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Motorola Razr now runs on Android

tech reviews Updated: Nov 22, 2011 12:27 IST
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About three years before the iPhone, the must-have gadget was the Motorola Razr. It was a thing of beauty with its brushed aluminum metal casing. And it was, oh, so thin.

It was also oh, so expensive, with a price tag of over Rs 20,000. But it was unlike any cellphone that had come before it. And, for the people who could afford it, the sleek, stylishly hip Razr was everywhere. Today Motorola launched another razor sharp Razr (known as Droid Razr in other parts of the world) running on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and priced at Rs 33,990.

The Droid Razr is another smartphone that on the surface bears remarkable similarities with others that have come before it, namely the most recent Droid Bionic. Its biggest selling point is its ultrathin profile, large 4.3-inch screen, 1GB RAM, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 8MP rear camera.

Motorola Razr

Motorola RAZR comes preloaded with the Motorola MotoCast app, giving you the power to stream or download content from your PC straight to your device so your personal content is always within reach. Watch movies on a screen that sports a wider range of colors than most LCD HDTVs. And when you're tired of watching (as if), use the cinematic-quality front-facing 720p HD video camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with even sharper 1080p HD video capture to create your own movies- all with image-stabilization technology to turn your life into art without breaking a sweat.

Not only does the Razr boast of being the thinnest 4G phone around at 7.1 millimeters, it also features a scratch-resistant display made by Corning, and is supposed to have a water-repellent coating. Whether this will keep it in working condition after it's accidentally left in your pants pocket on a trip through the washing machine is something I did not test. It also has a Kevlar back. But I wouldn't expect it to stop a bullet any more than I'd expect it to make a phone call after a tumble through a spin cycle.

The display of the Razr is similar to the Bionic. I still find the screen a little busy and overly complicated. A new feature on the Razr that lists favorite contacts as picture icons at the top of the screen does help to add a little simplicity to an otherwise jumbled setup. Just a tap on a picture, and you're calling or texting almost immediately. Unfortunately, the simple features seem to end there. It's social media overload. The multiple screens are capable of throwing so much information at you at any given time that it's hard to keep up with what's going on.

For example, one screen can be set so that all it does is constantly scroll pictures that your friends have posted on Facebook. Extraneous and unnecessary. About 90 percent of the time I couldn't care less what cutesy saying or adorable cat picture friends are posting when I'm looking at Facebook. Why do I need to see it flash across my phone's screen when all I want to do is check my email or text a friend who has actually seen me in person?

On the plus side, the Razr is absolutely one of the lightest phones I have ever tested. So much so, that I originally considered it inferior just by weight alone. But it seems to have the performance heft to give about any smartphone a run for its money. It certainly has style, and whether or not it's the smartphone for you depends on how deeply involved you want to be in social media.

The simplicity of earlier Droid models and, yes, the iPhone seem to follow the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) method of communication. The Razr seems to be a contradiction with its simple, sturdy exterior, but with a cacophony of software and apps to keep you tapping, flipping and pinching to the point of media madness.

The Razr series was released in 2004 and was a huge success worldwide. Reportedly, Motorola sold more than 130 million units of the device, one of the best-selling clamshell phones globally. Motorola RAZR 2, marketed as more sleeker and stabler than the previous Razr, was launched in 2007. The new handset is expected to be the key bets for the company in the smartphone segment, which is witnessing strong competition from Apple and Samsung.

The smartphone market globally grew 42.6 per cent during the quarter-ended September to reach 118.1 million units, with Samsung, Apple and Nokia in the lead, according to research company IDC.

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