Review: There's A Lot Of Nexus In The Motorola Razr V
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Editor Rating7

It was almost a year ago Motorola wowed audiences with its out-of-no-where flagship, the Motorola Razr. At 7.1mm, it managed to be insanely thin, all the while retaining features akin to thicker rivals.

Now Motorola has released a junior version of the Razr, cramming all of the best bits into a significantly cheaper price range.

The next generation Razr is called the Razr V. At 8.4mm, it’s marginally thicker, but at 128.5mm tall, it’s also a fair bit shorter. Although the shift in proportions renders the Razr V comfortable in the hand, it does tax some of the ‘Wow’ factor found in the original.


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Besides thickness, the Kevlar back, gorilla glass screen and top-heavy form factor does leave it resembling the previous Razr.

The screen is the same 4.3 inch qHD recipe served in the original, but whereas the Razr relies on capacitive keys for input, the Razr V has none of that, turning instead to the software keys popularised by Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus.

 

Inside is the same dual core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM combo; however, they’re joined by a discounted 8GB of internal memory. If that’s not enough, the Razr V can take a micro SD memory card.

Where the Motorola Razr V comes into its own is its software. Recently Google acquired Motorola Mobility, and although they vowed to leave operations to Motorola, their influence is evident throughout the Razr V’s menu. Rather than bogging the Android software down with its own custom skin, the menu adopts the standard Nexus dressing and, as a result, the phone feels spirited, zipping through instructions and masking them in eloquent transitions.

The gallery features a thumbnail ribbon familiar to stock Android

This neutral approach is so pervasive that the neutral blue background used for the predecessor’s gallery and music player has been ditched and replaced with the stock-standard Android affair. A few worth-while custom apps are the only sign that Motorola has tinkered with the software.

 

If you fancy this a criticism, think again. The original software is clean, fast and exceptionally versatile. The only reason manufacturers turn to their own custom skin is to differentiate themselves from the slew, and Motorola’s opting to use stock Google is a case of it valuing the customer over its own pride.


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It might be the default Android music player, but it’s still incredibly versatile

One area Motorola believes its own personal touch could be valued is with the camera. The interface used by its 8MP camera is reminiscent of the previous Motorola Razr and features various tints, in addition to burst and panoramic modes. The panoramic mode is particularly impressive as it stiches images according to the vertical and horizontal plane.

The Razr V will record videos in Full HD (1080p). These videos can be coloured with any one of the tints available for still images and apply either stereo, concert or wind reduction audio profiles.

Read the original Razr review

As an inexpensive smartphone, the Razr V proves to be a worthwhile buy. It might not be the most attractive option, but it has the right hardware and even better software, and these critical elements will deliver a great user experience.