When it came to our standard phone duty tests, the Droid Razr performed admirably. Our test calls showed up no causes for concern, even if the tone delivered through the earpiece was a bit robotic. The speaker is also nothing to shout about but gets the job done.
Text messaging brings nothing new to the table but everything’s neatly presented and the typing experience is excellent, with of course the out-the-box option of Swype. Email, likewise is a typically easy-to-use affair.
Sign into your email and social networking accounts and contacts are added automatically, and it’s a cinch to associate one with another. Indeed, this will effectively happen automatically for most names.
Web browsing has long been a strong suite of Android phones and the Razr continues this trend. The browser is fast, incredibly easy to use and of course supports Flash, a less and less useful feature though this is. The only fly in the ointment here is that aforementioned graininess to the screen. It’s when looking at text in the web browser that it’s at its most noticeable, though simply zooming in and holding the phone further away sorts this out.
You don’t get the powerful and free proper sat nav that Nokia’s phones provide but Google Navigation is a passable way of finding out how to get somewhere when you do have a data connection, and of course Google Maps is still the best mapping service.
The default picture app is a bit different but adds some useful extras
When it comes to multimedia, this phone comes up trumps. The standard Android gallery has been replaced by a Motorola one that shows a carousel of your latest online photos, then has links to your images taken on the phone’s camera, your local library of images, your online images, your friends online images and your MotoCast images. All are neatly presented and easy to navigate, making it a breeze to find jump to just the image you wanted to show your friends.
MotoCast is Motorola’s file streaming app that lets you pull images, music and videos from your computer to your phone. It’s easy to setup using the installer that launches when your plug in your phone to your PC for the first time, and it’s a real boon to be able to access all your files from anywhere round the world. The only issue is that you have to leave your computer turned on.
As well as your locally stored music, the music app gives you quick access to Internet radio and Podcast downloads, and you can connect to DLNA servers to listen to shared music on your local network. What you don’t get, though, is an FM radio, which is a bit of a shame.
Finally we come to the real trump card of this phone’s multimedia features, its video playback. Out the box, the phone will play just about any format you care to mention including the all essential mkv. Some files don’t appear in the standard video player, which just squishes the videos in alongside your images in the Gallery. However, download a 3rd party app that will see all your files and they’ll all playback without a hitch. Only really high bit rate files caused issues with lost frames, but they still played. Only the Samsung Galaxy S II can match this phone for video playback, especially given the dazzling AMOLED screen also makes the footage great to look at, with our only complaint being a slight lack of detail in dark areas.
Speaking of dark areas, the flash on the camera is surprisingly powerful and will easily fill a small pitch black room with enough light to make out what’s going on. However, it doesn’t illuminate when focussing so getting a focussed shot in the dark is next to impossible, unless you’re lucky.
The dull day didn’t help but default image quality is definitely only okay, with plenty of detail but seriously dull colours.
Otherwise the camera is good, if not quite excellent. The app packs in a decent number of options with scenes and different colour profiles, but there aren’t quite as many fun options as some other phones. Pictures, likewise look good with the 8 megapixel sensor picking out plenty of detail, but we’re only talking about this phone being on par with most of 8 megapixel phones, not surpassing them. It’s the same story with 1080p video recording.
Battery life didn’t prove to be the downfall of this phone either. We easily got a couple of days from a full charge so you should be looking at getting away with a charge every other night, rather than every night.
The Motorola Droid RAZR XT910 certainly isn’t perfect with its slightly too large body, inelegant raised bezel and pentile AMOLED screen but it has so many other qualities that put it above the competition that on balance it’s one we recommend. The screen is dazzling and great for watching video, which the phone excels at playing, there are some great software features and, sure, it’s impressively slim too, if you like that sort of thing. It may divide opinion but the new Razr is definitely at the cutting edge.
Score in detail