Motorola launched the RAZR yesterday, giving me some early hands-on time with a preproduction model. Here's my initial thoughts.
On The Plus Side: The original RAZR was a huge hit in its time, largely due to its amazing (for its time) design. There's no doubt that the new RAZR is an eye-catching phone, largely due to its size and slender profile.
It's also a very solid feeling phone; the combination of a kevlar back and gorilla glass front means it's a phone you could chuck into a (large) pants pocket and not worry about damaging. You're more likely to damage yourself than the phone.
The screen is big and beautiful. A 4.3 inch 960x540 display screen is the natural friend of photos, videos and web pages, and it's also very nice and bright.
The overall response is good, which you'd expect out of a dual-core premium Android phone. I've not had enough time to draw much of a conclusion beyond that on software grounds, although it is personally pleasing that MotoBLUR is now an add-on component rather than a mandatory step that you've got to undergo when first setting up the phone.
On The Minus Side It really is big. When I handed the phone to Elly this morning, she very quickly worked out that there was no real way she could use the RAZR on a day-to-day basis, simply because it's too large for her hands. The bezel around the screen feels a bit like wasted space, especially when you consider that this is a much larger phone than, say, the Galaxy S II, but they've actually got the same screen real estate to play with.
It's not a flip phone. The RAZR brand is iconic, but it's iconic as a flip phone format, and if you're going to reintroduce a brand, radically changing it feels a little... wrong, somehow. I'm not sure how you'd go with an actual flip Android, but somebody's got to be the first -- why not Motorola?