Motorola RAZR pictures and hands-on

The new Motorola RAZR has now been announced in Europe, shedding the Droid tag of its US brother, and Pocket-lint was on hand to put the new handset through its paces and bring you our first impressions.

At only 7.1mm thick, if sophisticated materials are your thing, then the RAZR will certainly impress. With a machined stainless steel core with laminated construction, it is designed to be solid, but it's the woven Kevlar back that really excites us. It looks sensational.

There is no denying that this is a sizeable piece of Android smartphone however. It feels broader in the hand than its rivals: some of that thin may have been converted to wide, and whilst Motorola can take their "thinnest" crown, we can't see that it is going to make you pick it over the Samsung Galaxy S II or the HTC Sensation.

It does feel solid though, it doesn't twist or bend and at only 127g, it feels much lighter than you'd expect.

On the front you have a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED high-resolution display, giving you 960 x 540 pixel resolution (that's 256ppi folks). It is finished in Corning Gorilla Glass, so is designed to be resistant to scratches, with neat chamfered corners.

Viewing angles seem to be good and from what we've seen it is vibrant, with punchy colours and nice deep blacks. Motorola has emphasised this as a media device (the micro HDMI playing its part in that) and we're sure it will make a great phone for movies on the move.

Motorola has also introduced a new technology called Splash-guard, which is designed to protect your RAZR from life's little accidents. Apparently this is a nano-level of protection inside and out, covering all the components which means that water doesn't soak in.

We saw a demo of Splash-guard coating (on a tissue of all things) where the water pooled and ran right off, leaving the tissue dry. Ideally you'll be able to give your phone a quick shake and the water will just fly off, should you get it wet.

A Moto Agent told us this wasn't designed to replace the IP67 certification you'll get on the Motorola Defy+, but it does help make it a little more lifeproof, with Motorola candidly saying that it would deal with vodka equally well. 

Around the back is an 8-megapixel camera, with direct access from the home screen and a completely redesigned interface. It is capable of capturing full HD video, something we didn't get to test in our hands-on time, but something we'll certainly look at in our Motorola RAZR review when we get the handset in for a thorough testing. There is also a front-facing camera.

Internally you'll find a 1.2GHz TI chipset backed by 1GB of RAM. You get 16GB of internal memory with the option to expand with an extra 32GB via microSD. Interestingly the Motorola RAZR uses micro SIM. Both these cards are accessed via a flap on the side.

The Motorola RAZR comes running Android 2.3.5 with Motorola's range of updates layered over the top. This isn't just superficial, but includes a huge range of customisations, like an option to detect when the phone is in your pocket, or setup Smart Actions which will do things like automate Bluetooth or Wi-Fi settings.

Smart Actions is an interesting automations package, launching on the Motorola RAZR before rolling out to other Motorola devices we were told today. It will let you automate various functions of your phone by letting you pair triggers and actions. On the device we looked at there were plenty of examples in place to get you started.

Essentially you have to assign your trigger, which could be connecting to Bluetooth in your car, and then followed by various actions - launching the Cardock application and turning up the volume for example. Or you could have one that detects when you arrive at the gym, launching music and turning off the ringer. We've only seen them demoed, but they look like an interesting feature we've not seen before.

You'll also get things like Citrix support for business users and Motorola's desktop streaming client MotoCast. In our initial play, things seemed fast and responsive, but we'll have to wait 'till we get a review unit for a final verdict.

Motorola has gone all out on the accessories too, with a range of docks and a neat Smart Controller, which not only gives you touch control of your device thanks to a multitouch panel, but will also let you take calls - it connects via Bluetooth.

That RAZR name sounds familiar doesn't it? The original Motorola RAZR sold over 130 million units in the second half of the last decade and Motorola told Pocket-lint that it was looking at capturing some of the magic of that iconic handset. Neat design is something that's certainly present with its new RAZR and it looks to hit all the right spec points too. 

As one Motorola said at Wednesday's European press launch "The sexy RAZR is back in Europe". It will be launching in the UK in early November.

And all that just leaves us with one question: why launch the Motorola Atrix 2 at all?