Motorola MOTORAZR V3xx
- Speedy user interface, bright internal screen, famous RAZR design maintained, A2DP Bluetooth profile
- Only a 1.3 megapixel camera, poor external screen, nothing new or innovative
Although the MOTORAZR V3xx doesn't offer anything new or innovative, and is still based on a design more than two years old, it remains a solid and stylish HSDPA phone.
Price$ 629.00 (AUD)
The Motorola RAZR is back again, this time offering HSDPA connectivity, a new MP3 player with a media finder, a 1.3 megapixel camera and a microSD card slot for extra storage. The MOTORAZR V3xx isn't groundbreaking by any means, and retains much of the original RAZR V3's design, but it remains a solid HSDPA phone.
We were pleased with call quality, which was clear and loud during testing. The speakerphone also performed well, remaining audible in noisy situations, such as travelling in a car with the windows open. The MOTORAZR V3xx includes standard SMS, MMS and email messaging with POP3, IMAP, and SMTP protocols supported. Once again, Motorola has used the iTap predictive text method for text entry, rather than more common T9 method. The V3xx can also synchronise messages and address book entries with Microsoft Outlook.
The MOTORAZR V3xx is one of a new generation of HSDPA phones, so it is capable of high data speeds. When in a HSDPA coverage area, the V3xx displays a 3G+ icon on its screen. As users move out of coverage it reverts to standard 3G, then GSM when there is no 3G coverage available. For connectivity, the MOTORAZR V3xx offers Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0. A USB data cable is included in the package, which means users can synchronise data between the phone and their PC straight out of the box. The V3xx also supports Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), which allows users to stream music to a compatible pair of Bluetooth stereo headphones.
The MOTORAZR V3xx includes dual cameras; a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front of the phone supports still image and video capture, and also has 8x digital zoom and flash. A standard VGA camera is on the inside, and is used for video calling as well as portrait photos. Photos taken with the MOTORAZR V3xx display notable image noise and poor colour reproduction, but these are issues common to most mobile phone cameras. We did expect a better camera considering this is a HSDPA phone. While it is more than enough for a few happy snaps, don't expect to take excellent photos.
Users can store their photos on either the MOTORAZR V3xx's 50MB of internal memory or a microSD card slot, located beneath the battery cover. Unfortunately, Motorola doesn't include a microSD card in the sales package, so this needs to be factored into your purchase.
Entertainment shouldn't be a problem, as the MOTORAZR V3xx includes an audio and video player with support for multiple file formats including MP3, AAC and AAC+ files. Sound quality is fairly noteworthy for a phone. Although it isn't mind blowing, it is more than ample and the included headphones are of a reasonable quality. Unfortunately, they use a standard mini-USB connection, so users wanting to connect their own personal headphones with 3.5mm jacks are out of luck.
Although the features and design of the original RAZR V3 have been retained, the biggest improvement lies in the user interface. The MOTORAZR V3xx interface is extremely quick, and we didn't experience any lag while quickly scrolling through menu items, or when messaging. Previous Motorola phones have suffered from a sluggish interface, so it's good to finally see the V3xx has corrected these issues, making it comfortable and easy to use. Unfortunately, the menu icons still aren't as polished and crisp as some competitors.
The MOTORAZR V3xx measures 103mm x 53mm x 15mm and weighs 103g. This makes it slightly thicker than the original RAZR V3, but it is still the most stylish HSDPA mobile phone on the market at the time of its release. Our review unit is designed using a new colour, dubbed 'burnt orange', but the V3xx is also available in traditional colours including blue, black and silver.
The outside of the V3xx features a 1in, 96 x 80 pixel colour display, that shows reception, battery life, time and network status. It also displays any new events, like missed calls and unread messages. Unfortunately, the external display isn't bright or clear and is quite dull, even when backlit. The 2.2in, 320 x 240 pixel TFT internal screen is considerably better with a bright and clear image. The controls and keypad will be familiar to former RAZR users, retaining the same flat, blue backlit keys. Controls consist of a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer/end call keys and dedicated buttons for video calling, clear and music.
Battery life is fairly standard according to Motorola's quoted figures of up to five hours of talk time and 400 hours of standby time. On average, we had to charge the V3xx every two or three nights, but keep in mind that use of video calling, camera and MP3 player functions, as well as streaming media using the A2DP Bluetooth will decrease battery life significantly.
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