Motorola RAZR

Motorola RAZR review

Seth Barton
15 Nov 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A stylish and powerful Android handset, which should stay better-looking for longer than the competition



Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread), 4.3in 960x540 display

Anyone unfamiliar with the Motorola RAZR brand probably wasn't a mobile phone owner back in the heady phone boom at the start of the millennium. Selling around 130 million handsets, the RAZR was a phone phenomenon, the flip-phone design and super-sleek dimensions proving its main selling points. Now Motorola has 'rebooted' the brand with a new Android-powered handset - called simply the Motorola RAZR.

Having been impressed by it during our Hands on: Motorola RAZR preview, we were looking forward to using it day-to-day.

Motorola RAZR

The flip is gone and the shape is mirrored by Motorola's latest Xoom tablets

Motorola has discarded the flip-phone design, which is fair enough in today's touchscreen obsessed world. The front is dominated by a big 4.3in touchscreen, so there's little room for fripperies, but the tapered corners (also seen on the new Motorola Xoom 2 tablets) certainly add a little swish to the design.

Turn it around and you can see that Motorola has kept the super-sleek part of the RAZR legacy. It measures just 7.1mm for the vast majority of its length - making it arguably the thinnest smartphone available. However, a small bulge at the top extends out to 10mm, incorporating the camera lens and speaker, which makes the thinnest claim open to debate.

Arguments aside, its the rear of the RAZR that's the real show piece, with a carbon-fibre-esque back plate that's actually constructed from Kevlar threads - the same material used in bulletproof jackets.

Motorola RAZR edge

The majority of the RAZR is slimmer than the Galaxy S2, but that bulge means it's not a clear-cut winner

Motorola wouldn't go as far as saying that the new RAZR is bulletproof, but it's certainly far tougher than its slender dimensions would suggest. That rear plate is very hard to make a mark on, and the front is covered in scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. Apparently there's a steel core plate though the phone, and we certainly couldn't get the phone to flex. The volume and power buttons on the right are easy to reach while holding the phone, plus there's four touch-sensitive buttons below the screen - Menu, Home, Back and Search. We're not usually a fan of touch sensitive buttons, but these worked flawlessly.

There's no way inside the new RAZR, no rear fascia and no access to the battery. The ports for micro USB and HDMI, on top of the handset, are pleasingly bare. It's almost a single seamless piece of technology, with just one small hinged door that provides access to the micro SIM and micro SDHC slots. The whole phone is coated in a water-repelling nanotech layer, which means liquids just roll off it like blobs of mercury - our survived a hefty splash of lager with no ill effects.

Motorola RAZR slot cover

Behind that little door are the micro SIM and micro SDHC slots

Kevlar fibres, nanotechnology and a steel core. The new RAZR seems to be have been designed for Jack Bauer or Morpheus from the Matrix. It discards Apple-like minimalism for a more high-tech, future military appearance. With a name like RAZR, we suppose it could only ever be a phone for men, and it undoubtedly leans that way.

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