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

As well as being sharp on the outside, the new RAZR is cutting edge on the inside too. It uses a 1.2GHz dual-core processor from Texas Instruments with 1GB of RAM. This blasted through the Java-based SunSpider benchmark with a score of 1,870ms (lower is better), which compares favourably to the iPhone 4S with its score of 2,200ms.

The handset feels fast in day-to-day use too, with quick and smooth screen rotations and fast-loading apps. Compared to single-core phones we found it dealt capably with scrolling around our packed monthly schedule in Touch Calendar. There's plenty of space for storing data, with 16GB of built-in storage, plus that micro SDHC slot if you need more.

The big 4.3in display uses Super AMOLED technology, giving it better contrast and colour vibrancy than the LCD screens on most handsets. On top of that it has a massive 960x540 resolution, that's a quarter of the resolution of most TVs squeezed into a screen maybe a tenth of the size. However, these impressive figures don't tell the whole story.

Motorola RAZR

The display is impressive, but the technology used isn't quite up to that on the Galaxy S2

The technology used by the RAZR's screen is the same as that in the Samsung Galaxy S, while the newer Samsung Galaxy S2 uses an improved Super AMOLED Plus panel. The older technology here has less sub-pixels per pixel, reducing resolution when it comes to colour accuracy and giving the screen a slightly grainy appearance - something that is fixed on the S2's Super AMOLED Plus display, though this partially balanced by the S2's lower 800x480 resolution.

All that said, it's still an impressive screen, and one that outclasses those on most handsets. It could do with being a little brighter than the automatic brightness settings allow, so we had to override those, which can be annoying in the dark, where it then becomes blindingly bright. We've looked for an app to overcome this problem, we want auto brightness but with a plus/minus tweak, but haven't found one yet.

Despite its small size, large screen and fast dual-core processor, the RAZR's 1,780mAh battery put in an impressive stint. It lasted for just shy of ten hours in our constant H.264 video playback test. The Apple iPhone 4S sets the bar here with 12 hours of playback, but the RAZR is still the best Android phone we've seen in this respect.

Speaking of the operating system, the handset uses Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, with an update to Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' timetabled for the "first few months of next year".

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