Motorola PEBL U6 & RAZR V3i review: Fashionable duo

Jan Horalík, 08 June 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Motorola RAZR V3i

Key features

  • Top-class construction
  • Slim design similar to the original RAZR
  • Large brilliant display
  • Passive outer display with 4096 colors
  • 1.23 MP camera
  • microSD memory card slot
  • Email client
  • Bluetooth

Main disadvantages

  • Minor innovations against the original RAZR
  • Outer display's protecting glass catches fingerprints
  • Illogically organized menu items
  • Full size photos cannot be taken without the use of an additional memory card
  • Poor MP3 player

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Motorola Razr V3i

Motorola RAZR V3i is a direct successor of the widely popular Motorola RAZR, which is after all easily recognizable at the very first sight. Very few details have been changed in terms of design. Apparently, Motorola has stuck to the principle: "If it ain't broken - don't fix it! " RAZR's original look, even if so trite already, remains pretty attractive.

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Original RAZR design has only been slightly modified

Three differences

Size has remained unchanged (98 x 53 x 14 mm), while weight has been increased by 5 grams to 100 g in comparison to the regular RAZR. The front cover of the phone (from the outside) is made out of a brushed metal plate. A significant part of the front cover is occupied by a black glass protecting the manufacturer's logo and the outer display. Unfortunately, fingerprints remain visible all over it, so one has no other remedy but to wipe it all over again and again. The manufacturer's logo gets illuminated in blue. Not only does it identify the phone, but it also serves as a flashlight. Unfortunately, the logo does not alert of incoming messages or missed calls.

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RAZR remains a highly stylish slim-design phone even nowadays

The outer display is passive. It features a resolution of 96 x 80 pixels and shows 4K colors. A few moments after the phone has been closed it visualizes the same wallpaper as the one activated on the inside display, including a digital clock, the signal strength indicator, and the battery state indicator. Once the phone is switched to power save mode (after about half a minute of inactivity) the outer display starts to show only the digital clock. Missed events remain invisible. To view them you will need to press a random key or open the device.

In both upper corners of the cover glass are hidden two LEDs - a green one on the left (activated when the phone is being charged), and a blue one on the right (activated in case of present Bluetooth connection). The camera lens is hidden in the black trapezium in the very top part of the glass. When the phone is closed, its shorter half does not reach its edge, but extends to where the microphone and the loud speaker are.

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Data connector is located on the thicker side of the phone • Joint firmness is exemplary

Lateral keys are all located on phone's top half. Located on the left is a couple of volume-control keys and the so called "Smart key", which is used in the menu set up. On the right side is then the voice-dial key. The data connector (miniUSB) is mounted down left, where the bottom half of the phone gets enlarged; it is not protected. The eye-let that allows for hanging the device on a stripe is located on the right.

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All side buttons are located in the upper part of the handset

The rear side of the phone mainly constitutes of the battery cover. A little bit lower you will find the loud speaker grill and the external antenna connector protected by a rubber cap. When you remove the cover you will find a Li-Ion battery of 820 mAh, identical to the one used in Motorola PEBL. RAZR V3i is expected to make it through 200 hours of stand-by or 210 minutes of calls in a single charge cycle. The SIM card bed and the microSD slot are situated just next to the battery. A replacement of the SIM card requires removal of the battery.

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Memory card goes next to the SIM card • Battery cover only constitutes a part of the rear cover • Loudspeaker grill

Shake the edge out

The new RAZR V3i is opened in a standard way, that is, manually. Its top half reaches full-open position due to the support of a strong spring. Keypad is virtually identical to the one of the original RAZR model. Keys are flat, etched into silver lamina.

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The phone is only 14 mm thick

The four-way navigation key does not stand out above the surrounding surface either. All keys feature low uplift and good press reaction. Typing on RAZR V3i is more practical and generally easier than on Motorola PEBL as RAZR V3i's keys are distributed in a standard way.

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Hardly any differences against the forerunner can be found inside the new RAZR V3

Above the standard numeric keys you will see (like in the Motorola PEBL) the navigation key with its confirming central part, the standard keys for call reception and termination, a pair of keys for direct access to the message menu and WAP, and three context keys.

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Keypad is totally flat, with the backlighting being controlled by a light-sensitive sensor

In the dark border lines get illuminated in dark blue. Number keys are illuminated in a slightly lighter nuance of the same color. Keypad backlighting is controlled by a light sensor, that is, it is switched-off anytime the light conditions permit it, saving this way a lot of energy.

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Keypad backlighting

Display: bigger, but also poorer in colors

The main display of the new RAZR V3i is active. It shows 262Kcolor on a surface of 176 x 220. It looks very fine regardless of being bigger than the display of Motorola PEBL: 35 x 44 mm. It is color visualization where RAZR V3i scores a little bit worse. To my opinion, colors on PEBL's display look deeper and generally better.

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Main display

There are two frames around the display: a black and a silver one saying Motorola. Above the frames is situated the speaker grill halved by the manufacturer's logo.

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New illuminated logo • Indicator of Bluetooth activity

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