Motorola RAZR Android phone

Motorola RAZR review: The RAZR is back and it's thinner than ever

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 2
Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola RAZR

Pros

  • Fantastic 4.3in display
  • Excellent performance and slick software
  • Included Motorola apps add value

Cons

  • Large size is uncomfortable to hold
  • Feels top heavy due to "bump" design
  • Non-removable battery

Bottom Line

If you can live with its large size and sometimes awkward feel, the Motorola RAZR is one of the best Android smartphones released this year. It combines a brilliant and vibrant screen in a unique frame, and tops off the package with slick and intuitive software that aids the user experience.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 2 stores)

See all prices

It's the thinnest smartphone in the world and is constructed from premium materials like diamond cut aluminium and Kevlar fibre. In a nutshell, that's Motorola's sale pitch for the RAZR, the company's latest flagship Android phone. The RAZR is an excellent smartphone with outstanding build quality, but it's quite a large phone that can be uncomfortable to hold if you have small hands.

Hands-on with the new Motorola RAZR
Best upcoming smartphones in 2011

Motorola RAZR: Design and display

If you're wondering why the name RAZR sounds familiar, that's because it is. The Motorola RAZR was originally a flip phone that sold over 130 million units worldwide in a five year period from 2004-2008. The RAZR lost its sharpness as the world moved to smartphones, but Motorola has decided to bring the brand back in a bid to boost sales. The return of the RAZR name seems like a good decision, as it's a brand many consumers can easily identify with.

Previous RAZR phones were known for their industrial design and the new RAZR is a great example of that. The phone is just 7.1mm thick at its thinnest point — over 2mm thinner than the iPhone 4S and thin enough to claim the title of the thinnest smartphone in the world. To be fair, the RAZR isn't 7.1mm thin all the way along: at the top of the phone is a bump that sticks out at the back and houses the camera lens, LED flash and speaker, as well as the HDMI-out port, micro-USB and headphone ports on top. This bump makes the RAZR a little top heavy, so it feels a bit awkward to hold.

The awkward feeling you get when handling the Motorola RAZR also stems from the fact it’s a very large phone. It's slightly longer and wider than the Samsung Galaxy S II despite the two phones sharing the same sized screen. The RAZR has a fair bit of wasted space surrounding the screen due to its wide bezel, so users with small hands may find its size a little too big. Its particularly tough to move your thumb to the edge of the screen if you are holding the phone with one hand. Adding to the RAZR's awkward feel is its industrial looking design: the RAZR has squarish, sharp edges that can dig into your hands.

The RAZR may be a little large but its fit and finish is amongst the best we've seen on any smartphone to date. Motorola says the phone combines a diamond cut aluminium frame and a case that's made from Kevlar fibre. The Kevlar backing is soft to touch and really gives the RAZR a distinct look and feel. We much prefer it to the etched plastic backing of the Galaxy S II, which does feel a little cheap. A downside to the RAZR's thinness is that it has a non-removable battery. It also uses a micro-SIM card rather than a full sized SIM card. The SIM slot is housed on the left side of the phone, next to a microSD card slot and behind a plastic flap.

The Motorola RAZR has a splash-guard coating that makes the phone water-repellent. Motorola says both the phone itself and many of its internal components have been coated with the splash-guard material, so it is expected to hold up well to the elements. Unfortunately, our review unit was not coated in the splash-guard treatment, so we couldn't test it. We did, however, see it in action at Motorola's media launch and can confirm it definitely works as advertised and is genuinely impressive. The water beads then slides off the surface of the RAZR very easily. It looks very similar to water beads rolling off a car when it's just been polished and waxed. Keep in mind the coating makes the phone water-repellent, not water-proof, so don't expect to take the RAZR swimming with you.

The Motorola RAZR has a 4.3in Super AMOLED display with a qHD resolution of 540x960. The screen is excellent: it's just as bright and vibrant as the Galaxy S II, but its higher resolution makes text crisper and details finer. The screen is responsive to touch and has excellent outdoor visibility: it's very bright even directly in the hot Aussie sun.

Next page: Software and performance, battery life and availability

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the Good Gear Guide comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?