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Motorola RAZR (Motorola DROID RAZR)
The Motorola RAZR (known as the Motorola DROID RAZR on Verizon Wireless in the US) is an ultra-slim dual-core Android smartphone that manages to stand out from the normal black slabby crowd of touchscreen phones with a design that is just as sharp as its name suggests.
Motorola have taken a somewhat brave decision to re-use the name from the classic Motorola RAZR V3 and its many descendants. The original RAZR V3 looked really cool, but was pretty awful to use, and Motorola's addiction to the RAZR line nearly killed the company. Obviously, this new RAZR is nothing at all like its namesakes, but Motorola must surely be hoping that customers remember how cool the original V3 looked rather than how bad it was underneath.
The striking physical design sets the new RAZR apart from other phones. At its thinnest point, the RAZR is just 7.1mm thick. The back of the phone is covered in laser-cut Kevlar - the sort of stuff they use for body armour - and the screen has Gorilla Glass on the front to protect it. The RAZR has a nanoparticle-based water repellant system called Splashguard that covers the case and even the electronics inside.
When you get past the remarkable external characteristics, the RAZR is a pretty powerful beast underneath as well. Inside is a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor coupled with 1GHz of RAM. On the front is a 4.3" 540 x 960 pixel super AMOLED touchscreen. On the back is an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording, plus there is a secondary 1.3 megapixel camera for video calling. A 16GB microSD card comes preinstalled in the handset.
This specification might sound eerily familiar.. and that's because it is almost the same as in the upcoming Motorola ATRIX 2. Although the two handsets look very different, perhaps the most important difference is that the RAZR is heading to Europe while the ATRIX 2 isn't.
The Motorola RAZR is an Android 2.3.5 device, the latest revision of Google's "Gingerbread" operating system. Coincidentally, the RAZR's launch almost coincides with the anticipated announcement of the first Android 4.0 smartphone, and it remains to be seen just how that operating system will compare with this.
Motorola have enhanced the OS with some of their own applications such as Smart Actions which allows for all sorts of clever actions depending on location, time or who is calling you. As the iPhone 4S shows, sometimes these advanced software applications really do make the difference.
Of course, the RAZR does everything that any other Android phone does, so it has WiFi, GPS and access to a massive collection of applications plus useful things like a web browser and turn-by-turn navigation pre-installed. One thing missing is an FM radio and of course there's no physical keyboard either in a device this thin.
In the US, the DROID RAZR is a CDMA device with LTE 4G connectivity. Motorola aren't saying exactly what is in the GSM-based RAZR that everyone else is getting, but the screenshots indicate that it supports HSPA+ for near-4G speeds (if your carrier supports it).
This is a fairly big but relatively lightweight device at 130 x 69 x 7.1mm and 127 grams. Inside is a very large 1780 mAh battery which can power the Verizon Wireless model for up to 12.5 hours talktime and 8.5 days standby time, although we don't know the figures for the GSM/HSPA version.
As with the ATRIX 2, the RAZR can be used with the Lapdock 100 or the upcoming Lapdock 500 Pro, turning the RAZR into a netbook-like device with a proper keyboard and large display.
Motorola say that the RAZR will be available starting in November in most markets worldwide (including Europe and North America). The DROID RAZR will be available on Verizon for just under $300 with a new contract, also from November onwards. That's about the same price as the iPhone 4S with 32GB of memory, so expect carriers to pitch it at a similar price worldwide.
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