If you’ve already nailed your colours to the Android mast, choosing a new handset that won’t break the bank but still offer stacks of bleeding-edge functionality is a pleasingly difficult choice.
There’s an abundance of decent phones in this bracket, with Huawei, HTC and Orange all offering impressive handsets. So, where does the new Motorola Razr i fit in?
Pull the Motorola Razr i from its box and you’ll be immediately struck by two things.
Firstly, the sheer heft of the thing. Secondly, that edge-to-edge 4.3-inch display.
This is one smartly constructed phone, which despite tipping the scales at a somewhat heavyweight 126g (the iPhone 5 comes in at 112g by comparison), feels reassuringly high-end in the hand.
Fire it up and the OS is a breeze to handle. Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich edition of Android, coupled with Intel’s nippy 2GHz Atom processor, ensures this is a hugely enjoyable phone to use whether you’re browsing the web or snagging apps from Google Play.
Motorola’s design team have done a grand job in making the Razr i feel like a truly premium device.
The Kevlar backing looks the part and protects it from any nasty bumps and scrapes, while the Gorilla Glass panel truly dominates, leaving no ugly, redundant areas on the phone.
SIM and SD slots are neatly hidden behind a small plastic grommet down the side, which thankfully doesn’t feel as if it’s about to fall off at the first time of asking. The Razr i is a timely reminder that the Google-owned mobile maker is more than capable of producing sleek, slick smartphones.
The key feature here is Intel’s 2GHz Atom processor. It keeps the Razr i ticking along at lightning speed, to the point where using the device never feels laboured.
Sure, it doesn’t stack up to the quad-core delights of Samsung’s top-end devices, but then that’s not really the point. For a device that costs just £349 SIM-free, it’s excellent.
The eight-megapixel camera sits well against rival devices, with the Android camera controls as intuitive as ever.
That said, the social sharing options are sadly limited to just Google+ and Picasa for stills, with YouTube added into the mix for Full HD video shots.
The lack of Facebook and Twitter sharing is a rather big oversight, but not the end of the world if you’re more focused on sharing your musings rather than your snaps and clips.
The aforementioned Full HD shooting feature is superb and gives the camera a real edge when it comes to the mid-range Android market.
Shots appear crisp and clean on screen, although you’ll need to make sure the ambient light is spot-on to get the very best images.
Battery-wise, we managed to keep the Razr i going for 36 hours, which included hammering refresh on BBC Sport for the latest footie results, watching goal highlights, downloading apps and using the camera.
That’s as good as it gets these days and will stretch on for longer if you don’t use it constantly.
Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich is great as ever, although it’s a shame that Motorola hasn’t managed to load the Razr i up with the latest version of Android Jelly Bean.
The small design tweaks it’s made to the software are neat and unobtrusive, while the Circles function, which lets you flip through the time, weather and your battery status on the home screen is very neat.
While those after cutting-edge Android will be disappointed, the software here is still excellent and hardly outmoded.
Ease of Use
The Motorola Razr i is an incredibly easy phone to get to grips with. The simple sign-in means you’re up and running in a matter of minutes, while the home screen quick access to settings means you don’t need to go delving into myriad menu trees to get to what you want.
This is unquestionably Motorola’s best handset in years.
- Android 4.04 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 4.3 inch, 540 x 960 capacitive touchscreen
- 8 megapixel camera, 1080p HD video recording
- 3.5mm jack
- Wi-Fi, HSDPA, 8GB memory, 2GHz processor and microSD expansion
The Motorola Razr i we tested was courtesy of Tesco Phone Shop.
Want to find out more? Motorola Razr i