Review: Motorola XT910 – RAZR sharp smart phone

My first phone was a Motorola, I never owned one again because I had a disappointing experience with it. Now, seven years down the road, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Motorola RAZR XT910. It’s smart, slim, sophisticated, but can it compete with the best there is? Read on and find out.

Key Features

• 4.3-inch display at 960×540 pixels
• 1.2GHz dual core Cortex A9 processor with 1GB RAM
• 16GB on-board storage with a microSD slot
• 14.4MBps 3G and dualband Wifi with hotspot feature
• Bluetooth 4.0
• 8MP AF camera with a LED flash
• 1080p video recording
• 1780mAh battery
• Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread (4.0 ICS coming soon)

Design

As the name suggests, the RAZR is slim, 7.4mm to be exact. It ways only 127g making it as light, and slim, as a feather. Despite being mainly made of plastic it fails to disappoint, it’s quite sturdy and strong, also smooth. The back is covered in Kevlar fibre which was quite soft despite it being the same material used to make bulletproof vests.

The screen is quite large, but it leaves enough space for pictures, videos, applications, whatever you throw at it. It feels great in your hands, despite being relatively large. The gorilla glass display is sadly quite reflective and prone to gather smudges, but it manages to protect against scratches. There really isn’t anything original when it comes to the RAZR’s design, but at least it fits in anywhere with ease.

Hardware

The XT910 is powered by a TI OMAP 4430 ARM processor at 1.2GHz dual core based on the Cortex A9 architecture. Graphics are powered by the PowerVR SGX540. Memory-wise it’s packed tight with 16GB of memory expandable via a microSD card of up to 32GB. It comes with 1GB RAM, which is more than enough for a phone. It’s packed with a lot of connectivity options like 14.4MBps HSDPA, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot capabilities, Bluetooth 4.0 and a microUSB slot. The RAZR also has a microHDMI port if you want to hook it up to an external display.

Software

The Motorola RAZR XT910 is shipped with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread pre-installed, it will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich as soon as Motorola has the update ready. They have MotoBLUR covering the UI and although I’ve heard many complaints about it, I found it pretty useful except for the video application which only allowed thumbnail view and no list option nor any option of view the files name. I found it to be quite useful.

Daily Use

Using the RAZR everyday was fun, it was a bit huge, bit being slim I could easily fit it in all my pockets without a struggle. With the large display I struggled a bit with one handed use having had to stretch my thumb(s) a bit to reach the top and sometimes the bottom too. The battery was adequate for my day to day task although I’ve seen some that was a lot better than this. The camera took lovely, clear photos and videos, none blurred and all looking quite good. Music and videos had clear sound without any problems, tweaking in the settings would allow extra/less bass, better treble and so forth. Calls were clear and crisp, did not experience a single dropped call during my time with the device.

Browsing on the RAZR’s browser was good, flash videos and applications worked flawlessly, though I still prefer Opera’s mobile browsers especially when downloading. Email and messaging was good as well, I do quite like Android’s Gmail apllication’s interface, mail arrived quickly too, though not as fast as other platforms. One annoying bit was that background applications eating a minimum of 11MB per week. The Google Maps application was good too, though I still prefer Nokia Maps when travelling.

Competitiveness

It directly competes with the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S2 and even the HTC One X, but how does it stack up? Well, it’s a worthy opponent for any of those devices, but it won’t necessarily win. It does bring a feature rich experience in an extremely slim platform, but a hick-up here and there makes it less competitive. Those who buy it won’t have a problem, besides the battery life, those who can buy one of the others, are better off doing so instead.

Conclusion

The Motorola RAZR XT910 surprised me, I liked it, something I haven’t experience with any Android phones before. What I didn’t like is the lightweight and slim body, don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but I prefer something I can actually feel in my hands, something a bit more bulky. For everything else it’s pretty decent and if you buy it, you won’t be disappointed, though if you do decide to go that way, go for the RAZR MAXX as it has a bigger, better battery.

Like other phones, it does lag here and there and have some unpleasantries like the video player’s view not showing names or being customiseable. It does pack a punch, especially in it’s small-ish form. It is feature rich. It is a step in the right direction for Motorola, despite their imminent sale.

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