Hands on with the Motorola RAZR i | Mobile Devices | Mobile Entertainment

Hands on with the Motorola RAZR i

Motorola Razr i
Mike Shaw


Devices / Android / September 18th 2012 at 10:50AM

Moto's first smartphone with Intel inside sure is nippy.

Motorola is pushing two USPs with its new handset, the Razr i.

The first is its processor. The Razr i has a powerful single-core 2GHz Intel Atom processor. It’s the first phone to clear the 2GHz barrier and the speed difference to other devices is palpable. Jumping from app to app and browsing various graphics-heavy websites didn't seem to phase it at all.

Alongside the Orange San Diego this is one of the few major devices running on Intel hardware, and it's certainly impressive.

The speed translates to other features too, like the 8MP camera, which fires up almost instantaneously and is able to take ten pictures in less than one second. With a machine gun-like rattle, it is ideal for taking a series of action shots. Normally camera phone sound effects are irritating, not so here. At least, not yet.

The second hook the Razr i has is the screen. The rumours of a bevel-free display didn't materialise, but what there is still impressive. Motorola’s “edge to edge” gimmick is marketing-speak at its worst, but the 4.3inch, 540x960-pixel screen does feel larger than usual, despite the handset's compact size.

In true Motorola fashion, it's a solid bit of kit. The body has a Kevlar backing, and an aluminium frame, while the display is made of Corning Gorilla Glass. A nice touch is the splash-guard coating that covers the phone, even the circuitry inside. It's not waterproof, but it's nice to know that being a clumsy arse and spilling coffee on it isn't going to kill it.

During the presentation of the phone, Jim Wicks, head of design, Motorola said: "We are driven by innovation and the new Motorola is focused on three key things: speed, power management – a phone is only half a phone if it only works half a day – and Android, which drives the kind of innovation that makes a difference in people's lives." And so, the Razr i promises a full-day battery-life. We'll see about that. 

Out of the box, the Razr i will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but Motorola assured me that the phone will be upgraded to Jelly Bean soon.

Android is Android, although Motorola has added its own little flourishes, like an interactive widget called Circles that gives quick access different features like the time, date, weather, etc...

If you're thinking that the phone looks similar to the Razr M, that's because it's identical, save the updates inside.

There are three versions of the phone (8GB, 16GB and 32GB), and memory is expandable via microSD.

This isn't the flagship phone that Intel needs, but it's a good introduction to the market. The inclusion of NFC is welcome, but it's slightly disappointing that LTE is not supported.

However, the Razr i looks good, feels good and is ultra fast. If the phone can hold up during the rigours of everyday use, then perhaps Motorola has achieved its mission to find "the perfect sweet spot of size and performance".