Motorola Razr i review

Reviews 18 Oct, 2012

The first Android phone to pack a 2GHz chip courtesy of Intel hits the market, but can it challenge the popular Galaxy S3 handset?

4
Price: 
£335
SIM-free or free from £20.50 per month
Verdict: 
Motorola’s Razr i is a mid-range device, but it’s got a lot going for it: the best battery life we’ve ever seen, good performance thanks to an Intel processor, and good screen quality. The design, build quality and camera are good too, with the only black mark being an older version of Android and no firm timeframe for an update. If range-topping handsets are too expensive or too large, this 4.3in phone is an excellent alternative.

Motorola played a big part in the early success of Android, with its Droid devices catapulting Android into the mainstream, especially in the US. Although Motorola has struggled to compete with the likes of Samsung and HTC in the UK, the Razr i could signal a change of direction.

Instead of relying on chip firms like NVIDIA and Qualcomm - Motorola is the first high-end manufacturer to strap an Intel processor inside its handset.

We've previously seen one of these Medfield-based Atom chips in the Orange San Diego, but the Z2460 used in that handset has been upgraded to the Z2480 in the Razr i. It's still a single-core part with Hyper-Threading, but the clock speed has been raised from 1.6GHz to 2GHz. This makes it one of the fastest phones we've ever seen.

Performance

The Razr i's theoretical power translated to decent benchmark performance. In GeekBench the Razr i scored 981 – higher than the 709 scored by the HTC One X, but lagging behind the 1,387 result of Samsung’s Galaxy S3

The Razor i is the first handset to ship with a 2GHz processor

The Razr i performed well in other benchmarks, too. The Intel processor overhauled the Samsung’s quad-core Exynos chip in the SunSpider benchmark, completing the test in 1,052ms – quicker than the 1,430ms of the Samsung.

Using an Intel chip provides plenty of power as expected when bench-marking, but it does translate to excellent real-world performance. Android was slick in use, with no hint of juddering when opening the app drawer, navigating menus or switching between homescreens, and games ran largely without issues – we noticed the tiniest of framerate drops in graphical intensive apps such as Reckless Racing 2 and Dead Trigger, but it’s not enough to stop us playing.

Specifications: 

OS: Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

PROCESSOR: 2GHz Intel Atom Z2480

Memory/Storage: 1GB RAM; 8GB internal w/32GB microSD card slot

Screen: AMOLED 4.3in (540 x 960)

Connectivity: dual-band 802.11 b/g/n, micro-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack

Other: Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, RGB Light, Barometer sensor, GPS

Bands: EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz), HSPA+21 (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100)

Camera: 8MP rear with LED flash and autofocus, 0.3MP front-facing

Battery: 2000mAh

Size: 60.9 x 122.5 x 8.3mm

Weight: 126g