Motorola Razr i review

24 Sep 2012

Exceptional battery life and an enviable turn of speed make this a tempting buy if high-end phones are out of reach

Price when reviewed: 
349(£350 inc VAT)
5

The inclusion of an Intel processor in the Motorola Razr i marks the first time we’ve seen one of its Medfield-based Atoms in a big-brand smartphone. The chip of choice is the Z2480, and it’s a significant step up from the Z2460 we saw in the Orange San Diego – the first handset to include one of these parts – thanks to a headline-grabbing clock speed of 2GHz. It’s still single-core, but it’s borrowed Hyper-Threading from Intel’s full-fat processors, so the Z2480 can address two concurrent tasks using one core.

Motorola Razr i

That’s the highest clock speed we’ve seen on any handset, period, but performance was mixed. The Motorola’s Quadrant score of 3,784 lags behind many top-end phones and mid-range handsets: the Samsung Galaxy S III scored 5,413, and the HTC One S scored 4,717. In SunSpider, however, the Intel chip excelled with a class-leading score of 1,052ms.

Those results give slick Android navigation, and the minor juddering in Reckless Racing 2 and Dead Trigger won’t stop us playing top-end games. Performance also bodes well for the eventual move to Android 4.1 from the 4.04 the phone ships with – an upgrade Motorola says is coming, although there’s no firm date yet.

Motorola Razr i

More notable than all these results, however, is the phone’s battery life. Although Intel hasn’t made much of the current range of mobile processors’ battery life, contenting itself with claiming the chip is merely “competitive”, we found the Razr i blitzed our 24-hour battery test. In combination with a 2,000mAh power pack, the Motorola finished with 76% remaining on the battery gauge, the best result we’ve seen from any smartphone in recent memory, with most modern smartphones achieving 50 to 60%.

Physically, it’s a little less exciting. It has a 4.3in, 540 x 960 screen, which is a little smaller than top-end handsets, both in terms of size and resolution. While that does mean pixels can be seen with the naked eye, the Motorola’s Super AMOLED panel has plenty going for it, with brightness level of 219cd/m2 – reasonable for an AMOLED panel – without hitting the retina-searing heights of the Samsung Galaxy S III’s 300cd/m2, and the perfect contrast makes for punchy, vivid colour reproduction. Critically, despite the 4.3in display, the Razr i feels compact, lightweight and highly pocketable, much more so than the first Android-based Razr.

Details

Price ex VAT £291
Price inc VAT (£350 inc VAT; from free on a £21/mth, 24mth contract)
Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £21.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider www.buymobiles.net
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5

Physical

Dimensions 122 x 61 x 8.3mm (WDH)
Weight 126g
Touchscreen yes

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 1MB
Camera megapixel rating 8.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 4.3in
Resolution 540 x 960
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Android