Bulletproof Motorola Android RAZR announced

Has Motorola finally got the right idea? Certainly Kevlar seems to help.

Motorola RAZR Android Phone
Motorola RAZR Android Phone

Motorola RAZR Android Phone

Motorola today have announced the RAZR Android phone. And the technology community released a big sigh of relief. Why? Because, finally, it looks at though Motorola have regained the high ground and released a premium Android handset that there is genuine reason to be excited about. We were nonplussed about the prospect of yet another chunky device with little thought put into usability and all the effort into winning the ineffectual geek war of specification. Not now. Well…not so much.

First, the big stuff.  It is a 1.2 Ghz dual core processor driving a massive 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Advanced screen. The marketing lingo has gone into overdrive with phrases such as “impossibly thin” to describe its 7.1mm body, but we have to note that there is a very prominent bulge at the top which houses the 8.1 megapixel camera. If Motorola want to stay out of the courts, they had better be sure that thickest part is thinner than anything else before they describe it as the thinnest phone in the World. The camera is also capable of recoding 1080p HD video.

The panel is covered in reinforced Corning® Gorilla® Glass to prove it virtually unscratchable, and the core metal structure is encased in bullet proof Kevlar ®. Topping this off, the phone has been treated with a splash proof coating meaning it is arguably the toughest super phone on the market. You may not be able to drop it in a pint of beer for 30 minutes like the Motorola Defy, but then again ,why would you be so stupid?

One contentious point is that it will be released with version 2.3.5 of Android, and not the forthcoming Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Many have cried foul at this with Eurodroid making the suggestion that the phone will be “rendered obsolete within 24 hours” which is a bit over the top. It will take months and potentially years of development and prototyping to get a device of this standard to the market. And within that time frame, Android 4.0 is simply not available to Motorola as they are not partnered with Google for the Nexus programme. And let us not forget that Motorola Mobility have not yet been bought by Google as that deal is still going through. So I would not have expected the RAZR to be carrying ICS from launch, but would expect that on or around the time of launch there will be an announcement regarding the time frame of an upgrade.

RAZR will come equipped with 1GB of RAM for apps, 16GB of memory plus a 16GB microSD card in the box which makes it one of the best equipped phones as far as storage space goes. The lingo goes over the top somewhat with the claim that “you’ll fly through tasks up to two times faster than single-core processor phones” but there will inevitably be speed increases. The MOTOCast app offers a streaming option from your home computer for photos and media files, although this is not a cloud based storage option – it literally is a streaming interface between your home PC and the RAZR.

A great sign is the  presence of “Smart Action” which aids battery life by reducing the processor speed when battery is low and switches off the Bluetooth 4.0  or GPS capability when you get home. It will enable you to send a text automatically when you have a missed call, and offers a “government-grade” encryption to please business IT managers. I don’t think that will wash with my NHS IT Server Manager though. He’ll still say no to anything I ask for.

Overall though, Motorola have put together a pretty impressive package. The lack of Android 4.0 is not really a problem, although some will bemoan there not being a NFC capability. This is probably the only significant omission considering the push Google is making with its Wallet infrastructure. But how much this takes off in the next year or so is a mystery. We are pleasantly surprised by this phone, and it has certainly meant that the next AndroidGenus upgrade might well have a Motorola logo on it somewhere, regardless of how impressive the announcement of the Nexus Prime will be.

The Motorola RAZR will be available in the UK from November 1st, 2011 priced at £454.80 SIM free from Clove.

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