Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Even thought the 2MP Camera on the V9m is an upgrade from the Razr V3 and Krzr, we consider it to be a downgrade when compared to the Maxx Ve, since it has the removal of the Flash and AutoFocus system. Pictures may be taken in either Landscape or Portrait mode, with the landscape mode making the phone being held side-ways, which is somewhat uncomfortable to do. We found that images taken outside with the V9m to have good color representation and full saturation, but edges were fuzzy and lacking in fine detail. Indoor pictures were a bit more problematic due to the amount of available light, and the Auto White Balance didn’t always work, requiring you to manually set it. Also, since there is no AutoFocus, close-up pictures can be more out-of-focus than when taken several feet back, not to mention that it is pointless to attempt to take a Macro picture. Night images are near to impossible to take, since there is no Flash, and using the Darkness setting in the White Balance can only help so much. Overall we feel that the camera on the Maxx Ve to be more user friendly and produces better imaging results, thanks to having AutoFocus, and night images are at least feasible since there is a Flash. Between the two phones, the Maxx Ve is the clear winner for picture taking, yet the V9m does produce overall better images than ones taken by the LG VX8700 2MP Camera.
The Camera can be accessed by pressing the dedicated button on the main keypad, or by pressing the left touch-sensitive button on the external display, which will in turn use the external display as the viewfinder and center button for the shutter. The Camera takes 2 seconds to load, and there is only ½ second delay from the time you press the button to take the picture until the image is captured. Saving the image takes an additional 3 seconds. The total time to take one picture, save it, and then take another picture is 6 seconds.
- Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240, Picture ID
- Landscape and Portrait Mode
- Self Timer: Off, 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec
- Brightness: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2
- White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Darkness
- Shutter Sound: Shutter, Silent, Quack, Boing
- Color Effects: Normal, Antique, B&W, Negative
- Fun Frames: 9 Fun Frame choices
- Switch Storage Device: MicroSD card, Phone
Video Recording is limited to a maximum resolution of 320x240, but you can record up to the available memory on a MicroSD card. Image quality is lacking, with poor color representation, blotchy images, and low frame rate. No one is going to be recording their vacation videos with this anytime soon. Also, the front display cannot be used as a viewfinder for recording self videos.
Accessing the VCast Music Player to playback your MP3 files can be done through the Main Menu and selecting My Music, or my pressing the middle touch-sensitive button the external display. We prefer going through the main menu, since you can choose music by Genre, Album, and Artist, whereas using the external touch button will load and playback all the music in alphabetical order. Once a song begins playing, the internal display will show the song information. Closing the flip will show the same information along with the Album Cover Art on the External Display. Located at the bottom of the screen are three touch-sensitive buttons for Rewind/Skip-Back, Play/Pause, and FastForward/Skip-Ahead. Volume can be adjusted by using the volume rocker, and pressing the Smart button will lock the touch buttons so they are not accidentally pressed. The overall sound quality of MP3 playback was clear and loud. Even at the highest volume, there was no distortion coming from the speaker. It is unfortunate that the speaker is still located on the back on the phone, which will muffle some of the higher frequencies during playback. We recommend turning the phone over so the speaker is on top, or to use a Stereo Bluetooth A2DP compatible headset.
Video streaming is done through the VCast Video Player, which has been updated from the Maxx Ve. There are now 10 categories to choose from: Music, Showcase, Comedy, News, Sports, Net’s Best, TV & Film, Latino, Kids, and Lifestyles. Unlike the Sprint service, all of these videos are pre-recorded and there are no Live TV channels to choose from, and they cannot be played on the external display. Streaming video quality is mediocre at best, since the video is compressed to playback over the EVDO Rev 0 network speed limitations. If you are looking for a better video service from a mobile device, we would suggest using the U620, VX9400, or the upcoming Z6tv to access the Verizon MobileTV MediaFLO service, which provides live TV channels with higher image and sound quality.
The V9m, like all other Verizon phones, uses Qualcomm’s BREW format for all downloadable applications. There are only two games preloaded on the phone, Pac-Man and Tetris, but both are demo application and will expire after a few uses. There are dozens of additional games and applications that can be downloaded from Verizon with either a subscription (monthly) or unlimited use price. Out of all the applications that are available for downloading, the most useful is the VZ Navigator GPS navigational service at $10/month. It allows you to enter in your destination, and it will plan driving directions based upon your current GPS location. There are also pre-selected Airports that you can choose as well. While in use, the internal display shows a current map and turn-by-turn driving directions, while a voice will speak the directions to you. For added flexibility, the flip and can be closed which will show the map and directions on the external display. We have used this service on several instances and the directions are very accurate. Even if you happen to miss a turn, the program will recalculate the route and display a new map.
1. Brian (unregistered)
which hightech junkie would want this? There's nothing high-tech about it, quite the opposite actually! Good review though! Reinforces my opinion that the V9 is not a phone for me! Thanks Phonearena! :D
3. motoman117 (Posts: 15; Member since: 22 Jun 2008)
yah, you are proly one of those people who went out and bought and iphone for $600. The Razr 2 has 3G, MMS, a music player that supports many formats, a micro SD card slot, crystal talk, an external touch screen, excellent design quality, aGPS, WAP 2.0, bluetooth 2.0. I mean, what more could u possibly want? The phone is stacked, and for $150 on verizon right now, it is a steal! I would like to see what you object about this phone so much, and it is the V9m, not the V9..
2. Brock (unregistered)
This is the kind of review I was looking for before I bought mine in September of 07. I lucked out and I went ahread and bought it, and I am very pleased. Of course, mine is flashed with native Motorola firmware and I must say this fully debunks the comment above mine, it was just a case of Verizon crippling.