Motorola RAZR VE20 Review
Like all other Sprint phones, the VE20 runs Java applications, making it compatible with Opera Mini, Google Maps and Live Search. Other standards are onboard as well, such as Sprint Navigation. Like several other phones, the VE20 can multi-task applications, allowing the user to send applications to the background while going about their business. On Demand helps keep the user up to date on local and national news, weather, sports and more.
Of particular note is Sprint’s newest version of NFL Mobile, NFL Mobile Live. The exclusive program initially launched two years ago but has been completely redesigned with new features. The interface is much cleaner, with your team’s upcoming game featured above news headlines. Across the bottom scrolls a ticker with news pertinent to your favorite team, as well as top headlines from around the league. Users can set up their fantasy team and receive alerts on their players, as well as receive game and news alerts. NFL Network, also available in SprintTV, is integrated in the app with a live feed as well as on demand video. For the first time mobile users will be able to watch the eight lives games the network will broadcast this year. Another wonderful addition is live game audio. Similar to the paid MLB Gameday Audio application, users will be able to listen to both home and away broadcasts of every regular and post-season NFL game this year, in most cases including pre and post-game coverage. The application is free for anyone with a data package.
As an EVDO phone the VE20 features Sprint’s full multimedia suite of SprintTV, Radio and Music Store, the latter of which serves as the phone’s music player. It has received the same makeover we see on smartphones like the Mogul and Touch, but overall functionality remains the same. We’ve covered it extensively in the past, and it’s a capable player that could benefit from a redesign. One glitch we noticed is that when the Music Store is running in the background we were unable to bring up the application using the external controls, which can otherwise launch it.
The single speaker was surprisingly good, though it is placed on the back below the battery door, which muffles sound when it’s set down. The 3.5mm headset jack means users can use standard headphones instead of an often low quality 2.5mm pair, or being forced to use an adapter. Sound was overall good, though lacked some of the dynamic range found on an iPod. The biggest thing we noticed is that the bass wasn’t as deep.
The VE20’s 2MP camera is a differentiator from 1.3MP shooters found in competing devices such as the Katana Eclipse and Samsung M520. Unfortunately pictures turned out poorly; color reproduction was poor with blue and yellowing occurring and we noticed graininess under both natural and artificial lighting conditions. Though both are 2MP, the V9m most definitely has a better camera than the VE20. Options are plentiful; the user can adjust the Brightness, White Balance, Resolution, Quality, Color Tone set the Sound and a Self Timer, apply Fun Frames or take Multiple Shots. There are five resolution steps from 120x160 to 1200x1600. Videos can be captured in High (QVGA,) Medium (176x144,) or Low (128x96) and options are similar to the camera. Video quality was so-so, just as we’d expect from a cell phone.
Sprint recently updated their Web Portal, and the new one is much better. The search bar is now powered by Google, not Live Search, and the overall layout is much cleaner and more attractive. Relevant information is displayed at the top, which changes with your usage. Of course we still prefer to browse the web with Opera Mini, but Sprint is moving their portal in the right direction.
Good phone, I upgraded from a Katana 2 and noticed some flaws even then. The texting compared to my last phone is below par as well as the amount of times the Motorola has freezed up (4 times in about 5 weeks, nothing with my Katana 2). Overall though its a great phone and I can deal with the hardships included.