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Motorola RAZR i: A Single-Core Phone with a Seriously Outdated Display

Steven Blum
20

Motorola's Intel-based RAZR i was just announced in London. Motorola is claiming this is the first smartphone with a 2GHz processor and an "edge-to-edge" display. But if look into the specs, what you find is actually a very disappointing mid-range Android phone that's already outdated. Here's why:

Design

Stylistically, the phone looks similar to its cousin, the RAZR M, which is being launched in the U.S. It has a Kevlar-based material that apparantly protects the entire device from water, and a screen which nearly reaches the edge of the device. Motorola has wrapped the rest of the device in "diamond cut aircraft-grade aluminum" and the screen is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass (like most smartphones these days). That's nice, but the Kevlar look is getting a bit stale, and we wish Motorola was investing more in creating thinner, sleeker smartphones. Remember when the RAZR was synonymous with an ultra-slim design? Those days are gone.

Display

Motorola has been touting the device as having an "edge-to-edge" display, but for all the you'd think they'd invest more in the quality of the display. It has a resolution of just 960x540p, which really isn't very competitive in this day and age.

Processor

Motorola is claiming the Intel processor inside the device can reach speeds of up to 2GHz, but this is a SINGLE core processor. Considering the fact that quad-core is becoming standard, we'll have to test this claim of "2 GHz." We have our doubts..

Camera

According to Motorola, RAZR i's camera can start up in under a second, take up to 10 photos in less than a second, as well as handle 1080p video recording. Unlike the RAZR M, this phone also has a hardware shutter button. It is 8MP, which is about right. Nothing revolutionary, though.

OS

Motorola is launching the RAZR i with Ice Cream Sandwich on board which is a crying shame; the company claims the OS will be upgradeable to Jelly Bean, but I still can't believe it's September 2012 and we're still seeing ICS-based smartphones being released.

Internal Memory

Shockingly, Motorola's RAZR i has just 5GB in onboard storage, which is totally inadequate for most people. In comparison, most Android models begin with 16GB in onboard storage. Perhaps this lowered the price of building the smartphone, but it seems woefully underequipped. Just a few hundred pictures, a video or two and a two dozen apps and your memory is shot. No cloud storage deals, either.

Availability

The RAZR i is launching exclusively in markets outside the U.S. including U.K, France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. It's European retail price is expected to be €399 (which really isn't too shabby).

Can I See a Corny Commercial for the Device?

Yes, of course:

So, What Does All This Mean?

Nothing good. This is a very disappointing entry from Motorola. We had high hopes but we are quite frankly shocked Motorola would be introducing a phone that runs Ice Cream Sandwich, has a measly 960x540 pixels and only 5GB in storage onboard. The bezel is thin, but not thin enough to be revolutionary. The kevlar-backing is a tired look that should have been retired after the first Motorola RAZR. The camera looks decent, and the 2,000 mAh battery should be more than enough to last you a day, but overall, this is not such an impressive entry. At least its starting price isn't outrageous...

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Comments

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  • Apple Conspiracy Sep 18, 2012 Link

    Maybe they've learned a thing or two from Apple (iRAZR or RAZRi?) without knowing it couldn't be applied to them :-)

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  • Eric McBride Sep 18, 2012 Link

    Were you honestly expecting more from Intel? :-D

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  • Dvoraak Sep 18, 2012 Link

    @Steven - "Remember when the RAZR was synonymous with an ultra-slim design?"
    That comment took me back in time. At the time RAZR was at it's height (pre-Android) it was also synonymous with disposable junk. RAZR and other phones like it were the reason Android was on the market for a full year before I worked up the courage to try one. I just couldn't see how any of these companies that I knew had a history of making cheap garbage could possibly make a decent smartphone. I know that's off the point of the story but like I said, that one comment took me back in time.

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  • Steven Blum Sep 18, 2012 Link

    I'm not disappointed in Intel, I'm disappointed about the 5GB of on board storage, measly 960x 640p display and Ice Cream Sandwich. I'm sure the phone was developed before the Google acquisition, but how could they now release a phone that's not even up-to-date on the latest OS?

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  • Anna F. Sep 18, 2012 Link

    They say the phone has 5GB of storage but the OS takes up about 2GB; I learned that the hard way. So it actually has just 3GB of storage which is almost no storage for me.

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    Christopher Silva Sep 18, 2012 Link

    Odd, I had hoped that Moto would release a winner... This is sadly not what I expected...

    Sad.

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    Christopher Silva Sep 18, 2012 Link

    Just saw the speed test results over on Engadget and am surprised how fast the Medfield processor.. have a look.

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  • Dogukan Sep 18, 2012 Link

    Heey it has SD card expansion so memory wont be a problem at all.

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  • David H. Sep 18, 2012 Link

    I'm no expert, but I do know Intel knows a few things about CPUs. The clock speed or number of cores are not the only factors to consider, just as important is the architecture; multithreading, hyperthreading capabilities, the amount of info through on each cycle, bottlenecks in FSB etc....
    Intel has a history of developing solutions for power and heat, not just speed, and you could see this CPU fill important niches in the smartphone if it delivers what the company is capable of.
    Any word on battery life or efficiency when using this CPU?

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  • Dvoraak Sep 18, 2012 Link

    This is WAAAAY off topic but not sure where else to ask this. I need to send an email to a member here and it's telling me I've exceeded the daily email limit. The limit must be 0 because I've never sent one before. Anyone know why it won't let me?

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  • Alexandr Boriskin Sep 18, 2012 Link

    this phone wasn't about breaking some records. Kevlar back side is much better than any other phones have. all they did is shown "Intel will work and bring new competition on the market" I tend to believe as they said 2ghz will work faster than any dual core phone and it can be rooted. still will not exchange xt910 for it. also Motorola and apple is only makers who is using nice materials. and moto wins in both design and performance. I personally believe Google just shown what we can expect in a future. and I for sure loved it

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  • Alexandr Boriskin Sep 18, 2012 Link

    and about memory it's just nonsense. get 32gb card. it's not iPhone you can and must use cards

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  • Patrick R. Sep 19, 2012 Link

    The 5GB storage is and will always be a disappointment even if it had SD card storage. Why? SD card storage is fine for media but for apps, i prefer internal storage. Secondly, some roms do not flash properly from an SD card, I do not know why but some roms and kernels I flash always boot loop when flashed from the sd card. I keep 5 roms (Stock, RocketROM, Thor, VengeanceNote and Paranoid Android) and 3 kernels (Abyss, NoteCore and Thor) in my internal SD card and I flash when I feel the urge. That's over a GB right there. #confessionsofaflashaholic

    With that display and that storage, anything over 250 is too much for me. I wont pay an extra USD100 for kevlar and the moto name. But if it is waterproof, not just splash proof, I am willing to tack on another extra 100.

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  • Anna F. Sep 19, 2012 Link

    Exactly. A SD card won't fix the storage problem. You can't install apps to the SD guys. When you "move to SD" you only move a PART of the app to the SD and not all apps support that. If I could install apps to the memory card and have them run normally, I'd love my phone so much more..

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  • CJ Brown Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Motorola's Intel-based RAZR i will probably be sold as a "No Contract" Android Smart Phone (for something in that market? it is very nice - but as a modern Android Smart Phone marketed for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint? I think Intel & Motorola need to go back to the lab, please) ....

    C J

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  • Fred Amaral Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Hi Steven, I would like to know your opinion. I'm Not a geek, but I regretted when buying a mid range phone like the galaxy s advance. I want a top one this time, but do not want Apple or Samsung (I had several problems with the galaxy, and not I really don´t like the design from S3, nor its poor material). And once you lose confidence in a company, it takes a while to get trust again ...
    I´ve already thought about the new Xperias T and V, and even the Lg Optimus G, but none of these should come to my country (Brazil) so early. I still would not venture in any windows phone yet. I don´t intend do wait much beyond early October to get a new phone.
    So I'm willing to give a chance to Motorola, as both Razr HD and Razr i should be launched in the first week of October in Brazil (hd maxx isn´t coming yet).
    Between these two, and REGARDLESS OF THE PRICE, up to what you have seen / read so far about these two devices, would you say that HD is a better mobile? The screen and more polish design really makes that difference? Isn´t it two big in the pocket?
    I do not use cell phones for games at all, but a good screen would be an important factor to see pictures, short videos (I definitely do not intend to watch movies on any cell phone!) and browsing. The 2530mAh battery of HD seem more than reasonable to me, since heavy consumption is only on weekend, and I see no problem in loading it every day, since it's only once a day. I appreciate if you can give your opinion, though I think I already know your answer ...

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  • CJ Brown Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Its a shame that HTC no longer offers Android Smart Phones for sale in Brazil, because I think the HTC ONE X (or even the S Model) would've been a great sale in Brazil (I believe Brazil is in the top five Nations for Consumers purchasing Smart Phones) ....


    http://www.androidauthority.com/htc-to-stop-all-phones-sales-in-brazil-96994/


    C J

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  • Fred Amaral Sep 20, 2012 Link

    For sure, CJ. I don´t know why this happened. Anyway, I would choose HTC over Samsung if I could, since I believe HTC makes much more well built phones than Samsung,

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  • ta5ae Dec 12, 2012 Link

    I've joust bought the Motorola RAZR i. It has about 8G of internal storage with 5.13G available for the user. This was incorrectly labelled as 16GB on the Motorola UK site. http://www.motorola.co.uk/consumers/Motorola-RAZRi/m-Motorola-RAZR-i,en_GB,pd.html?selectedTab=tab-2&cgid=mobile-phones#tab

    Whilst it does support an external SD card - the option to move apps to SD card is not be enabled. Even App 2 SD did not work for moving the apps.

    So far I've ensured my photos are set to save to SD card and generally my other data is there. I'm no gamer so I'm looking at 376MB of apps so far, so far so good. However, this could be an issue for serious app junkies!

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  • CJ Brown Dec 12, 2012 Link

    WOW Ta5ae - that doesn't sound legal to sell a Smart Phone to thee public as 16GB when it's not offering that (there should be an * followed by an accurate amount of free GB available for thee Consumer) ...


    I have no idea why your Smart Phone is having an external SD Memory issue that's now allowing you to move Apps & use them there (I have no problem doing this with an HTC) unless this is something strictly Motorola related ...


    I would encourage you to check AndroidPit's Forums under Motorola RAZR and look for any known issues, as well as tips on how to get thee most from your Smart Phone


    Cheers !

    C J

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