Motorola Razr i review
The first Android phone to pack a 2GHz chip courtesy of Intel hits the market, but can it challenge the popular Galaxy S3 handset?
Android needs updating
The presence of the dated Ice Cream Sandwich, inevitably, comes as a disappointment while Motorola says that Jelly Bean will make its way to the device, it's given no indication of dates.
Despite this, Motorola has made Ice Cream Sandwich work extremely well on the Razr i, making small tweaks rather than sweeping changes.
The lockscreen is home to a neat circular widget that unlocks the phone directly into the caller, text-messaging and camera apps depending on which are selected, and there's another circular widget literally called Circles that takes centre-stage on the homescreen. It's made from a trio of circular graphics that provide time, weather and battery information, as well as some notifications. Swipe down on each of these circles and they flip over, serving up additional information.
Smart Actions are easy to set up and save time
The Smart Actions app is well-conceived and executed, too. Taking after third-party Android apps like Tasker, it allows you to set specific rules for the phone in order to change its behaviour. A host of rules are included by default: one reminds you to charge the handset if the battery dips below 50 per cent in the evening, for instance, and another uses the phone's GPS to turn ringtones off when you're at the office.
It's easy to create your own. Customisable "triggers" can use all manner of settings around the device in order to start or stop actions, and dozens of different effects can be used in order to alter the phone's behaviour.
The inclusion of an 8-megapixel camera won't turn any heads, but quality is reasonable it captures colours that aren't a million miles away from the bright, accurate tones of top-end handsets, and detail is good, too, with detail that's close to the levels managed by the Galaxy S3.
The 8-megapixel camera is good, but isn't the best feature
The camera's software is impressive, too. The phone goes from its standby mode to the camera application in just over a second, and takes one and a half seconds to take the first shot. Elsewhere, there's a decent HDR mode for brightening up shots, and a 10fps burst mode too.
It's technically a mid-range phone, but Motorola's latest continually punches above its weight thanks to stunning battery life, good performance and a reasonable screen. If high-end phones are just too large or expensive, and battery life is important, this is an excellent choice.
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.
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
Size: 60.9 x 122.5 x 8.3mm