Motorola's RAZR 2 plays it safe, but fans won't be sorry

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motorola-razr-2.jpgThe original RAZR was an iconic mobile phone, as you’ll know if you’ve ever had to spend an evening in the pub with a proud owner rambling on about its military-grade laser-etched keypad.

But like all icons, the RAZR’s lustre has faded over time, as it was usurped in the cool stakes by LG’s Chocolate phone, and now Nokia’s N95. Can the all-new RAZR 2, which was announced yesterday, regain its must-have crown?

Weeeell… It’s clear that Motorola has played it safe, rather than pushed the boat out on new features. The RAZR 2 has seemingly been created with existing RAZR owners in mind, millions of whom are probably starting to mull their next phone upgrade right now.

So, the RAZR 2 is 2mm slimmer with nifty vacuum metal finishes and a whopping great external display. The pub bores will love that last feature. However, the overall design hasn’t changed, which means you won’t get the same awestruck reaction when you slap the RAZR 2 down on a pub table as you did with the original. On the upside, it’ll be less likely to be nicked than a Choc or N95 phone.

Still, even if it’s not a revolution, the RAZR 2 shows welcome evolution. HSDPA is a welcome inclusion, particularly with the rollout of HSDPA networks by the mobile operators. The full HTML browser will come in handy too. The camera seems a little underpowered at two megapixels though, although I guess the RAZR 2 isn’t majoring on photography, so can probably be forgiven.

There’s also couple of fripperies – the ‘See What I See’ p2p video feature and the external texting (you send pre-programmed texts while the phone is closed, because it’s such a bore having to flip it open, right?).

It seems like Motorola has put innovation on the back burner in the RAZR 2 in favour of appealing squarely to the existing base of RAZR fans, who just want something a bit newer and a bit better. While it would have been nice to see the company taking a punt on some newer technology – GPS maybe? – the new handset looks like a logical if unadventurous product development.

Stuart Dredge

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