Preview: Moto RAZR2 Series
It's been a while since I held a first generation RAZR in my hand, but I remember two initial impressions other than marveling at how remarkably thin it was - "Wow, this is wide" and "Ouch, these sides are sharp." Over time we have all become accustomed to, if not comfortable with, the RAZR. It's size, shape and metallic form has been copied and revised to the Nth degree, by others as well as by Motorola itself.
It's no surprise (Just look at the name!) that the RAZR2 evokes the RAZR's design. Motorola has reversed their thinking since they launched the KRZR. They have given up all the humanized design aspects that came with the KRZR - the narrower shape, the cushioned feel of the keypad - and reverted to the original RAZR's design philosophy. The RAZR2, however, is still as long as the KRZR.
Even though the RAZR2 is thinner than the original, it still occupies the same volume since the phone is longer. But the first thing the RAZR2 makes you say is not "Whoa, this is thin" - thin is de rigeur these days - it's "Whoa, this is big." In fact, the RAZR 2 doesn't look that much smaller than the iPhone when they're side by side. (I swear that will be the only mention of that other phone in this entire preview.)
But the RAZR2 does carry over the KRZR's softer rounded edges, at least on the bottom half of the body where it counts. There is the KRZR's soft touch coating on the back, but not on the sides at all, so you never feel it while it's in your hand. Still, the RAZR2 is rather comfortable to hold, especially when compared to the original. The edges on the top could easily be sharpened into blades that would finally match the phone's namesake, but you never hold the phone from there.
On the left side are volume keys and a smart key while on the right is another larger key that activates voice dialing or the camera depending on the model.
The new hinge is so spring-loaded it's almost too aggressive. The RAZR2 will just fly open with the gentlest flick of your fingertip under the lid. This is great when opening the phone, but scarier when closing it. As the RAZR2 slams shut you can literally feel the metal body vibrate like a spring in your hand. Despite that, the phone does not feel like it will break when slamming shut - the materials and build are sturdy and high quality.
With a casual glance at all three RAZR2 models, you would think they were the same size, but this is not the case. The GSM V8 and the CDMA V9m are about the same weight and thickness, but the HSDPA V9 is both thicker and heavier than the other two. All three models feel heavy in the hand, so if you just pick one up, you wouldn't notice. But when you get to handle all three, the extra weight of the V9 really stands out.
Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.