Motorola RAZR2 V9 in-depth review -

Look and feel

Although it's nothing we haven't seen before, the Motorola RAZR V9 is another fine-looking slimline clamshell.

Ease of use

The keypad is comfortable and roomy, and the joypad feels good under the thumb.

Features

An external touch-screen interface provides convenient access to your music controls, and HSDPA internet speeds enable an embedded YouTube application.

Performance

The YouTube experience pales in comparison to the iPhone, and the external screen is too small to really appreciate your videos and photos. The V9's HSDPA data speeds provide much faster internet speeds than the V8.

Battery life

210 minutes' talktime and 260 hours' standby is not great.

 Motorola RAZR2 V9 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:50:34 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

4

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

It?s another fine-looking, slimline clamshell from the RAZR family

Cons:

The two-megapixel camera is a little disappointing.

You have to admire Motorola's commitment to almost single-handedly upholding the clamshell form factor. Love them or hate them, no-one designs flip phones quite as well as Motorola, and the new RAZR2 V9 is arguably the finest-looking yet.

Motorola RAZR2 V9 - Deja vu

Mind you, it does look a lot like the RAZR2 V8... and the RAZR maxx V6. Oh, and then there's the equally sleek RAZR V3xx.

The problem is that, while all the RAZRs are decent-looking phones, they have far too much in common, including the clamshell form, relatively slim good looks and ridiculously
hard-to-remember names.

Motorola RAZR2 V9 - HSDPA data speeds

For the record, the feature set on the RAZR2 V9 is virtually the same as the V8, although it throws HSDPA data speeds into the mix, whereas the V8 could only offer EDGE speeds. Mind you, both the Maxx V6 and the V3xx boast HSDPA data speeds, but neither have the second touch-sensitive outer display that you find on the V9 or V8.

 

So there you have it, the Motorola RAZR2 V9 is the most sophisticated of the RAZR range, courtesy of its web browsing speed and its neat touch-sensitive outer screen. Although a tad gimmicky, this touch-sensitive second screen is a feature we rather like. It gives you access to your photos, the phone's music player and the V9's video functionality, including your captured videos, YouTube and TV.

Motorola RAZR2 V9 - External Display

To unlock the external display you first have to click and hold a smart key on the left-hand side of the phone. Once unlocked, you'll notice the touch-screen user interface (UI) offers a pleasant haptic vibration response. However, although it's convenient for the music player, the screen is simply too small to really appreciate the video playback or for viewing photos.

Open the clamshell and you'll find a much more multimedia-friendly two-inch display, which is still a fair amount smaller than many of the screens you find on the top slider and touch-screen mobiles and smartphones today.

 

It's hard not to compare the slightly awkward YouTube experience on the V9 with the excellent experience on the iPhone 3G. YouTube on the V9 feels like a novelty extra, which requires numerous key presses and page loads before you even arrive at a video you may wish to view, while YouTube on the iPhone 3G just works and it's all down to screen size and the UI. The RAZR2 V9 does offer a pleasant UI. There are four keys on the home screen which can be selected by clicking the four-way joypad up, down, left or right. Alternatively, there's a soft key which gives you access to the full gamut of menu options. The icons are bright and colourful enough, even if they are a little over-designed.

 

As with all RAZR phones, you get a really roomy and comfortable keypad and joypad and, although there are a few too many soft keys on offer around the central joypad, it doesn't feel too cramped and crowded.

Meanwhile, the latest evolution of the etched metal keypad which first appeared all those years ago on the original RAZR is present and as beautifully tactile and responsive as ever.

Motorola RAZR2 V9 - Overall

Unfortunately, aside from the HSDPA data speeds and the second touch-screen, there's not a huge amount to get excited about by way of features. There's a two-megapixel camera, a video-calling camera, a music player (but no 3.5mm port), and a pre-installed game of Tetris.

 

This really is a phone you'll buy because you like the look of it. Sure, it has HSDPA, which is a plus, but it can't back this up with a large display or video-friendly UI. Overall, we like it, but there's not too much on offer to keep early adopters occupied for long.