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Moto RAZR 2 Launch

Article Comments  50  

May 15, 2007, 7:01 PM   by Eric Zeman and Rich Brome   @phonescooper

Our hands-on report from the Motorola RAZR 2 launch in New York City, including video tour.


Today Motorola announced the new RAZR 2 at a press conference in New York City. After the event, we had the opportunity to spend some time with the new phone.

The RAZR 2 comes in three different variations. The V8 will be a quad-band GSM/EDGE phone. It uses Motorola's Linux-Java user interface. The V9 is the 3G HSDPA model, but it reverts to Motorla's older Synergy UI. It is also quad-band GSM, plus HSDPA 850/1900 in the US version. Also using the Synergy platform is the CDMA EV-DO variant, the V9m.

They all share a similar build. The form factor is sleek, smooth, shiny and definitely thin. Motorola shaved 2 mm off the size of the original RAZR and slimmed the GSM and CDMA RAZR 2s to just 12 mm thick. But as the RAZR2 got thinner, it also got slightly larger, as though Motorola's designers just pushed down on the RAZR and let the volume ooze out a bit.

As shiny as it was, it did an excellent job of collecting fingerprints and smudge marks; the RAZR 2 is not alone in this respect, though. The pictures below show off how much of a fingerprint magnet this phone is. (No, this phone isn't sitting under dirty glass - those smudges are on the phone.)

The top surface is polished metal, but the back has a somewhat textured paint job, similar to the RAZR maxx. The sides of the phone were slightly different depending on which model you looked at. Some had a fine golf-ball texture. Others were simply smooth plastic.

The volume buttons are on the left side of the phone, as is the USB 2.0 port. The port is the new "micro" variation of USB. Yes, this means you will need to buy even more cables. Depending on which version of the RAZR 2 you have, it will or will not include a MicroSD memory card slot. The ones that have a slot (V9 and V9m) have a typical amount of on-board memory (45 - 65 MB). The V8 lacks an expansion slot, but makes up for it with ample built-in memory. The initial version of the V8 will have 512 MB, but an update - and the version that should ship in the US - sports an impressive 2GB of on-board memory.

The front exterior of the phone features a large 2-inch screen. Trust us when we say it's big. It looks good. It was sharp and displayed crisp images and menus. It wasn't exactly bright, though. In fact, the backlight is downright dim. The screen seems to be the rare reflective type, though, so it seemed like it would be readable even outdoors (though we didn't have a chance to test it.) The outer screen can be used for taking pictures, reading text messages, replying to text messages using pre-set messages, scrolling through the phone's contact list and more.

The outer display also features a new and unique type of touch interface that's half soft-key and half touch-screen. Instead of soft keys below the display, the touch-sensitive soft keys are actually on the display. It's like a touch-screen, except only part of the display is touch-sensitive. Making it so you only touch the bottom part helps keep fingerprints off the rest of the display, which is important on such a shiny, glossy phone. The buttons let you interact with whatever function of the phone you may be using, and provide micro-vibration feedback (haptics) whenever pressed. The haptics worked well and we had no trouble determining when we had pressed any of the buttons. You can see how the buttons labels change in the gallery above.

Inside, the keypad of the RAZR 2 was hardly discernible from that of the original RAZR, except perhaps slightly roomier. The action and fit and finish of the metal plating is very similar. Different versions of the phone had different keys here that take you to the music player or the camera. The V9 has a slightly smaller D-pad due to the addition of an extra key.

The hinge is made of machined aluminum. It was solid and strong and looked good, though it also collected smudge marks.

The interior screen is only slightly larger than the exterior screen at 2.2 inches. This screen looks very good, including ample brightness. It's a definite improvement over the original RAZR's screen. We were able to watch a full screen movie with the RAZR 2 in landscape mode. The movie flowed quickly and without any hiccups thanks to the RAZR 2's much faster processor. According to Motorola, it has the new ARM 11 processor that operates at 500 MHz, which is 10 times faster than the original RAZR. This speed improvement is noticeable when zooming through the menu system. It wasn't instantaneous, but it was very fast. Faster than many phones we've tried recently.

Using the camera UI to pan around the room a bit, it showed the red blazer of a Motorola staffer with accurate color. The camera UI itself was fairly quick. Taking a picture was almost instantaneous, but saving it to the phone took a little bit longer.

The Linux Java platform lets you move application icons to anywhere you want in the menus - including in and out of folders - just like on S60. Motorola also made the ability to re-arrange Synergy's main menu easier to use.

We were able to hear music via the RAZR 2's stereo speakers, but it would be unfair to really characterize the quality when the environment was so noisy. Still, what we heard seemed like good quality stereo sound coming from a phone.

All three major versions of the RAZR 2 will launch at least somewhere in the world by the end of August, and are planned for release in the US by "the end of summer."

All in all, the RAZR 2 is a definite improvement over the original RAZR. Its design is more advanced and the upgraded feature set make it a promising performer.


We also created a short video tour so that you can get a hands-on feel for the RAZR2. You can watch it here:

or visit YouTube for more viewing and sharing options.

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This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.


May 16, 2007, 4:35 PM


what exactly will the cdma version be like when its not on verizon? will it be that much better than the krzr?
There all basically the same phone except the Tmobile version will have BUILT in memory I heard 2gb worth with no card slot. the others will have a card slot with less onboard memory.

Tmobile will run a NEW LINUX OS (edge Only)

ATT will run the...

Jun 12, 2007, 1:59 AM

I heard July for verizon

I hope this comes out in july for verizon.

May 15, 2007, 10:29 PM


Phone looks great wait till Verizon gets it. They'll ruin it with the hideous UI. Whats makes a phone better than the other the features and Verizon killed that. Great service. Terrible phone features. Wish they would bring back the default UI for all their phones.
Doesn't everyone. Motorola's UI doesn't win any contests, but it beats Verizon's. Luckily, I have a PDA. Cool

May 16, 2007, 11:35 AM

So which would you take...

...Linux-Java w/ EDGE or Synergy w/HSPDA???

I almost would have to say I'd go the LJ/EDGE route. I use data, but I've been dealing with EDGE for so long and have also used enough 3G that I can safely say I could deal with the lag in a trade-off for a better UI.
I was thinking that also, but I like the idea of having a memory card slot to hold more pics and songs. The v8 does not have extra memory.

Jun 6, 2007, 8:44 PM

AT&T and the RAZR 2

Can I be assured that the new RAZR 2 will be available to AT&T. If so will they receive all the models,also how soon.

May 23, 2007, 9:59 AM

Razr 2

How long before the Razr2 is offered by a carrier?
Alltel which is the V9m edition said they would get theirs mid-july. But the GSM version V8 will be in earlier, so maybe the end of june for it?

Source for Alltel: Alltel Owned Store in Gainesville, Florida.

May 23, 2007, 10:28 PM


Will this phone be branded at&t or cingular when it launches?
All phones that are released after april 2007 will be branded to the new at&t.

Source: At&t Supervisor Very Happy

May 21, 2007, 11:16 PM

Questions about RAZR 2

Whats up

I just bought a RAZR MAXX with my free upgrade from Verizon Wirless. I like the phone and think it's good, but I didn't know about the RAZR 2 coming out. I can trade the phone back within 30 days and save my upgrade for later if I want, and I was thinking about doing this so I could get the RAZR 2. Does anyone think that is worth doing? If the RAZR 2 will be such a vast improvement over the MAXX?

May 16, 2007, 9:26 AM


all i have heard is verizon, well they will ruin it like the rest of their phones, so will sprint get this? and when? i hope they are one of the first cause they were so behind with the original razr, or all of them get it at the same time.
if i remember correctly Sprint will be recieving it but Rev.0 not Rev.A

May 18, 2007, 6:05 PM

Seriously thin...

Wow, that thing is seriously thin when opened...the screen part of the handset looks like paper. Crazy.

Great review guys...

May 17, 2007, 10:12 AM

windows media player

so i read that the V8 has windows media player 11 and can download from music stores.... does this mean that i could download directly to my phone using my napster subscription?
dmichelr said:
so i read that the V8 has windows media player 11 and can download from music stores.... does this mean that i could download directly to my phone using my napster subscription?

it aslso has a full HT...

May 15, 2007, 11:51 PM


When is this gonna be sold through at&t?
The worod we had from Motorola was "within 90 days" for the HSDPA version on AT&T, with the CDMA version following after that.

May 15, 2007, 7:44 PM

Not Really Impressed

It looks the same, it's like a honda civic, but the SI version. Same design i'm not really Wowed by this. Watching a movie with the phone open like that would be really annoying. Where is the Wifi?? I'll wait for the Iphone to be impressed.
Out of the 66 iPhones that currently exist, none are cool.

May 15, 2007, 7:19 PM


Waw, that is the Bad Ass RAZR, thats the huge improvement from original brother! Respect!
I don't respect the RAZR. It deserves no respect at all. Mad
Sam K

May 16, 2007, 10:31 PM


None of the Motorola spec pages for the V8, V9 and V9m mention if these phones have iTAP. I'm a big fan of iTAP so I was wondering if this phone has it and if so, what version? I think the latest version is 6.3.

May 16, 2007, 12:34 AM

Why does the HSDPA version have Synergy?

Rich or Eric or Eric?

What is the reasoning behind this? Does motorola just have something against the perfect phone?
There are probably many reasons. Motorola has been promising a new Linux-Java platform and the one we saw demonstrated yesterday was very cool. A lot like S60. We wish Motorola used the L-J platform with all three versions of the RAZR 2, but we also c...
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