Motorola RAZR i review: Intel inside

GSMArena team, 9 October 2012.
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Introduction

The RAZR line that Android helped revive is to be looked at with nothing but pride but Motorola should realize it had more luck than others. Giants like Siemens and Alcatel that used to shape the industry have been almost completely wiped from the map, while Moto stayed afloat and was acquired by no other than Google - the company behind the most popular smartphone platform in the world.

Motorola is of course a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, and that was well before Google's fat check, but competing with white box manufacturers over $50 dual and triple-SIM handsets wasn't such a distant possibility. Instead, Motorola is now flirting with edge-to-edge displays, steel frames and Kevlar to produce another stunning-looking phone like the RAZR i.


Motorola RAZR i official photos

We really loved the Krait-powered sibling of the Motorola RAZR i - the Motorola DROID RAZR M - and we look to the Intel-driven version to deliver more of the same. Here's the quick rundown of what it has to offer.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and 3G support
  • 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
  • 4.3" 16M-color Super AMOLED Advanced capacitive touchscreen of qHD resolution (960 x 540 pixels); Gorilla Glass
  • Kevlar coated, splash resistant body
  • Great ergonomics and size, frameless display design
  • Lightly customized Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 2 GHz Atom CPU, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, Intel Medfield chipset
  • 1 GB of RAM and 8GB of storage; microSD card slot
  • 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash; face detection and geotagging; 1080p video recording
  • 0.3MP front-facing VGA camera
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
  • NFC connectivity with Android Beam
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Accelerometer, proximity sensor and auto-brightness sensor; compass
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v 4.0
  • Beefy 2000mAh battery with good performance
  • Smart dialing, voice dialing
  • Excellent video codecs support
  • Office document editor
  • Good browsing performance

Main disadvantages

  • Screen has PenTile matrix
  • Chipset less powerful than Qualcomm version in all but browsing
  • Incompatible with apps compiled with the Android NDK
  • Battery is not user-replaceable
  • Shutter key has no half press
  • Disappointing audio output
  • Poor camera quality

The new 32nm Medfield platform has finally seen smartphones break the 2GHz barrier and Intel claim this should be more beneficial to the user experience than multi-core architecture. Now, we were very pleased with the dual-core Krait inside the RAZR M, and it will take more than PR talk to change our mind, but you can rest assured the RAZR i will be given a fair chance to persuade us.

Then again, even if the Motorola RAZR i fails to top the benchmarks, it would still have a nice set of useful tools for surviving in the highly competitive mid-range. The smartphone has the build and finish of a high-end device and that alone is certain to get many people interested.

Motorola Razr i XT890 Motorola Razr i XT890 Motorola Razr i XT890
Motorola RAZR i studio shots

There's also the ample battery and the edge-to-edge display which, Motorola says, puts even the iPhone 5 to shame, when it comes to making the most out of the available space.

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