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Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review

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Design:

Unlike the original RAZR, whose design was often polarizing, the RAZR2 is a stunning phone to be hold. It blends the impossible thinness of the RAZR with the glassy overtones of the KRZR. The lines are bold, yet at the same time artful. At rest, the front is one large, glossy, reflective piece of glass that effortlessly blends into an equally glossy stainless steel body. With that much gloss comes a plethora fingerprints, and it is quite literally impossible to keep the phone clean unless one is wearing gloves and using a headset.

As has been Motorola’s calling card there are several color variants to the RAZR2, with the Sprint V9m getting a more refined and classy gunmetal when compared with the burgundy of AT&T’s V9 or the two-toned black and silver of Verizon’s V9m. The phone measures in at 4.06" long by 2.1" tall while managing to slim down to 0.47" (103 x 53 x 11.9 mm.) At 4.13oz the V9m is on the heavy end of the spectrum, especially when compared to similar models.

Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review

Model Dimension (Inches) Dimension (mm) Weight (oz) Weight (Gramms)
Motorola RAZR2 V9m 4.06" x 2.09" x 0.46" 103 x 53 x 11.9 4.13 117
Samsung Fin 4.06" x 2.04" x 0.45" 103 x 52 x 11.5 3.35 95
Samsung SPH-M610 3.98" x 2.05" x 0.47" 101 x 52 x 12 3.28 93
Motorola RAZR V3m 3.90" x 2.10" x 0.60" 98 x 53 x 14.5 3.49 100

Motorola V9m (left and down) next to LG Muziq (right and up) - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Motorola V9m (left and down) next to LG Muziq (right and up) - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review

Motorola V9m (left and down) next to LG Muziq (right and up)


At the top of the front face you’ll find a 2mp camera which sits next to a hidden status LED. On the left side of the phone is a volume rocker, a multi-function button that launches voice command when the phone is idle and the new microUSB charging port. The right side houses a large camera button that starts the camera with a short press or launches the camcorder with a long one. The outer keys are a bit shallow and it can be hard to distinguish the keys by feel only.

2MP Camera - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Left side - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Right side - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review

2MP Camera

Left side

Right side


Pressing a side button from rest lights up the 2” QVGA external TFT LCD. The display looks much like you will find on the inside, in fact the only wallpaper option is to mirror that of the inside display, and shows the time, date and carrier. At the top you will find the standard set of icons including signal strength, battery status, message waiting indicators, Bluetooth status, and ringer type. At the bottom of the display is a touch sensitive strip overlaid by three adaptive icons. From rest you can launch Sprint TV, the Sprint Music Store and the camera. Each of these buttons provide a small vibration when touched. This is a nice feature, but the vibration has a decidedly spring to it, and the hard keys on the outside also unnecessarily provide this haptic feedback. Since the vibration motor uses some sort of spring mechanism the spring can be felt when tapping the phone in places where there is no control mechanism and when closing/opening the phone. While the user isn’t likely to confuse these with the actual vibration, it does cheapen the feel of the phone to some extent.

External display - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review

External display



Main display - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review

Main display

Opening the phone reveals an even larger 2.2” QVGA display. Here you’ll find essentially the same icons from the outside at the top, with a few advanced ones like data activity and location status. Favorites and Contacts are the left and right softkeys, respectively, and these cannot be changed. While both the inner and outer displays are large and high resolution, they are only 65k colors instead of an increasingly standard 262k. This is perplexing, and quite honestly takes away from the quality of the displays. Brightness on the external display is lower than the internal, but both are bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight well enough.

On the bottom half is a keypad lifted straight from the KRZR. The only difference you will find is that the camera/video key to the left of the directional pad has been replaced with a dedicated speakerphone button. The rest of the keypad is standard; a left and right softkey, five way d-pad with the aforementioned speakerphone button to the left and a back key to the right, send and end and the standard 12-key dialpad. The keypad itself is the same slippery stainless steel as most of the body, but the numbers, letters, arrows and row separators are all raised rubber which makes it easier to distinguish keys. While it is fairly easy to distinguish the keys from one another, the width of the phone makes one handed operation plausible only when dialing a number and those tapping out a text message will want to two thumb it.

Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review

We had some creeks when closing the V9m by pressing the top left (when closed) corner of the flip next to the camera, but overall the construction is good. The stainless steel and glass make for a solid though heavy feel. The back of the unit is coated in the soft-touch paint found on several models, including the Treo 755p and the black and gray versions of the Q. The battery door does not have a mechanical latch, but instead slides on and off for a more seamless look. Unfortunately the microSD slot is found under the battery door, and inserting and removing the card means the battery has to be pulled. The speaker is found at the bottom of the phone, and radiates from two different places: the bottom middle of the back and on the actual bottom of the phone, which is angled to face forward.

Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
microSD slot - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
Speaker - Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
 

microSD slot

Speaker



2 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. (unregistered)


So why in your review of the Sprint version of this handset do you repeatedly rant about menu lag, and fail to mention the customizable themes? In my experience, the different themes improve the lag issue substantially. Also, in the review of the Verizon V9, you ranted about their lack of menu customization options, and yet the overall score of the phone is substantially higher and the only real negative listed is the occasional lag. You guys Verizon Fanboys or what? Objectivity anyone?

posted on 21 Sep 2007, 17:23

2. (unregistered)


While customization is nice, the bottom line is VZW's software works better even if it doesn't offer as many options. Lag is one thing, but the phone in my experience has been unstable, requiring multiple restarts and even having to pull the battery. It's only as pretty as it is useful

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