Motorola Razr i review

Can the Intel Atom processor reboot the Motorola Razr?

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Motorola Razr i review

For

  • Great battery life
  • Big screen/body ratio
  • Rugged build

Against

  • Wi-Fi can be flakey

An Intel Atom processor and Android Ice Cream sandwich on board mean that the Motorola Razr i is squaring up to the Samsung Galaxy S3

While the likes of Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone market, smaller firms, such as Motorola, are just about keeping afloat.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is selling in its droves; the iPhone 5 has already enjoyed over 2m pre-orders despite not being released yet, and Motorola… well, it’s there, but not really, err, quite there.

The firm, which last year divided its business following a substantial financial loss between 2007 and 2009, was once a trend-setter in the mobile phone market – it pioneered the flip-phone with its MicroTAC and StarTAC line of handsets - but its failure to keep up with the times has seen its street cred decline over the years. And in this industry, reputation is everything.

The question is, does the Motorola Razr i possess the smarts required to get the cool kids on board?

Motorola Razr i: Build

The Motorola Razr i claims to eliminate the three main bugbears of modern smartphone technology; short battery life (more on that later), sluggish performance (more on that later, too) and a chunky chassis.

The build quality is top-end; despite packing a 4.3-inch screen, the Razr i is compact and fits nicely into the palm.

Moto has achieved this simply by shaving off excess weight – that includes all the extra bits around the edges and on the top and bottom.

The result is a phone dominated by a pin-sharp Super AMOLED screen that’s colourful, vibrant and responsive. A nice touch as far as we’re concerned.

Motorola Razr i: Features

Not much to report really; an 8-megapixel snapper (which you’ll find on competitor handsets, such as the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3), although there is the inclusion of some pretty nifty features; the camera has a faster start-up time than “most DSLRs” (Moto’s words, not ours) along with a 10-shot mode that allows users to take up to 10 pictures in less than a second.

Also in the mix is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – although we’re informed a Jelly Bean upgrade will soon be made available – as well as a top speed of up to 2.0 GHz, thanks to a zippy Intel Atom processor.

Motorola Razr i: Screen

The Super AMOLED Advanced 4.3-inch display is stunning, and makes photos and videos appear crisp and buzz-free – exactly what you’d want in a screen.

Saying that, it has nothing on Samsung’s S3 or the iPhone 5, which will come equipped with Apple’s Retina display technology.

It’s somewhere inbetween a high-end Sony Xperia S and mid-range Huawei P1, which won’t impress the diehard technophobes, considering upcoming competitor launches. Shame that.

Motorola Razr i: Performance

Performance-wise, there’s a lot to rave about and it’s all down to Intel’s powerful Atom processor. Switching between applications is child's play; there are no awkward moments having to wait for the phone to catch up to your requests. Simply select and go.

Battery life is solid – up to 20 hours, we’re told – and game boot-ups are as speedy as Usain Bolt in Olympics mode.

Motorola Razr i: Verdict

Overall, it’s a good effort. Sound quality; good. Screen; good. Looks; okay. In terms of performance, the Razr i is speedier and more responsive than its Motorola Razr Maxx predecessor, but what really stands out is the snapper, which is arguably its best feature. There’s no doubting the quality of the handset - Moto has done well with the Razr i.

The focus, now, is marketing power; the Razr i has enough smarts to impress the cool kids and take off. All it needs now is to mix in with the right crowd.

Motorola Razr i release date: Early October 2012

Motorola Razr i price: TBC

Hands-on review by Bertan Budak

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.