Just recently launched by Motorola is the new RAZR V3 black model. If your into looks and want to show off this is the phone for you, yet suprisingly for its pricetag and its looks – it lacks brains. If you are like most people and use your phone for making phone calls and text messages and basic scheduling then this is the phone for you. However if your looking for a system capable of pleasing the most detail and task oriented person, this phone definitely falls short.
Motorola has done a wonderful job, like most other cell phone manufacturers, at providing users with the same interface. Motorola seems to only add minor improvments and adjustments to thier design, but for the most part nothing signifigant has changed. As such previous Motorola phone users will find it easy to navigate through the RAZR’s LCD screen menu and at the same time there for new users there is hardly any learning curve.
From the home screen, the menu key and the D-Pad select key open the main menu, the only time when the two share a function. The softkeys, D-Pad direction keys and the side key can all be customized as shortcuts. Navigation is very consistent. the left softkey is always back or delete, the right softkey and D-Pad select are always select or action. The menu key only opens an options menu when its logo, which is a menu icon, is displayed.
When accessing the menus there is only a small pause when opening applications. The only time there is an exceptional pause time is when accessing the downloads section. When launching the downloads menu, a huge Java logo takes over the screen for about 4-5 seconds the first time it is launched after turning on the phone. However as long as the phone has memory to keep the engine running, that wait time is reduced to a split second.
When the clamshell phone is closed no applications will run on the phone other than the camera. If you are in the middle of an application when flipping the phone it will cancel your appication.
There is no camera button on this phone, you need to assign a hotkey to the camera to use. Either way it takes 2 seconds to launch the camera when you decide to do so.
The lends of the camera is placed very close to the hinge so if you hold your phone naturally like most other users you will most likely be covering the lends with your fingers. You will mostly likely end up needing to hold the phone by the base to keep it steady which also allows for you to easily press the D-Pad to take the picture.You can adjust the zoon and brightness from the viewfinder by using the D-Pad. Out of all the different brightness presets none of them seem to work at all but the default preset does a fine job at adjusting to lighting differences.
Pictures take anywhere from 2 to 5 seconds to save, and that time has nothing to do with picture resolution, or how much free memory the phone has – it is completely unpredictable. If you do not expressly state that you want to store a picture then your picture will get deleted – this by far is one of the biggest software blunders on any name-brand phone.
After taking a picture, the two soft buttons read discard and store. If you hit any button other than store, for example end to quickly return to the home screen, your photo will be deleted. Worse, after you’ve hit store, and the phone takes a few seconds to save the photo, you are presented with a second menu asking what to do with the stored photo. Again, if you do anything other than select one of the choices, your photo will be deleted. This adds up to over 5 seconds wasted between every photo, and a high likelyhood that you will lose a number of photos until you adjust to this puzzling system.
The RAZR is a high quality phone that everyone should be able use. Not including the unusability of the screen outdoor; this phone is an excellent phone. Signal strength is great, sound quality and talk time are good, and the camera is exteremly useful.
But despite all the physical features that make the phone wonderful, there are just as many negative aspects when we consider the phones software. When taking a look at this phone you can tell the amount of effort put into the physical design was not matched in the implementation of the software. It is not user friendly. Motorola has been using the same software for all thier phones for some time now and its time to upgrade the dinosaur operating system, which will indeed happen with the new E895 model.
So for those who just use thier phones for simple taks this phone is for you. But for people that are heavy phone users this phone will most likely turn out to be very frustrating as there are many quirks that need to be worked out.