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Customer Review

164 of 166 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello Moto!, 16 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Motorola RAZRi UK Sim Free Smartphone (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Having used this phone for about a week I feel like I can throw in my 2p worth. I bought this from Expansys since Amazon did not have this phone in stock during launch. My impression so far has been very positive and I am not regretting being an early adopter (at least not yet) at all!

Positives:
- Sleek form factor and ease of use. You can easily use this one handed for most tasks even if you have average sized hands. I also like the geeky `industrial design' but that is a matter of personal taste. This phone exudes class when held in the hand or laid on a desk.
- Fast & Smooth operation thanks to being very lightly skinned by Motorola (good call on that one!). Ah, the joys of an almost pure Android experience! Scrolling between home pages, opening the app drawer, launching the dialler, phone book, text messaging, launching the camera etc is handled quickly and effortlessly. The circles widget is a very useful thing indeed and I also like the implementation of the lock screen.
- Apps work really well on the phone and I have not come across any I could not install from the 40+ I downloaded from the play store. Apps like Flipboard, Evernote, PlayerPro, Dropbox, Whatsapp, Pocket, Ocado, etc work flawlessly and demanding games (I tried Osmos HD, Dead Space & Dead Trigger) run without any hiccups. Multitasking is also handled with ease and running multiple apps in the background does not slow the phone down much.
- Web browsing with the Chrome browser is perhaps the best I have experienced on a smartphone so far with super fast page loads, text & graphics rendering, page scrolling and tab switching. Pinch zooming and tap-to-zoom is flawless and integration with the Chrome desktop browser is a joy! All my bookmarks are synced between my phone and laptop and I can also see what tabs I have open on my laptop. Brilliant.
- Battery Life is great. I charge my phone fully before going to bed and it easily lasts me 24 hours (if not longer) with higher than average use. With heavy to intense use I would say a full day's use (morning till night) is quite manageable. That is above average for a modern day smartphone.
- Music quality is comparable to its rivals. It won't impress audiophiles (but neither will any other smartphone) but it is acceptable for a mobile phone. The volume level is a little on the lower side compared to an iPhone but you will rarely feel the need to max out (about 70% volume level is plenty loud on this). I used this with my Klipsch S4 & Sennheiser IE6 earphones and the sound was pretty decent. So even though this does not have the crisp highs, well defined lows and balanced sound of my dedicated music player (Creative Zen Vision M) it is on par with modern smartphones.
- Video playback is brilliant even via the stock player. But be sure to download MX player and it's Codec pack for x86 CPUs to make the most of viewing videos on the phone. Videos load up instantaneously, seeking through them is super quick and all types of file formats and resolutions are handled with aplomb! The Youtube app works like a charm. And yes, both the MX player and the Youtube app hide the soft keys for full screen viewing while playing videos :)
- Emailing is quick and painless using both the stock email app or Gmail. Just enter your email ID and passowrd and you're set. I have not used exchange server so can't comment on that.
- Expandable memory. Can't believe I'm listing this as a plus but the recent (disturbing) trend of manufacturers leaving out this valuable feature probably has something to do with it ;) I've used it with my 32 gig card with no issues.
- LED indicator! Now why doesn't every phone have one?? So useful, especially if you make the most of it by using an app like Light Flow LED Control and have different colours for different events (Calls, Texts, Facebook, etc).
- GPS lock is fast! It even gives me a lock indoors (albeit taking more time in doing so). Plus Google Maps loads really quickly and you can now even download a certain area of the map for offline use. I can see this being a very useful navigation device.
- Has NFC so is future proof (apart from not having LTE capability as mentioned in the negatives below).
- Finally, this is really good at being a telephone in case you ever feel like using it as such ;) Call quality is excellent, it keeps good signal strength and connects calls in an instant (almost caught me off guard a couple of times by how quickly it did that!). Even with the poor O2 network (I am on giffgaff) it has not given me any problems so far.

Negatives:
- While the screen is good when it comes to brightness and colour reproduction the low resolution (and PenTile pixel arrangement) becomes apparent while reading text on the device as you can notice the jagged edges every so often. Also, my phone's screen (at least) has a yellowy tinge to its whites especially when compared side by side to an LCD display (EDIT: seems like this differs from model to model so please make sure to check yours as soon as you get it). None of these things matter while viewing pictures & videos or playing games and in normal use though. I think I am blessed (cursed?) with particularly sharp eyesight!
- Despite what I said about how breezy the phone is there is a judder when you zoom in from the overview mode to a particular home screen (some say it is due to the circles widget but this is not the case) and a slight lag when swiping away open apps from the task manager. Again, nothing major but does take away some of the gleam. Hopefully the Jelly Bean upgrade and `Project Butter' should fix these wrinkles!
- I am not a fan of the positioning of the on/off toggles for GPS, Wi Fi, Bluetooth, etc to the left of the main home screen (much prefer them being in the status bar as with TouchWiz). Also, why can't I have my main home screen in the middle? (EDIT: both of these issues can be fixed by installing an app like Notification Toggles and then using a custom launcher like Nova. But I am reviewing this device in it's stock form)
- Camera is strictly average quality wise but acceptable for a camera phone. The rivals have it beat here! All depends on how important this is for you though. It is not really top on my list of priorities so I can live with it.
- Build quality: while the phone feels extremely solid overall there are a few niggling quality issues like gaps between the aluminium frame and the body of the phone (where dust particles will happily reside and call home), a slightly misaligned logo (the metal plate), and also a slight gap on one side of the Kevlar back plating. All of these are only tiny niggles which you will only notice if you really look for them!
- Is not LTE capable so it will not run at 4G speeds if that is something you are considering.

Neutral:
- The speaker is decently loud but very tinny so it's not all that great for listening to music but perfectly serviceable for use as a loudspeaker during calls.
- Motorola's track record for rolling out software upgrades to their past models is patchy at best so I don't know how things will be beyond the promised Jelly Bean upgrade. It is however owned by Google now so I'm trying to be optimistic about it :)

Bottom line:
Despite the above mentioned drawbacks this is one of the best devices in the mid-range price bracket and stacks up very well against the likes of the S2, One S, Galaxy Nexus and the Xperia S. It even matches the current flagship models (S3, One X, Optimus 4x) in many aspects and certainly punches above it's weight. The sleek & compact form factor, almost pure Android experience, good build quality and superb overall user experience helps this phone pip the competition in my opinion!

PS: Apologies for the long review, just felt like I needed to cover all aspects of the phone. Feel free to ask if you have any specific questions!
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Showing 1-10 of 32 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Oct 2012 19:57:09 BDT
Mr P says:
'Also, my phone's screen (at least) has a yellowy tinge to its whites especially when compared side by side to an LCD display'

i've had 2 razr i. one had the yellow tinge you refer to. the other much cleaner and crisper whites without the yellow tinge. worth changing it maybe?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Oct 2012 20:38:55 BDT
Thanks Mr P, I'll look into it. Although I have downloaded a colour management app from the play store and bumping up the blue in the RGB seems to do the trick. I'm too lazy to be bothered for a replacement after I've migrated all my data, apps, media, etc from my old phone to this one :) Did you send yours back?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Oct 2012 20:40:13 BDT
Mr P says:
yes i did. the yellow tinge screens really bug me

Posted on 21 Oct 2012 09:48:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Oct 2012 09:51:16 BDT
Hi,
Just wondering if you have managed to install Skype on this device? It seems to only work on ARM based devices, so just wondering if it works on the Razr I. I love the look of this phone, however, skype is a must for me. Please could you try it and let me know?
Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2012 11:52:01 BDT
Mr P says:
i've installed it just now. i've not got an account (or want one) so got no further than the login page. but i guess if it did not work it would not install?

Posted on 29 Oct 2012 15:21:10 GMT
B. Stewart says:
Damn i'm so unsure right now

I've got the S3 but i do believe its just too big ---

if i wanna watch movies just get a tablet (which i have)...

There are a few questions I have though

how good is the phonebook for bringing together social contacts (its one of the major + for the HTC Sense skin - it does a fantastic job and merging contacts from facebook/twitter/google etc)

How is the sound quality when listening to music via headphones or bluetooth ? any difference is sound quality and volume compared to other flagship phones (for example the s3 can go loud but quality is not as good as htc sensation for example).

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2012 19:02:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2012 19:09:14 GMT
Sorry for the late response guys, I was away for a long vacation and only just came back.

@ Ari Oppenheimer: I haven't installed Skype on my phone as I don't use it but Mde Lynch gave a good account of it in the comments under his review so I trust that is answered.

@ B Stewart: Contact sync with Facebook and Google (haven't tried Twitter) is decent I would say but nothing like HTC's implementation. It only syncs contact information (Names, contact numbers, email) and does not automatically download contact pictures (which is annoying) or live status updates in the phonebook. There is a app called 'Contact Sync for Facebook' which is suppose to do the job. I plan to install this and will let you know how it works if you'd like to know.

Sound quality, as I mentioned in my review is comparable to modern smartphones. I have not had a chance to do an in-depth comparison though (using the same earphones, listening to the same songs, etc) so this is only an objective opinion. To be honest everyone is going to have a different opinion since I have heard some folks mention that the S3 sounds better than the HTC Beats enabled phones. I think it's a placebo effect since some might think that the Wolfson DAC on the S3 makes it sound better and the Beats enhancements make the HTC a better bet. I did compare it with my Creative Zen Vision M (7 years old and counting!) and it blew the Raz i out of the water (and will do every other phone out there), no contest! But that may be an unfair fight, since the Zen is one of the best sounding portable music players around. For everyday casual listening I did not have many complaints though. It makes sense to use a headphone amp and listen to music in FLAC format to get the best out of the phone. Sorry I can't be more helpful than this :-)

I think the volume level is a little lacking since I need to turn it almost 2/3rds up to get to my desired level. Not a big problem though since I rarely crank it above this level and any incremental increase beyond this point has an exponential impact on the volume level anyway.

Posted on 11 Nov 2012 19:18:36 GMT
Thanks for all your guys help!

I did manage to buy my own RAZR I and have so far been VERY impressed. The 1 thing that I currently irritates me is the pentile display. I'm coming from a Blackberry 9900, so it's a far shot from the top in performance terms, but when you compare 1 screen to another, it's like chalk and cheese. Yes, the Motorola has better contrast and colour, but when viewing emails, and web browsing, the pixels become really noticeable. In fact, when looking at red text in a black background, it is even worse.
This for me could be the deciding factor whether I'll keep the phone or not, but will write a more detailed review in a few days when I've played with the phone a bit more...

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2012 19:24:20 GMT
I know exactly what you mean about the screen. That is the biggest negative for me and I also mentioned that in my review. It's a shame since otherwise this phone does everything else brilliantly and about a month's use has made me appreciate this device even more than before. Well, can't have everything in life now can we :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2012 19:33:17 GMT
Hehe, I know what you mean. The sad thing is - there is no reason Motorola should have crippled this phone. With a better screen and camera, the razr I could have been the official iphone 5 killer. The Samsung S3 is a great phone, but only the RAZR I can compare to the iphone 5's form factor (which I love...the S3 is just too big). It is, however, let down only by its screen and camera.
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