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Motorola Razr V..a good phone--last year
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Motorola Razr V..a good phone–last year

If you liked the original Droid RAZR last year, you will probably like this phone too..it is pretty much the same phone with a different screen and Ice Cream Sandwich.Ok, it’s not quite the same phone as last year’s model…it is slightly narrower and slightly thicker but keeps the same Kevlar clad RAZR shape with the hump at the top.  Mototola manages to squeeze the same size screen into the narrower body it is 4.3″ with qHD 960 x 540px resolution..but there is a bit of an improvement here..Motorola has ditched what was arguably a less than perfect Super Amoled screen in favour of a  traditional TFT LCD display with ColourBoost, making text significantly sharper and whites much more accurate…a definite improvement.

Under the hood it is exactly the same:  1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP chipset, 14.4Mbps HSPA+ data and 8-megapixel rear camera, although Motorola has reduced the built-in storage to 4GB, likely to keep the cost down. And since there is more room inside Motorola has opted for a regular size SIM over a MicroSim.

The operating system has been upgraded to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with an ever so light Motorola customized skin..almost stock ICS..I like the look of it. Performance is smooth if a bit sluggish..which surprised me because my experience with ICS has been better performance..it almost feels like Mototola hasn’t quite optimized the OS to the hardware. All the usual Google Apps are included plus a hearty dose of bell “bloatware” .

One added app I do like is Motorola’s SmartActions which have have been updated for ICS, and now provide recommendations based on usage patterns. For example, the phone can keep track of your favourite locations or times of day and, based on your battery life, enable a Battery Saving mode. As well,  you can have SmartActions enable Silent Mode and stop the screen from turning on during the night if you receive a notification.

The RAZR V features a VGA 0.3MP front camera that is just OK for video calls. The rear 8MP camera takes decent pictures under good lighting conditions as well as acceptable 1080p video under the same conditions but I wouldn’t want to count on it under less than ideal conditions.

Had I been reviewing this phone last year it would have been a top rated choice..but, it is this year and there are too many phones that offer way better performance for the same or not much more money. Even at $29.99 I certainly wouldn’t consider putting it on a three year contract

The Motorola RAZR V is available from Bell at $29.99 with a 3 year contract, $399.99 with no contract, Virgin Mobile $29.99 on SuperTab and $349.99 with no plan and at Wind Mobile for $99 on a Windtab and $499 with no plan.

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Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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