Motorola Razr i Review
Motorola Razr i
Review written by Charlotte Kertrestel
The Motorola Razr i is a mid-range smartphone that you might not have come across until now. But with a relatively low price tag, and monthly deals starting from just £15.50, we’re eager to discover whether this Motorola device could be a hidden gem…
The Motorola Razr i has a manageable 4.3 inch screen, as with other similarly priced smartphones in its range such as the HTC One S and Huawei Ascend P1. Although the device feels a bit small when handled-perhaps because I’m more familiar with larger handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nexus 4- its lightweight feel is a pleasant surprise. And while, weighing in at 126g, the Motorola Razr i isn’t the lightest smartphone in existence, it doesn’t come in far behind the super lightweight iPhone 5’s 112g.
Also, considering the phone’s small dimensions (for a modern smartphone, anyway), the Razr i is far from being ultra slim. However, the device sits perfectly in your hand, giving the user a sturdy and comfortable grip.
One feature that I was quite impressed by with this mid-range phone is its high visual quality, and although the Razr i’s 256 pixels per inch count doesn’t match the likes of the top dogs like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5, you wouldn’t be missing out when it comes to display quality.
Now let’s get down to specs: the phone comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, with the option of extending this using a removable SD card. The only downside, however, is that you can’t change the battery, as the device’s back casing in non-removable.
The Motorola Razr i, I am told by the flashy packaging, is splash-proof, which is demonstrable in the phone’s SD and SIM card ports’ removable cover. However, I found this feature a little redundant, especially when the headphone jack and USB port were not covered, meaning that the phone is really only as resistant to water as any other device.
Another feature that I wasn’t a huge fan of is the phone’s visible screws around the edges of the handset, which made it look a little rugged and unfinished. That said, the feel of the phone was far more impressive than the Huawei Ascend P1’s flimsy plastic casing, and the overall sturdiness of the Motorola in comparison made me realise that I could overlook the odd ugly fixings here and there.
Phone Set Up
The Motorola Razr i is pre-loaded with Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich, though it is upgradable to the latest version of Jelly Bean. What is surprising is that the mid-range model has a 2GHz Intel Atom processor, which means that it is one of the fastest smartphones on the market, even when pitted against high spec models like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One.
The Razr i’s home screen layout differs slightly to other Android devices in that it only has the one main home screen, with the option to add more as you wish. I found that this was particularly useful, especially for first time smartphone users, who might not have enough apps to fill up the seven screens that Android phones usually offer. When selecting apps and widgets to add to the phone’s home screens, I liked the fact that the Motorola offers an additional tab, called the Favourites tab, where you can drop and drag all of your most used apps without having to locate them from a variety of other home screens.
Another layout option that you don’t usually find on Android devices is a Quick Settings page, found by simply swiping to the right from the home screen. Whereas most Android phones require you to swipe down and then select the settings bar, the Motorola Razr i makes changing your ringtone, connecting to a WiFi account and switching on Bluetooth far quicker than on other devices.
Vehicle Mode is a feature which many smartphones are adopting; on HTC you’ve got HTC Car Mode, whereas Nokia offers Nokia Drive. The Motorola Razr i’s Vehicle Mode is no different, and allows you to navigate from A to B using Google’s Navigation app, Google Maps and Google Voice Search, as well as letting you make calls and listen to your favourite tunes, all from the app’s main dashboard.
What I like about the Motorola’s Vehicle Mode is that you can simply add other apps which you might want to have easy access to while driving, such as a weather app, the Google Local app, or the clock widget.
Motorola’s Smart Actions is another really handy application which lets you automate everyday activities. For example, you can set your Razr i to remind you to put it on charge every evening to avoid running out of juice the next day, or you can even set a sleep rule whereby your phone will automatically change to silent to avoid waking you during the night.
Other pre-set rules which you can activate include the meeting rule, which silences incoming calls and messages while you’re in a meeting, as well as the night time battery saver, which switches off data syncing when you don’t need it at night. You can even activate the Razr i to send out automated text messages when you receive calls whilst driving, which is something that many more expensive phones can't do. And if you can’t find a rule that suits you you can personalise the app to create your own; make your phone work for you!
The Motorola Razr i offers an office suite which allows you to edit, read and create documents for free, enabling you to stay in touch with the office from the touch of a button.
Open, create and edit PDF files, Words documents with QuickWord, spreadsheets with QuickSheet and PowerPoint documents with QuickPoint.
Camera & Video
To be brutally honest, I didn’t expect big things with the Motorola Razr i’s camera. However, when I realised that it featured an 8MP lens, unlike most other similarly-priced smartphones, I thought there might be hope in the Razr i’s camera yet.
And I am glad that I gave it another chance! Although there isn’t the most comprehensive selection of pre or post production editing features, the Razr i does allow you to choose from a range of settings including single shot, multishot, timer and HDR. You can even change the settings to enhance the exposure, flash, colour, and set the mode to auto, portrait, landscape and night portrait to suit the scene that you’re capturing.
When it came to actually sampling the Motorola’s camera, I was lucky enough to take the phone on a trip to London Zoo on a rare sunny summer’s day. Capturing the shots was easy enough to do, and you have the option of either pressing the shutter icon on the phone’s touchscreen- as with most smartphone cameras- or pressing the physical camera shutter button on the side of the handset. I liked having the option of using either; the physical button made the phone more like a traditional camera, whereas, unlike the Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 920, having the touchscreen capture icon made it easier to take portrait shots without being forced to awkwardly stretch your finger round the side of the phone.
However, I did find that taking photos was incredibly slow, and there was a 3 to 4 second lag between each shot, which, especially when trying to capture the image of a moving giraffe, was a little irritating.
That said, when I glanced through the photos once I’d returned home, I was incredibly surprised at just how good the images were. This is not only a credit to the Motorola Razr i’s impressive camera, but also the phone’s high quality visual display. In fact, one or two of the pictures came out far better with the mid-range Motorola than they did using my Nexus 4!
|Nexus 4||Motorola Razr i|
Another aspect of the Motorola Razr i that I was impressed with was the device’s battery life. Smartphones notoriously have weak battery lives because of the multitude of high power functions they carry out.
However, when I left the phone switched on, idle, overnight, its battery only discharged by 10% with all of the functions, such as data syncing and notifications, still switched on.
I also used the camera extensively on my weekend trip to London and the battery hardly batted an eyelid. In fact, four days after I started using the Motorola more extensively, it still has 49% of charge.
Overall, I’d say the Motorola Razr i has one of the most impressive battery lives around, especially on a mid-range smartphone. And with features like Motorola’s Smart Actions helping you to further increase your phone’s battery life, you really don’t have to worry about running out of juice with the Razr i.