Motorola Razr 2 V8 mobile phone
Cutting... er... edge
Review To say it’s been difficult for Motorola to follow up the massive hit of the Razr V3 with something better is an understatement. Since its release to the sounds of jaws dropping in mid-2004, the Razr has gone from high-end must-have to mass-market. Now comes the Razr 2 V8, billed as the next-gen V3. So does it offer more than just another face-lift?
Moto's Razr 2: premium quality feel
The Razr 2 is thinner than the original – a monumental 2mm thinner, in fact. It's a mere 11.9mm thick, but a fairly standard sized clamshell otherwise. At 117g, it's quite heavy, however, the result of a heavy-duty stainless steel frame combined with metal and glass housing. Like the original, the materials used to make the Razr 2 are the key ingredients that make it look and feel a premium quality product.
On the outside of the clamshell, Motorola has used chemically hardened glass, spun metal and chrome to create an impressively tough and glossy phone. That hard-as-nails glass is used down the front of the phone, covering a remarkably large external display, but it's a fingerprint magnet. The screen is a 2in, 320 x 240, 262,000-colour screen, with some touchscreen control for the music player.
The external screen puts to shame many a mobile’s main display, and almost matches in size its own internal, 2.2in screen - another QVGA 262,000-colour panel. The main display sits above the thin, flat keypad: numbers, soft-menu keys and shortcut buttons are neatly lined up in rows and columns, making it simple to tap out texts. A central navigation pad rounds out the controls - this can be user-programmed for shortcuts to particular functions too.
Over the years, Motorola has suffered much criticism of its menu system's usability. With the V8, however, the user interface is notably easier to master. The main menu is laid out as a grid of icons - though it can be switched to a simple list, if you prefer. It’s regular, intuitive mobile stuff: click on icons and you get sub-menus, where you can scroll down or press corresponding numbers to skip to specific options.
Great review, but it discussed everything *except* the most eagerly anticipated item for any Motorola cellular telephone: A decent contact/address book system* combined with software that (1) has even a modicum of usefulness and (2) has had its field mapping actually tested before being released to production.
*Defined as one that allows at least two telephone numbers and one email address in each contact entry, that doesn't split such entries when saving to the SIM card (as opposed to the phone), and has zero difference in application regardless of whether an entry is saved to the phone or to the SIM card.
... even if it is the latest model, being seen using one marks you down as a Chav :)
Got a 3G Motorola razr V3X 18 months ago, the worst piece of modern hardware I have ever come across, multiple problems, failed totally after 14 months, wouldnt ever have another Motorola-Nokia phones are far more reliable!
Just to let you all know that you can get mini USB to 3.5mm headphone adapters from most phone shops and all over ebay now for probably less than a fiver, so you don't have to be stuck with the crappy ones Motorola give you.
Then again Sony do a line of very good bluetooth headphones if that's your thing...
I've been using one for a month or two now, having sworn never to use a Motorola (I get to test everything doing mobile development, and I can't stand the Motorola MIB interface). I'm actually quite impressed.
It's fast and most things are easy to use, Java implementation is excellent... texting is somewhere midway between the ease of a Nokia and the purgatory of old Motorola. The dual screen thing with interaction when it's closed is a bit pointless but occasionally useful; however I think the ability to change the profile - and thus turn off ringing and vibrations - from inside your pocket with no deliberate intervention is not something I would choose to have.
I never really liked the looks of the original RAZR V3 with the batteyr bulge and the fat squat screen when open, and this looks like the V3 should have done - but it's hardly high fashion these days.
Overall - nice if you like flips, not the greatest phone ever but you could do worse. Ash, I suspect you'll find the V8 faster and better looking but less powerful than the Nokia RAZR-clone - I haven't tried that exact model but Nokia always underpower S60 devices. If you plan to install lots of S60 apps, go for it, if not go Moto (I never thought I'd hear myself say that...).
If you're holding out for the V9 - don't. It may have 3G and swappable cards but it uses the old Motorola MIB UI, so is very much stuck in the murky difficult-to-use past.