Phone Scoop

printed December 21, 2014
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Review: Moto RAZR

Form Function - Basics Function - Extras Wrap-up  

Is It Your Type Body Three S's  

Screen

The internal screen is a very bright 176 x 220 TFT LCD. It looks beautiful... indoors. Unfortunately Motorola have used a highly reflective coating on the screen. This actually helps make the screen look more brilliant, except in bright light (say, sunshine in California) where it renders the screen unusable. It literally looks dark grey in direct sunlight. Luckily the external screen works slightly better in sunlight, so you can still check the time or see Caller ID for an incoming call. However taking a picture in the sun or composing an SMS is an exercise in futility.

Signal

The RAZR has excellent signal strength. It's not just great for a small form factor handset, or for an internal antenna; it's literally some of the best reception you will experience, period. It's shocking. We were able to make crystal clear calls from a basement-level bank vault. Seriously. AT CTIA Ed Zander said this phone had the best antenna of any Motorola phone ever launched. He was not kidding. The RAZR is also quite adept at holding onto a signal in low coverage areas as well. The only downside to this is that the antenna hangs on to weak signals so well, sometimes the phone will continue to stay attached to a weak signal even if there is a stronger one nearby.

Sound

The RAZR's speaker is quite loud and relatively clear during calls. When talking on the phone, the speaker falls naturally against the ear, and the lip on the bottom half places the microphone right in front of your mouth. Conversations are natural sounding and don't need to be shouted.

The ringer can be set quite loud - loud enough to be heard in all but the noisiest places. The excellent speaker makes up for the sub-par vibrating alert, which you cannot feel, even in the tightest of pockets - which the RAZR slips oh-so-easily into. Motorola no doubt had to scale back their notoriously fierce vibration in order to preserve the fragile micro electronics that make the RAZR possible.

Battery

The battery fills half of the back side of the RAZR, but that's still a very small space. Imagine the surprise then, when the first time you charge it, the battery lasts over four days. It is not unusual to get at least four days, possibly five, out of a single charge even when using GPRS to check email or a WAP page fairly regularly.

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