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Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:17

RAZR2 - Motorola finally releases the true next-gen RAZR

After the incredible success of the RAZR came a range of updates including different colours, the original 3G RAZR, the new slim 3G RAZR, the KRZR and the RIZR – but the RAZR 2 is the true next-gen update we’ve all been waiting for!

Officially titled the Motorola RAZR2 V9, you’ll undoubtedly see it written up as the RAZR2 or the RAZR 2. But whichever way the media writes the model name, it’s clear from the specifications that the RAZR2 is, at last, a ‘true’ next-gen update to the original iconic RAZR.

Coming in July, Moto’s new RAZR2 finally includes a range of updates that breathe much needed new life into the iconic RAZR range. 

The include a designed interface – something long the bane of existing RAZR users, the ability to add a 2Gb of MicroSD card (although it’s not clear if there’s a 2Gb card included in the box), the Opera 8.5 web browser for true HTML browsing, 3.5G HSDPA connectivity, the largest in-its-class ‘external’ screen on a phone at 2-inches, an internal screen at 2.2-inches with twice the resolution of the original RAZR, a 2 megapixel camera with a multi-shot feature, the ability to record up to 120 minutes of video, blogging and video blogging features and ‘slimmer, stronger and sleeker’ design.

Another great feature that has been long overdue, is the addition of audio improving ‘CrystalTalk’ technology, specifically designed so you can hear other people better and so they can hear you more clearly, in a nod to the phone’s no.1 purpose – making and receiving phone calls. 

There are two other models, the RAZR2 V9M, an EVDO based model, and the RAZR2 V8, a GSM (2.5G) based model.

Ed Zander, Motorola’s chairman and CEO said that: “With the modern style and powerful performance of RAZR2, Motorola is once again redefining the cell phone. This device takes the world’s best-selling feature-phone to the next level. Combining groundbreaking new features and an even slimmer exterior than the original icon, the RAZR2 is capable of giving consumers the ultimate mobile experience.” 

The RAZR2 is two millimeters thinner than the original RAZR, and has better materials in its construction, while keeping a ‘soft touch’. Motorola says that internally, the RAZR2 has a stainless steel internal frame to provide strength and durability. They also say that the “huge exterior lens is made with chemically hardened glass to be more scratch resistant”.

In addition, the ‘cast aluminum hinge’ has been tested over 100,000 times in the lab to ensure it won’t break and will always ‘work perfectly’. 

The new interface has been completely redesigned, letting you search contacts faster, with a customizable main menu ensuring we are never more than 2-3 click away from the applications we want to use. The internal ARM processor has been upgraded to a whopping 500Mhz in speed, with Motorola claiming a 10 times speed boost over the original RAZR.

The RAZR2 has improved ‘haptics’ technology, letting you better ‘feel’ what the phone is doing for better phone control, better mobile search capabilities, and on the V9, a ‘see what I see’ feature that lets those on a voice call turn on video streaming, so those with a capable phone can see what the caller is seeing right now.

Is it enough to save Motorola from their recent slump? On the face of it, it would certainly seem so, although given Nokia’s stunning N95 with 5 megapixel camera, better video recording and a better feature set, along with the iPhone, new phone from Sony Ericsson and the Windows world, this is an update that couldn’t come soon enough. 

It’s definitely the update that Motorola had to have, but at the same time I hope they’re feverishly working on the RAZR3 in the labs to up the feature set even more for release some time next year.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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