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

Features & Performance - Part II

Multimedia Performance

The RAZR's screen is really bright, even at its lowest brightness setting. Size-wise, the device might come across slightly intimidating but its large screen has proven to be optimal for mobile entertainment consumption. Its 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display comes with excellent color reproduction, contrast, and viewing angles even under sunlight. AMOLED screens are known for its higher level of power efficiency, and we were looking forward to see how it will impact the RAZR's battery life. That's covered a little later in the review, but next up is camera performance.

We found that the overall photographic competency for the Motorola RAZR to be slightly 'lopsided'. On one hand, the phone exhibited good details, decent clarity and well-saturated colors; on the other hand, auto-focusing was often slow and inaccurate and poor low-light performance meant that night shots were way too noisy. We suspect that there's a bug in the camera software: photos taken often show up as blank shots, only to reappear in the gallery "unscathed". Truth be told, we found the experience mostly disappointing - especially if you compare it to the likes of the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II.


Battery Life Performance

Our final performance benchmark is our regular battery test. This consists of comparing the smartphone to a select group of devices chosen based on their similarities across battery capacities, display sizes, resolutions and processing power. Our testing methodology involves testing a video with a 480 x 800 pixels resolution looping under the following conditions:

  • Screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections active
  • Constant data stream via email and Twitter

We compared the phone based on primarily two sets of attributes: processing power and screen size. The devices in question include the iPhone 4S, HTC Sensation XE, and Samsung Galaxy S II.

Smartphones Compared
Specifications/Device Motorola RAZR iPhone 4S HTC Sensation XE Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
  • Dual-core 800 MHz
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
Display Size
  • 4.3 inches
  • 3.5 inches
  • 4.3 inches
  • 4.27 inches
Display Type
  • Super AMOLED Advanced
  •  IPS-TFT
  • S-LCD
  • Super AMOLED Plus
Display Resolution
  • 540 x 960
  •  640 x 960
  • 540 x 960
  • 480 x 800
  • 131 x 69 x 7.1mm
  •  115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm
  • 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3mm
  • 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm
  • 127g
  •  140g
  • 151g
  • 116g
  • 1780mAh
  •  1432mAh
  • 1730mAh
  • 1650mAh

Thankfully, the Motorola RAZR performed admirably in our battery tests, lasting 477 minutes on a single charge which roughly translates to almost 8 hours of battery juice! And that's considering we're running a video continuously, a task which is somewhat power draining. We reckon the good showing is more than likely due to its power-efficient AMOLED Advanced screen and high battery capacity of 1780mAh. It came quite close to matching Samsung Galaxy S II's battery uptime (approx. 16 minutes lesser) which in itself is pretty impressive if you consider the fact that the Korean smartphone has been the top Android contender in terms of battery life for a long time. The dual-core 1.5GHz HTC Sensation XE however, trails behind significantly despite having a similarly equipped 1730mAh battery charge. The iPhone 4S comes in third place despite having the smallest battery capacity (but do note that it does also have a smaller screen and less powerful dual-core processor).

As a result, the RAZR is within the top three positions when it comes to low energy consumption, only losing by a slight edge to both the Galaxy S II and iPhone 4S. Factor in its lighter and smaller volume compared to the iPhone 4S, it regains the runner-up position in the portability ratio index, scoring a decent 0.98 compared to Galaxy S II's 1.01.

Overall, the Motorola RAZR did pretty well, and was able to match up to the Samsung Galaxy S II in terms of battery stamina and portability. To give you another gauge, while rationing the phone for normal day-to-day operations, we observed that the phone could last for at least a full working day and a half before needing a recharge from our personal time with the phone.