. Unfortunately, the user experience is marred by a bloated and confounding UI that is messy and not that easy to use, and awkward animated transitions; navigating through the UI is sluggish and tedious despite its 1.2GHz processor. Its 8-megapixel camera had dismal performance that was marred by finicky auto-focusing issues and poor low light performance. And in light of upcoming and existing smartphones with better camera performance, the RAZR certainly loses out. It is also important to consider the fact that the device only comes with the Android 2.3.5 version with its ICS update only available next year - pretty slow compared to the equally slender 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED Display-equipped and Android 4.0-ready Samsung Galaxy Nexus. For those chasing the latest Android OS version, it will be better to keep your options and decide a month later when the latter comes out.

Bottom line is: is the RAZR a good phone? Yes, on the whole it is. The important issue here is that it pales in comparison to its immediate and more recently launched competitors (iPhone 4S, HTC Sensation XL, Samsung Galaxy NexusSamsung Note) in areas that consumers tend to nitpick on. For S$888, the RAZR is a reasonable buy as it is a phone with character (albeit fragmented), but patient Android fans should wait out for a while longer for better Android alternatives.