Motorola’s new Clock widget had been intriguing me for a while as it offered the features I am used to having on my HTCs with the improvement of allowing to flip the circles for more information and the battery level indicator, which is not to be overlooked considering how greedy our Smartphones are and how paranoid we get because of that come 4pm. I was very tempted to port the widget onto my HTC One X, but of course, Motorola blocked its use for the communities -this makes sense though.
So I had to wait for the right opportunity… And suddenly, on my favorite second hand web site, my wish came true.
I am thus now the owner of an unlocked Motorola RAZR i.
Obviously, right after setting up the phone, I rush to the Clock widget and see with my own eyes how well done it is. What I didn’t know was that it also displays missed calls and unread sms, as well as voicemail.
Unfortunately, the location is not very precise on the widget. It shows the weather in a neighborhood 5 miles away, which is not too far, but still not as precise as my One X. That being said, the weather animation is quite pretty.
As I start playing with the phone I notice the smart dialer. I am thrilled because I think it is an essential feature which is not always implemented on Android phones and simply absent on the Windows Phone 8S I tried out.
I find that Motorola could have developed more applications and most importantly, more widgets. This would have harmonized the phone’s User Interface. Indeed, what I love with HTC Sense despite the important use of resources (CPU and Battery), is the fact that the widgets offer a consistent style. The e-mail, sms, Twitter, music, and other widgets have similar looks and buttons. This is not the case when one uses apps developed by various developers. Of course, one gets used to everything, but I must admit to being a little put off by the visual cacophony.
The first use of the lockscreen leaves me speechless: not only do you have direct accesses to applications (which I missed on Windows Phone), but you will also benefit from Motorola’s brilliant idea to implement a virtual sound switch allowing you to mute or activate the ringtone. The feature is greatly appreciated when getting into class.
The quick settings access from the panel left from the home screen is a good idea, but it doesn’t beat the easy access through the notification bar’s quick settings (as you would find on Samsung devices or the Nexus 4 for instance – AND custom ROMS of course).
Finally, the idea of the Smart Actions is amazing. I can tell the phone to mute the ringtone as of 11pm BUT ONLY when I am at home! And some contacts (VIPs) can override this. I haven’t tried this out any further but it seems Smart Actions offer lots of comfort.
After two days using the phone, the result is clear: with the smaller screen, the Motorola RAZR i’s battery life is very good. While my One X leaves me hanging at the end of the day, the RAZR i is almost daring me to rough it up more. It displays a cheeky « 35% battery left » when the One X is begging me not to deprive it of its remaining little 15%.
The keyboard is a little under my standards for fast typing. This is also due to the screen size. I find that the Sense Input keys are more user friendly. However, the RAZR i gets extra points for its appropriate user dictionary management. Indeed, Sense Input simply saves every single new entry without even asking, which leads to words like « gello » being saved and requiring deletion from the keyboard settings. The RAZR i offers the option to save a new word, which is very nice and avoids useless gibberish to be found in the suggested words.
The screen impressed me with its ability not to withhold fingerprints, which can be annoying and makes the phone unreadable sometimes. I was however far less impressed with the little not-little-enough pixels which sometimes turn lines into pixel necklaces.
I have to say that, since the softkeys are not separated from the rest of the screen, I sometimes started Google Now by mistake while trying to scroll down a web page or a document.
That being said, I have used the phone for over 2 weeks and I almost never regretted my One X, even though I did feel a difference when I held the latter, mainly for the screen resolution. The music sound is ok (not as clear as the HTC 8S) and the Camera UI is well designed yet a little packed at times. Having a specific hard button on the side for the camera is great (but I sometimes launched it from my pocket).
The Motorola RAZR i is very user friendly, it never slows down, always reacts in a snap and doesn’t force me to get out of my infobese ways at the end of the day. All in all, it is a very nice purchase.
RAZR i basic specs:
Bluetooth, Wifi, NFC
Intel 2GHz Processor