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Motorola Razr XT910 Review

on February 3, 2012 – 1:01 pmNo Comment


You saw the Motorola Razr XT910 unboxing recently, here is the full review of the phone. The Motorola Razr is the GSM variant of the Motorola Droid Razr. Motorola Razr started appearing on online retailer stores in India last November and Motorola officially launched the Razr in India later.

Box Contents

The box contents include, Earphones, AC plug, USB Data Cable and User Manual. There is no battery as the phone comes with an inbuilt battery.

Specifications of the Motorola Razr

  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced qHD (540 x 960 pixels) display with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 1.2GHz Dual-Core, Dual-Channel RAM Processor
  • Dimensions - 130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1 mm, weight 127 g
  • Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread)
  • 8 MP camera with 1080p HD video recording,  LED flash and 1.3 MP secondary camera
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • 3G HSDPA 14.4 Mbps (Category 10), Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b,g, n (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz), aGPS (assisted), eCompass
  • 16 GB internal internal memory with expandable memory up to 32GB
  • 1780 mAh Li Ion battery

Hardware

There is a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced qHD (540 x 960) display with Gorilla Glass is clearly visible even under sunlight. The first thing you’ll notice is that the phone is huge with a bezel around the display. The phone is definitely larger than the other phones with 4.3-inch display.

There is a Motorola Branding on the top and the ear piece is below that. The proximity and ambient light sensors are right below that on the left along with the front facing camera on the right. The capacitive touch buttons for menu, home, back and search are at the bottom that gives haptic feedback when pressed. There’s a small hole for the microphone below that.


The lock / unlock button is on the left side with a shiny silver metal pattern. The Volume rocker is right below that which you will hardly notice since it’s very tiny. There is no camera button which is disappointing.


The SIM card slot is on the bottom right side with the MicroSD card next to that. This phone uses a micro SIM and it is also the first Android phone to use this technology. It is also hot-swap so that that you can insert the SIM while the device is on and it automatically connects to the network without the need to restart. We tested a 64GB microSD card on the phone and it works fine.


The 3.5mm audio jack, Micro USB port and the HDMI out is on the top.


The phone is slim throughout except for a slight bulge due to the camera module on the back.


The 8MP camera is at the back that is capable of recording 1080p HD videos. The LED flash is next to the camera along with the speaker grill.


The phone has soft Kevlar back that is used as body armor. The back is non-removable. The Motorola branding is in the middle and a tiny secondary microphone at the bottom to block the outside noise during calls.

Camera


The 8MP auto focus camera is quite good. The macro mode is also good. Night shots with the LED flash were good. You can also access the cam quickly from the locks screen by swiping it from right to left. We will come to that part later while discussing about the software. The camera has wide screen mode that captures images at 6MP resolution to match the screen, you can switch it off to take the normal shots at 8MP resolution in 4:3 ratio. The menu is at the bottom which is easy to access and disappears when you swipe. The effects such as black and white, negative, sepia etc. could be used while taking images. The different scenes lets you capture images in Auto, portrait mode, Sport, Night portrait, Macro etc. You can also geo-tag the images.

There are also different modes such as single shot, panaroma, multi-shot and timer mode.You can also adjust the exposure, toggle flash on/off and or set it to auto. You can switch to front cam with the switch botton on the right and capture button is below that.

Here are some camera samples.


Video

You can switch to video mode easily with the toggle button. You can capture video in different resolutions right from 1080p Full HD to VGA. There is also video stabilization option.

Here is the 1080p video sample.

Software


The Motorola Razr runs on Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) that is upgradable to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in future. The home screen has stable icons at the bottom for phone, messaging, camera and apps that could also be replaced by other shortcuts.

There are 5 home-screens. You can add widgets, shortcuts and even folders on the different home screens. Like other Android phones there different wallpapers including live wallpapers.

The lock screen is different from other Android phones. You can unlock by swiping left to right and by swiping right to left you can access the camera which makes up for the lack of camera button somewhat. The phone goes into vibrate mode when you swipe from bottom to top and toggle the ringer back by swiping from top to bottom. There is a sleep option when you press the power button that makes your device go to sleep to wake up in seconds instead to powering it off.

The setting are similar to the other Android phones. It has setting for HDMI to resize the image to be displayed on TV. The auto Brightness in the display settings automatically adjusts the brightness accordingly. The In-Pocket detecting option is something new that automatically locks your screen when you insert it in your pocket.

Some of the widgets include, Analog Clock, Bookmarks from browser, Calendar, Date and Time, Email, Favorite Contacts, Google Search, My Music: Now Playing, News & Weather Social Networking, Social Status that lets you post to different accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Orkut and Twitter together, Sticky Note, Universal Inbox, Weather, World Clock and Tasks. There are also separate toggle buttons for Mobile Data, Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, GPS, Power control and Wi-Fi.

Apps

There are some pre-loaded apps such as Calculator, Go To Meeting by Citrix, Motoprint to print documents over WiFi, Google Maps for Navigation, Quick office document reader, Social networking that shows combined Facebook and Twitter updates, Tasks lets you manage to-do list. The Motocast lets you access music from PC on your phone via Motocast PC suit.


My Files file explorer is pre-loaded file manager to view files on internal and external memory. The task manager lets you manage installed apps.


The Smart Actions app is one of best pre-loaded app that lets you manage you device according to the location. You can change turn off the ringer and switch to vibrate when you are in Work automatically where connected to certain WiFi network. You can set the triggers such as Wi-Fi, Geo locations particular time frame etc. You can also set multiple actions such as send a text message, set a ring tone, launch a website etc. You can also download the app from the Android Market for other select Motorola Android phones for free.

Gallery, Music and Video Player

The gallery shows all the images in the device. You can also view it according to the date, week, month etc. There’s also online view that shows the latest images of your Facebook friends.

The Gallery has timeline view in the landscape.

The Music player is simple with the cover image. You can also control it from the lock screen. It can play MP3, WAV, AAC, WMA9, WMA10, AMR WB, AMR NB, eAAC+ , AAC+, WMA v9 and MIDI audio formats. The video player supports range of video formats including AVI, 3GP, MOV, MKV and MP4. All the 1080p videos in different formats played fine.

Browser and Keyboard


The default Android Webkit browser is smooth and it also has battery saving mode.

It has default Swype keyboard that is good and there are also other alternatives such as MOBiDIV keyboard, Muli-touch keyboard and also a Chinese Keyboard. The MOBiDIV keyboard has auto suggestion that predicts words as it is being typed but the interface is not intuitive.

Calls and Messaging


The phone calls were fine without any dropped calls. There is also a front camera so that you can make a video call. It also has SNS integration that shows status from your friends. You can also use the voice commands to call a contact.


The messaging includes text messaging  in thread view and multiple selection. There are also social messaging that shows Twitter DM messages and Facebook Messages along with the universal inbox for everything at a single place.

Benchmarks

Here are some benchmarks that shows the performance of the device.

Quadrant and Smart Bench 2011

CF Bench

Connectivity

It has 3G HSDPA 14.4 Mbps (Category 10) and we got up to 6.5Mbps download speeds and 1Mbps upload speeds, Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b,g, n (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands).

The mobile hotspot has option to set number of devices to share your connection with and inactivity timeout.


The data manager has a data meter that shows data used in a certain period of time and the data saver restricts heavy usage in some apps like browser (queues downloads), email (postpones attachment), Market (queues downloads) till the device is connected to a WiFi network.


There is HDMI out so that you  can connect your phone to a TV. There is no HDMI cable in box and you need to purchase it separately.

Conclusion

The Motorola Razr has good build quality and sleek design but it has qHD display with 256ppi while some of the latest phones come with high-res HD displays. The battery life is good when compared to other Android phones but you can’t replace since it is sealed. We managed to squeeze out more than 1 and half days of battery life on average use,with few calls, SMS, WiFi, 3G data and a few hours of audio playback. The UI is not that impressive except for some features like the notification close option in the drop-down notification bar for each one, home-screen folders etc. If you are looking for an large Android phone with nice build quality and design, go for it.

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Built-in Smart Actions app
  • Good Camera
Cons
  • No dedicated camera key
  • Non-replaceable battery
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Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+