It would be hard to overestimate the importance of the RAZR V3 model and all it’s incarnations to Motorola.
Merely the first version of it sold over 50 million units, and the list of all the existing modifications seems endless.
But all good the things come to an end and, truth be told, Motorola has been playing RAZR card far too long.
That’s why RAZR successor – RAZR2 , introduced late last year, was more then welcome. The first model of the series -RAZR2 V8 , built on a new software platform called LJ (LinuxJava) has been selling actively and quite successfully for a while now.
However Motorola learned it’s lesson with V3, which dropped in price more then 300 EUR over it’s lifetime, and decided to take preemptive steps to keep the RAZR2 prices from falling too fast.
To do that they found an elegant solution in a Motorola RAZR2 V8 Luxury Edition: just add some cosmetic changes and minor improvements to the base model, use precious materials in its production and position the handset as a luxury/prestige item, where cost doesn’t really matter.
This allows the company to keep the prices of the phone high over long periods of time. The result of this strategy is a premium product that’s quite interesting and looks like a good alternative to Nokia 8800 and all its modifications.
But enough with the let’s get reviewing it. And let’s start with a video review.
Motorola Razr2 V8 Luxury Edition Video Review
Motorola RAZR2 V8 LE. Design and materials
The design of the RAZR2 Luxury Edition is entirely consistent with its image: not only it is expensive, it also looks expensive. An abundance of gold plated accents, the stylized back panel covered in a snakeskin texture, and the engravings on the sides radiate an inexpressible charm that’s very hard to resist. However, let’s put the poetry aside and move on to the specifics.
The case of the Luxury V8 is gold and black. The outer part of the clamshell is glossy and has a long box of glass behind which the external display and a rather original decorative design element – pin stripes which shimmer in the light – are hidden. It’s difficult to describe this beauty in words, but you can see how it works in video review part.
On the front top part of RAZR2 LE, there’s the lens of the built-in camera, and, inside a concentric circle with the same shimmering-in-the-light cuts on it, the company logo. Regrettably, part of the effect is lost due to the surfaces inevitably getting greasy from touches on the materials like the ones used – you need to clean the V8 Luxury Edition phone surface regularly.
The back panel, like the rest of V8 LE case, is metallic, but covered in a snakeskin-like texture that looks interesting and feels pleasant to touch, contrasting nicely with other surfaces.
At the bottom of the phone there’s the little slot for the speaker, and a small hollow going downwards from it to the bottom of the case, enabling the free flow of the sound even when the phone is put on a smooth hard surface.
When the RAZR2 V8 Luxury Edition handset is open, it looks no less impressive. However, the problem we mentioned with screen getting greasy from touch, applies to the inner display as well – and, in fact, to all the inner surface of the clamshell.
All it takes is putting the phone to your cheek, and you already have to clean it thoroughly.
You can get carried away while describing all the fancy stuff and forget such a parameter as the dimensions. And these are by no means small, except for the thickness. While the phone isn’t small even when closed, RAZR2 LE becomes simply huge, when open.
To get a proper perspective, here’s Motorola RAZR2 Luxury Edition next to Nokia E90 communicator, which, as you know, sports a full QWERTY keyboard and big 800x352px display, when open.
However this size, and the noticeable weight, don’t pose a problem – on the contrary, the phone feels quite comfortable in your hand. What’s definitely inconvenient though, is opening the phone with a single hand.
Despite the deepenings on the both sides of the case, opening the V8 LE clamshell with your fingers is pretty difficult, and those with long nails will definitely not like that.
Motorola RAZR2 V8 LE. The display
The RAZR2 V8 Luxury Edition, like it is expected from a modern clamshell, is equipped with two displays. The size of the external display, at 2”, is great. Up until now, most clamshells used displays of this size for the main, internal screens.
With Motorola RAZR2 V8 Luxury Edition, you can change the style of the alerts, read the incoming messages and even answer them using one of the simple templates without ever opening the phone.
The controls for these functions – are three buttons on the side of the phone.
When the MP3 is playing, a sensor strip which lets you control the playback appears on the bottom of this display.
The screen has good characteristics, such as the number of colors and the visible angle, but the glossy display makes it hard to read anything in the sunlight. The display darkens in the stand-by mode, except for the clock.
The inner screen is 2.2” 262K color QVGA display. It looks excellent and the picture displayed is without a fault. However, despite the considerable size of the display, it still looks pretty small on such a large phone. One of the pre-installed themes is called Gold, and it fits the overall concept of the phone perfectly.
Motorola RAZR2 V8 Luxury Edition. Interface, functionality and ergonomics
Motorola RAZR2 V8 Luxury Edition is built on LJ (LinuxJava) 6.1 platform.
The menu can be displayed either in a list or as a 3×3 grid; the submenus, however, can only be displayed as lists. The menu items are numbered, so you can navigate between them fast using the keyboard.
The interface is very intuitive, and the situation where you actually need to search for some function occurs very rarely. The new platform V8 LE became both much better in appearance and more ergonomic than the old p2k used in the 3G version of the RAZR2 – the V9.
There are three themes pre-installed on the this handset; two of them standard and seen in other Motorola models, and one created specifically for the Luxury Edition. These themes include not only the wallpaper and the background colors, but the menu icons and sounds as well.
The multimedia functionality of the phone is nothing special – in fact, it’s quite standard for most modern phones.
The built-in camera has a matrix resolution of 1600×1200 and lacks the autofocus feature. The view during the shooting takes almost all of the display. If you close the phone while the camera is on, then the external display is used, and you need to click the “smart button” on the side of the phone to start the shutter. Such a method can only be useful for taking self-portraits, because no other settings besides the zoom are accessible. The zoom function on the device is digital, up to 8x – there are no particular reasons to ever use it.
The music player on RAZR2 V8 LE, lets you sort the tracks by several parameters (such as Album, Artist, and so on) and create your own playlists. There are several sound effects available, like the Bass Boost, but regrettably there are no equalizer controls at all.
The player works in the background, and you use a separate button to bring it on the screen. Nevertheless, you would be hard pushed to call the device a musical phone, as there is no way of connecting 3rd party headphones to it: the V8 Luxury Edition only has the standard micro-USB jack, and doesn’t come with any adapters included. The standard headset which comes with the phone isn’t anything special.
The phone has 2 GB of built-in memory for storing user content, and no way to extend it. This would be more than enough for most users, so you can’t say that the lack of a memory card slot is a drawback.
As for the ergonomics of the phone, the only problem, like it was said earlier, is the difficulty in opening it with just one hand. The rest is great: the interface is easy to understand, and the keyboard is very convenient and without any faults. The battery life of RAZR2 Luxury Edition isn’t very long: the most you can expect is two days of uptime, and if you use it actively, you will need to get used to charging the phone every day.
Impressions and conclusions
Motorola RAZR2V8 Luxury Edition fills its primary role – the role of a fashion phone – perfectly. It is pleasant to touch and hold in your hand, looks excellent, and attracts attention – like you would expect when you buy a luxury phone like this one.
What’s more, it does not lack any functionality; while it doesn’t stand out in any area, it’s still a full-fledged modern phone.
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