Phone Scoop

printed November 28, 2014
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Review: Moto RAZR

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There is no button permanently dedicated to the camera application, however any of the seven different shortcuts can be assigned to the camera. No matter which shortcut is assigned to the camera, it takes just over 2 seconds to launch.

The camera lens is placed at the top of the flip, very close to the hinge. Once the viewfinder is live, you'll probably see a finger covering most if not all of the lens. Because holding the phone in the most natural position blocks the lens, it is difficult to learn to hold the phone differently for taking pictures. It is, however, easy and comfortable to hold the phone steadily by the bottom half while pressing the D-Pad select to take a picture.

Brightness and zoom can be adjusted using the D-Pad from the viewfinder. There are a number of brightness presets, but they don't seem to make any difference. The automatic preset does such a good job of adjusting to the lighting that you won't need to change it or use the manual controls most of the time. Out of force of habit from using Nokias, we kept setting the brightness to low-light mode at night, only to find our pictures over-exposed until we just left the camera on automatic control.

Pictures take anywhere from 2 to 5 seconds to save, and that time has nothing to do with picture resolution, or how much free memory the phone has - it is completely unpredictable. Even when the picture only takes a few seconds, you will not be able to quickly take another shot because of what may be the worst software mistake on any modern name-brand phone: Motorola believes that unless you expressly state that you want to store a picture, that you meant to delete it.

After taking a picture, the two soft buttons read discard and store. If you hit any button other than store, for example end to quickly return to the home screen, your photo will be deleted. Worse, after you've hit store, and the phone takes a few seconds to save the photo, you are presented with a second menu asking what to do with the stored photo. Again, if you do anything other than select one of the choices, your photo will be deleted. This adds up to over 5 seconds wasted between every photo, and a high likelyhood that you will lose a number of photos until you adjust to this puzzling system.

The RAZR does not have video recording.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Both the camera and the gallery applications have an extra large status bar and D-Pad hint graphic that take up much of the screen space that could be devoted to displaying more of the picture. The gallery application does feature an actual size zoom mode, however it renders the pictures poorly, making it difficult to judge focus. The gallery application does have a bright spot, it allows you to easily mark multiple photos for batch operations, including sending via Bluetooth. However it calls this operation copy and not send.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

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