The Motorola Razr i is a mid-range 3G Android smartphone that packs a punch, thanks to a powerful Intel Atom chip. Folk tired of oversized-phones will love its compact iPhone 4/4S-sized form, and marvel at how Moto has managed to cram in a roomy 4.3 inch display. The catch is the Razr i is not available in the U.S. — so this gift is for Android lovers in select European and Latin American markets.
4.3 inch Super AMOLED Advanced touchscreen
Splash-guarded aluminium and Kevlar case, and Gorilla Glass screen
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (upgradeable to 4.1 Jelly Bean)
Intel Atom chip, clocked at up to 2GHz
8MP rear camera, plus front-facing lens for video calls
2,000 mAh battery
MSRP: £325-£345 (SIM-free)/From £20 per month on two-year carrier contract
… not just another mid-range Android phone: It stands out from the ‘droidy crowd thanks to an Intel Atom x86 chipset under its hood — rated at up to 2GHz. So despite only having a single-core chip, the Razr i holds its own in the performance stakes. Indeed, it typically punches well above its mid-range weight — leaving a trail of sluggish mid-range ‘droids in its wake. Nippy performance is a consolation prize for the Razr i’s lack of 4G.
In the looks department, Motorola has cooked up a treat with a slender, stylish, pocket-friendly design — adding serious wow factor with what at first glance appears to be a truly edge-to-edge screen. In truth there are a few millimeters of bezel but they’re easy to miss as you’re dazzled by the Super AMOLED brilliance. On the software side, the Razr i is not (yet) running the very latest version of Android but is upgradeable to Jelly Bean. In the meantime, Android 4.0 looks and feels slick, and has been topped off with a fairly minimal Motorola skin — with some neat touches such as being able to swipe from the homescreen directly into a quick settings panel. Elsewhere the UI feels like pure, undiluted Android.
Buy the Motorola Razr i for…
… Android fans who appreciate the finer things in life (and need a new phone). Ideally their current ‘droid will be stuck on Gingerbread and/or a little lacking in the performance department.
… there are countless Android phones on the market, with prices to suit pretty much every pocket, but the Razr i sets itself apart by doing things differently. It’s not a brash boaster of a phone with more cores than most folk have daily meals. It ignores the multicore arms race, and argues cogently that bigger does not equal better. Yet under a modest and (for Motorola at least) minimalist form it’s still a bit of a beast. The intelligent design theme continues with a screen size that hits the usability sweet spot — neither too small to be pokey, nor too big to be a drag on your pockets. While the display makes clever use of a confined space, with only the thinnest of margins to detract from its 540 x 960 pixels.
Buying a smartphone as a gift can feel like a bit of a chore — not to mention being expensive — but if the Android lover in your life has been making noises about needing a new phone, then the Razr i is a thoughtful choice they’re sure to appreciate. It’s not a budget option — there are certainly cheaper ‘droids up for grabs — so it’s worth checking out alternatives if your cash is looking stretched. For instance, there are plenty of more affordable ‘droids in Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones (such as the Galaxy S Advance). But for a holiday gift that has the slick screen, stylish looks and GHz to keep on giving long after the festive tinsel has been packed away, the Razr i is a solid choice.