Motorola RAZR i review: Intel inside

GSMArena team, 9 October 2012.
Pages: 123456789

Stock Android gallery

The Motorola RAZR i is equipped with a stock Android ICS gallery. The Default view of the gallery is Albums - it lists all folders with photos in the phone. Rather than the familiar stacks, the app uses a grid of photos, which are two per line.

Besides, Album view, you also get Locations (photos are grouped based on where they were taken), Times (grouped by when they were taken), People (if the photos have tagged faces in them) and Tags (these are general tags you can add manually).

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The standard ICS Gallery app

Getting inside an album displays all the photos in a rectangular grid, which is horizontally scrollable. When you try to scroll past the end, the photo thumbnails will tilt to remind you you're at the end.

Above each photo you have several sharing shortcuts and a delete button, while below is a line of small thumbnails of all other photos in the album. You can tap those small thumbnails to move to other images or you can just swipe to the side.

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Viewing a photo

The settings menu lets you do simple edits to a photo (rotate, crop) or go into a more capable editor with a lot more option. The editor offers light adjustments (so you can bring out the shadows or the highlights), effects, color styles, red eye correction, straightening a photo, sharpening and face glow (which detects faces automatically). Most of these options have a slider that lets you fine-tune the strength of the effect.

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Editing and giving photos effects is easy

Stock video player does the job

To be honest we were a bit that, coming with a new chipset, the Motorola RAZR i might lack support for some of the more popular video codecs. However, the smartphone managed to surprise us quite nicely, handling just about every video we threw at it played fine.

We tried DivX, XviD and MKV up to 1080p resolution and while some clips with higher bitrate weren't perfectly smooth, they were all able to run on the RAZR i.

Keep in mind though, that since there's no there's no dedicated video player app, you need to use the gallery for browsing and launching your videos. Once you start a video you are greeted by the stock Android video player interface, which is hardly the most functional around.

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The video player is built into the gallery

The shortcut in the top right corner lets you share your video through Bluetooth, Email or upload it straight to a social network of your choice. There's also an option to stream it to a DLNA-enabled player near you and that's that.

The stock video player doesn't support subtitles, so you'll have to resort to a more feature-rich alternative in the Google Play Store (many of them are free). The good news is that the screen of the RAZR i is large enough and of high enough quality for enjoying video content, so once you get a proper player, you can tyrn the smartphone into great tool for watching movies on the go.

Standard Android music player

The Motorola DROID RAZR i comes with the latest Music app by Google. It has the same side-scrollable tabs like much of the other stuff in Ice Cream Sandwich. Naturally, it offers a link to the Google Play Music store as well.

The tabs are used to organize your music library - there's Recent, Artists, Albums, Songs, Playlists and Genres.

The Now playing interface features the track's album art with the track info and playback controls below it. You can tap it to reveal more options - like/unlike the song, a bar to scrub through the song and shuffle and repeat toggles.

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Google Play Music is the default music player

Playing a song with the screen locked shows a handy music widget on the lockscreen. It displays the name of the song as well as controls for pause, previous and next. The same controls are available in the notification drawer, too, save for the previous button.

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You can control music playback from the lockscreen and notification area as well

From the Settings key you can get into the equalizer. It can be turned on and off and features several presets that along with a user defined one. If you plug in a headset, you can also play with the Bass boost and 3D effect sliders.

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There's an equalizer too

Disappointing audio output

Unfortunately, the Motorla RAZR i failed to impress in our audio output quality test. The Intel-powered smartphone came seriously short of most of its mid-range peers, let alone the best we have seen.

When attached to an active external amplifier, the Motorola RAZR i produced decently loud output with excellent frequency response, dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio and virtually non-existent stereo crosstalk. However, it has absurdly high distortion levels, which ruin the overall experience.

Surprisingly, attaching a pair of headphones actually helps improve the RAZR i performance. Volume levels did drop a bit, but then so did distortion levels. However, frequency response and stereo crosstalk also worsened slightly, so the overall performance is no better than average here.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Motorola RAZR i+0.04, -0.29-88.388.32.023 1.627-88.4
Motorola RAZR i (headphones attached)+0.64, -0.13-88.188.10.117 0.461-57.4
Motorola RAZR XT910+0.01, -0.08-90.990.00.0020 0.013-90.2
Motorola RAZR XT910 (headphones attached)+0.67, -0.18-89.288.50.027 0.534-56.0
HTC One S+0.13, -0.10-91.090.60.0089 0.015-92.6
HTC One S (headphones attached)+0.13, -0.04-90.790.60.011 0.065-74.0
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II+0.04, -0.09-91.491.90.0042 0.066-89.7
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II (headphones attached)+1.05, -0.22-90.090.20.013 0.647-49.4

Motorola RAZR i frequency response
Motorola RAZR i frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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