Geoff’s Rants and Raves – Motorola Razr XT910

Rave – Motorola Razr XT910 Review

After nearly 2 years with the Samsung Galaxy S it was time for a change of smart phone. I produced my list of wants, and away I went to research the possibilities. My shortlist was as follows:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note (see Mike’s review) – I love this phone as it is also a usable tablet, but unfortunately, that made it a little too large for my pocket (and my Wife’s handbag!).
  2. Samsung Google Nexus – I got as far as putting this in a basket and was about to place an order when a colleague pointed out it had no memory expansion slot. To produce a phone with no expansion capability is unacceptable for me, and is one of the reasons I will not have an iPhone, so this was a very close call.
  3. Samsung Galaxy S II – I had loved the S so this was a natural progression; it did, however, offer very few enhancements over the S.
  4. Motorola Razr XT910 – I really liked the specification of this unit, it seemed to offer me most of the Galaxy Notes strengths without the physical size. I was very close to ordering, but was put off by the sealed nature of the handset. Although it had a Micro-SD expansion slot, the battery is sealed in the unit, so I felt it may limit the life of the phone.

Smart PhoneSo after that, how did I end up with a Motorola Razr you may wonder. Well it was the age-old temptation of the cheap price, I got an email from Expansys offering the phone sim free, (unlocked) for just £266.46. At this price it was an easy decision, even with the sealed battery.

I have had the phone for nearly a month now and I am very happy with it; the pros and cons I have found are as follows:

Pros

  1. The 1.2GHz dual core processor makes it significantly faster than the Galaxy S.
  2. The 4.3” AMOLED screen gives very crisp colours and brightness, and having the extra resolution (960 * 540) makes web browsing on the phone usable.
  3. It was very easy to setup both my work (Microsoft Exchange Server) and personal email on this phone and I can see messages from both in the universal inbox.
  4. The camera and video recording for a phone is excellent.
  5. The sound quality is also surprisingly good for a phone.
  6. It seems very robust and resistant to scratching.
  7. Android 2.3.5 works very well, but I still look forward to the upgrade to Android 4, (ice cream sandwich) which is a free of charge upgrade, due in a month or two.
  8. Excellent speaker phone function, in fact it’s so good it is useable when driving.
  9. Excellent keyboard and predictive text as standard.

Cons

  1. Although the phone is very slim it has a thicker end at the top, this makes it a little oddly balanced in the hand. Having said that the phone is very light at only 127g.
  2. The micro sim – this is not the fault of the phone, but T-Mobile. Getting a micro-sim via a business account is troublesome. In fact it was so ridiculous, I may have a rant column just for this one episode. So please note if you are ordering this phone, and currently have a standard sim card, please bear in mind that you need to order a new micro sim card to fit.
  3. I was looking forward to better Wi-Fi signal on the Razr as it is 802.11n, where the Galaxy S was only 820.11g, but, although the Razr has a speed advantage when close to the wireless source, (Wireless Router/Access Point) you can get no further away before you lose the signal. In my home my laptop has a three out of 5 bar signal strength upstairs, but the phone can only muster one and sometimes even loses Wi-Fi connection altogether.

It has been noted on some review sites that there is an issue with the browser. I, however, used the Dolphin Browser HD (available free of charge) from the Android Marketplace and I have had no issues at all.

So at the price I paid for this, it’s a big thumbs up rave from me, and only time will tell if the battery performance tails off and limits the phones working life.