Motorola RAZR2 V9m Review
All the messaging options you would expect are present on Sprint’s V9m. Text messaging uses the standard SMS gateway, while picture and video messaging use Sprint’s Picture and Video Mail service which uploads the content to your own personalized Sprint website as well as sending to the intended user. Initiating, composing and sending a message is about as easy as can be. From the contacts menu the user can initiate any of the three messages from the left softkey, or a message can be started from the messaging menu. Once a picture or video is taken the user is given the option to send it immediately.
When a text message is received it is displayed on the massive outside display, a first for a Sprint phone, but unlike the Alltel V9m the user cannot respond to it utilizing quick text from the outside display. Users must open the phone to reply, and when they do so they will be able to use a standard abc mode or Motorola’s iTap predictive text. Compared to T9 used in most other phones, at this point it’s essentially the same thing with a different name.
Unfortunately the new Seven email client found on the LG Muziq is not available for the V9m, though the Sprint Mobile Email client is. While the two serve essentially the same purpose, the Seven client is much more user friendly and efficient. Still, the Sprint Mobile Email client allows users to check preconfigured accounts such as AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail or to configure their own POP3 or IMAP account.
The V9m is an EV-DO rev 0 phone, which means users can surf the web and download content at broadband speed. It features the older Bluetooth 1.2 spec, and allows for PC Sync although a data cable is not included. For Bluetooth the HSP, HFP 1.5, DUN, OPP, FTP, A2DP, AVRC profiles are supported. Headset paring was very simple, the V9m tries to auto pair using common passwords, and it was connected to the Plantronics 510 and Motorola S9 headsets in just a few seconds. With both the mono 510 and the stereo S9 sound quality was good. Music was as rich as can be expected, and since the V9m supports the AVRC profile we could control the music from the headset.
Unfortunately file transfer was not as satisfying. The phone does not allow you to send pictures from the phone, though it does accept them…kind of. We were able to send a picture from other phones to the V9m, but even though it connected with the computer a file transfer failed. Several different file types failed, all of which were sent without issue to two other handsets. The file sent from another handset can only be sent to the internal memory, and can only be viewed via the file manager in the Tools menu. Even when the file was transferred to the external memory via the file manager it only shows up in the file manager and not in the My Albums folder. There has been a trend towards manufacturers including more profiles (Sprint Samsung phones we have tested can freely send and receive these files) and Sprint does not tell manufacturers to leave out functionality (unlike other carriers,) so why Motorola stripped these features we can only wonder but the end result is more user frustration.
The RAZR2 uses the Obgio WAP 2.0 browser found on most other Sprint handsets. It is a decent browser, and the Sprint portal allows for quick and easy browsing to most common destinations such as weather, news and sports. It can handle HTML pages as well, but it doesn’t render them like a mobile browser such as Opera Mini does. Unfortunately, at the time of review Opera Mini could not detect the handset and it ran unstable on the V9m (something we have not seen it do on other phones, even on phones where it could not detect the model.) Given the lack of a QWERTY keypad and lack of a true HTML browser, the V9m is best used to find quick information and a smartphone would be a better choice for those looking for a full featured web experience.
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?
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