The Motorola Razr I is the latest offering from Google owned smartphone maker Motorola. It shares its design and many of its features with the Razr M, launched in the US, however it is one of the first mainstream android devices to feature an Intel chipset inside.
In this review we will look at the design of the device, the Intel chipset and some of the main features and compare them to other offerings on the smartphone market.
Motorola Razr i Design
At a similar size to the iPhone 5, Motorola has designed a great looking compact smartphone. Although the dimensions are similar to the iPhone 5, the Razr i still manages to incorporate an impressive 4.3-inch display. To fit the screen Motorola have designed the handset’s bezel to be extremely slim, giving the phone a sleek look. The inner frame is constructed out of aircraft grade aluminium with a plastic surround, giving the phone a very solid feel compared to many android smartphones currently available. Gorilla Glass protects the display on the front with the unique rear case being inlaid with Kevlar. The casing is also coated with a Splash Guard that repels water droplets.
The Razr has several physical buttons on its right side, with a lock key at the top, a volume rocker under it and a camera shutter. The left side of the phone features a microUSB charging port and under a flap there are slots for a microSD and a micro-SIM card. As the internals of the phone are sealed, there is no access to the 2000mAh battery, and this may be a negative point for some. The top of the phone has a standard 3.5mm jack, and the phone is bundled with a stereo headset.
The design is definitely one of the plus points of the Razr i, giving the phone a solid, sleek feel and when compared to many similar android handsets like the HTC One S.
Motorola Razr i Display
The display on the Razr I is a Super AMOLED, 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. The display was one of the first things I noticed when switching on the phone. The Super AMOLED delivers rich looking colours with great blacks. However as with many AMOLED displays, colours can sometimes look saturated. The display may not be at the level of the iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S3, but for a smartphone at this price point it fairs very well, giving great, sharp images.
The screen brightness can also be set to auto or manual, however even on maximum brightness the display proved difficult to use in some sunny situations.
Motorola Razr i Usability
The Razr i comes packed with Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich, with an upgrade to Jellybean in the works. Unlike Motorola smartphones of old, which had heavily customized ROMs, Motorola have stuck which the standard Ice Cream Sandwich with a few minor changes. The general user interface looks just like the stock Android interface with extra widgets and different homepages.
The most useful change I found was that swiping to the left of the main screen pulls up a quick settings screen. This made accessing most of the phones key settings very simple, with the ability to launch the full settings menu with one button.
Another change to the stock Android interface is the Circles widget. This provides time, weather and battery in an elegant widget on the home screen. The widget allows you to display the clock in analogue or digital format, the weather for several cities and also shows notifications where the battery is normally displayed.
The 2.0 GHz Intel Processer does well to cope with all that Android 4.0 throws at it with only a few minor stumbles along the way. In normal operation, the Intel chip can deal with several apps running with ease, however the phone animations can at times feel sluggish in comparison to similar handsets by HTC or Samsung. The Intel chip also brings with it compatibility issues, for example apps like Google Chrome will run on the US Razr M, but not on the Intel based Razr I and this is a problems for several other apps.
A great addition to Android on the Razr i is SmartActions. This allows you to simply and easily set your phone to automatically apply different settings in any situation. Examples include changing to silent when you get home, or reminding you to charge your phone before you go to bed. These SmartActions really differentiate the phone from other offerings at a similar price point.
A great feature included in this phone, yet to make it to many smartphones is NFC. This allows the transfer of files, websites or videos quickly and simply by touching the phone to another NFC enabled smartphone. Tests between the Razr i and a Galaxy S3 worked perfectly when transferring websites and YouTube videos, however there was some trouble transferring picture files. The in-built NFC will may also allow for wireless payments in the near future.