Motorola has had a quiet year in Australia so far, with the low-cost Defy Mini the only smartphone to see the light in 2012. In a similar vein to that model, Motorola's new RAZR V is a slight refresh of an already existing handset. It's hardly an exciting release, but the RAZR V at least appears to offer good value for money.
The Motorola RAZR V reminds us of the time the company released 70 different versions of the iconic original RAZR feature phone. We're exaggerating here, but Motorola thinks it's onto something with the RAZR brand and the RAZR V is clear proof of that.
The RAZR V has a very a similar design to the flagship RAZR with the main difference being thickness. The RAZR V is 8.4mm thin whereas the RAZR is just 7.1mm thin. At the time of its release late in 2011, the RAZR was classed as the thinnest smartphone in the world.
Motorola says it listened to a wide range of consumer feedback in making the RAZR V more comfortable to hold than the original RAZR. Its edges are less sharp and although it's thicker, Motorola assures us the RAZR V is a slightly smaller phone.
As you would expect, the Motorola RAZR V has similar specifications to last year's RAZR. It has the same size 4.3in screen with a qHD resolution of 960x540, though it doesn't use super AMOLED display technology. Instead, the RAZR V has what Motorola calls a "ColorBoost" screen — a TFT LCD panel which it claims offers higher brightness than competitors.
Despite its lower price, the Motorola RAZR V still comes with a Kevlar fiber backing that the company says makes it sturdier than most other smartphones. The RAZR V is also coated in a splash-guard treatment that makes it "water repellent", aiming to protect both the outside and the internal components of the phone.
The Motorola RAZR V is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory, along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. It also has an 8-megapixel camera with full HD 1080p video recording. The RAZR V offers 1080p video playback, whereas the RAZR only played back video in 720p.
The Motorola RAZR V will ship with the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android operating system, making it the first Motorola smartphone to come with ICS at launch. Motorola appears to have stuck with Google's ICS design guidelines with its UI overlay, unlike previous models. This should please users who want a near stock Android experience.
Motorola has not stated whether the RAZR V will be updated to the latest version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean but we have been assured "it has been discussed". It's likely to happen, but we wouldn't expect to see it until the end of the year, at the earliest.
The Motorola RAZR V is available through Optus for $4 per month on the $35 Optus plan over 24 months, but this offer ends on Friday 31 August. The RAZR V isn't exclusive to Optus and will be sold through retail outlets in the near future.