With the flip closed, the large 2" external display takes possession of almost the entire outer panel. The 256K-color TFT display has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. Its size and looks truly deserve admirations, however this time all credit goes to its touch-sensitive capabilities. It is a tricky matter, as the display itself is not a touchscreen. Only visible upon very close examination, three touch sensitive keys can be spotted overlaying the external display. It is for the first time that Motorola incorporates these keys over the display, instead of placing them under it. They come with haptic feedback - meaning slight vibrations denote every keypress. However, the keys are active only in player mode, controlling basic player functions like play, pause, forward, etc. It's a pity they cannot perform other tasks. Anyway, it's a praiseworthy innovation that holds a lot of promise of expanding the possibilities of the external display.
Above the display is the 2 megapixel camera lens. With no other keys or elements on the front panel, V8 looks really cool and sleek.
When you open the flip, there is no way for the size of the main display to go unnoticed. The TFT internal display of QVGA resolution (240 x 320 pixels) totals 256K colors on a 2.2" diagonal. Above the display is the stylish long narrow opening of the earpiece, which looks like an elegant extension of the main display. The only thing that's ruining the good impression here is that when opened the clamshell looks stunningly large - much like the impression you get when you open the Nokia N76 for the first time.
|It is for the first time that Motorola incorporates these keys over the display, instead of placing them under it. They come with haptic feedback - meaning slight vibrations denote every keypress.||
The trademark etched keypad is really nicely done and, besides the usual navigation and alphanumeric buttons, it also has a dedicated music player key right above the call key. The large comfortable keys offer great touch orientation. The round navigation key is a pleasure to use, matching the overall user-friendliness of the whole keypad. The keypad is placed closer to the bottom of the phone, compared to other RAZRs -V3i, V3, V3xx and maxx V6. This provides better typing experience and general phone handling. Below the keypad there's a rubber stripe serving as a cushion for the flip. It also keeps the display off the keyboard in closed position, to finally get rid of the irritating keypad imprints on the screen. RAZR2 V8 is also the first phone in the family to have the flip almost equal in size with the lower body, resulting in a symmetric clamshell design. The characteristic chin is a lot subtler here, almost non-existent compared to Motorola RAZR V3i, V3, V3xx and maxx V6.
The left side of Motorola RAZR2 V8 features the universal port for plugging the charger, headset or data cable. Alongside is the volume rocker, which also provides quick access to ringing profiles in standby. It has additional functions regarding incoming text messages, but that's to come later on. Right below the external volume keys is the side select key, also used to operate the camera when the flip is closed. This side select key can be used to select items when you operate the handset with the flip closed.
The right side of the handset accommodates the large voice command key. Right above it, nicely integrated within the hinge is the neck/wrist strap eyelet, styled in silver. The volume rocker, the side select key and the voice command key all have a metallic surface that refracts light to shape various geometric patterns. A similar effect is observed when you look at the front panel from different angles - right above the secondary display, the Motorola logo seems to sparkle light, indeed.
The top part of the closed clamshell is completely bare, while at the bottom of the handset the dual mouthpiece grill is to be seen only.
A shining Motorola logo midway the back panel attracts attention immediately. The better part of the rear is the battery cover. It is made of matt metal though it looks like plastic. The rest of the rear panel is also made of metal and houses the external antenna plug, as well as the dark blue loudspeaker grill.
The standard Motorola BX40 Li-Ion battery is revealed once you remove the back cover. It has a capacity of 770 mAh and the manufacturer promises up to 330 h of standby time and up to 7 h and 30 minutes of talk time. These are quite optimistic claims, honestly. In reality, the battery lasts around 2-3 full days in a 3G network, depending on how intense the usage is. The SIM card slot is placed on the right, nothing interesting here. Oh, and don't be looking for a memory card slot - this phone has none, just like the original V3 RAZR.